Folk Roots, Urban Roots
Simon Rattle conducts the LSO, beginning in central Europe with Bartok and Szymanowski, and ending in South and North America with Osvaldo Golijov, Stravinsky and Bernstein.
'Sometimes,' says Simon Rattle, describing the thinking behind his Roots and Origins series, 'it’s a good thing to have a connecting line and it can be a wonderful opportunity to explore all kinds of things that you might not usually explore and put things together than you might not necessarily think they might be happy bed mates.' So, hold on tight for an exhilarating journey from Hungary to the US, via Poland and Argentina.
The first half features what Rattle calls 'hearty folk music': Bartok's Hungarian Peasant Songs and a rare chance to hear Szymanowski's Polish folktale-inspired Harnasie, for tenor and chorus. The second half begins and ends with LSO principal clarinet, Chris Richards, making his way to the front of the stage for two of the great jazz-inspired clarinet concertos of the twentieth century. And in between, expect Latin rhythms and percussion from Argentine Osvaldo Golijov's 2009 Nazareno, based on music from his St Mark's Passion and written for tonight's performers Katia and Marielle Labèque.
Rattle sums it all up like this: 'Somehow these pieces together added to this wild middle east European first half should make a fantastic evening.'
Recorded last week at the Barbican Hall and presented by Martin Handley.
Béla Bartók: Hungarian Peasant Songs
Karol Szymanowski: Harnasie
Stravinsky: Ebony Concerto
Osvaldo Golijov (arr Gonzalo Grau): Nazareno for two pianos and orchestra
Bernstein: Prelude, Fugue and Riffs
Edgaras Montvidas (tenor)
Chris Richards (clarinet)
Katia and Marielle Labèque (pianos)
London Symphony Chorus
London Symphony Orchestra
Simon Rattle (conductor)