Herbert Blomstedt, conductor
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6, Pastoral
BERLIOZ Symphonie fantastique
In the first of two concerts, Herbert Blomstedt brings his irrepressible enthusiasm, undimmed by over 60 years on the podium, to two masterpieces.
Blomstedt last conducted the Philharmonia in 2017, delighting audiences and critics alike with a high-octane performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7: "a full-on exuberant expression of the human spirit... The Philharmonia simply sparkled" (Bachtrack). He returns with the Pastoral Symphony.
A lover of nature, Beethoven often found musical inspiration from his walks in the country. From its opening movement, titled 'Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the countryside', in the Pastoral Symphony he paints musical scenes of bubbling rivers and village life, carried by evocative strings melodies and colourful woodwind bird calls.
Berlioz was a great admirer of Beethoven, but he didn't so much break the mould as throw it away and start again. The five movements of his Symphonie Fantastique tell a lurid tale of a very thinly-disguised 'young artist' delirious with the pain of unrequited love. The object of his infatuation is represented by a theme that he hears everywhere - in the streets, at a glamorous ball, out in the fields. Terrified that she will betray him, he tries to kill himself with opium, but instead finds himself in a hideous dream world where he witnesses his own execution.
The Philharmonia Orchestra is a world-class symphony orchestra for the 21st century, led by Principal Conductor & Artistic Advisor Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The Orchestra's home is Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, London, where it presents over 50 performances each year. Six other residencies across the UK bring the Philharmonia to a wide national audience. Internationally, the Philharmonia is active across Europe, Asia and the USA.
The Philharmonia was founded in 1945. It has been self-governing since 1964 and is owned by its 80 members. Salonen has been Principal Conductor since 2008. Jakub Hrusa and Santtu-Matias Rouvali are Principal Guest Conductors and honorary conductor positions are held by Christoph von Dohnányi and Vladimir Ashkenazy.
Royal Festival Hall stands at the heart of Southbank Centre complex. Opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain, the Hall is one of the world's leading performance venues. As well as the auditorium, the building consists of The Clore Ballroom, Southbank Centre Shop, several places to eat and drink, and the Saison Poetry Library.www.southbankcentre.co.uk
These events have recently been added and have discounted tickets available
St John's Smith Square
Date: 17 Apr Time: 19:30