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With our Southbank Centre season starting this Thursday we asked musicians and staff what OAE concerts in the forthcoming season they’re looking forward to most:
“My definite highlight for this coming season is the Flying the Flag: Best of Both! (with concerts in London, Basingstoke and New York). To play Dvořák‘s New World Symphony in New York, in what was considered the new world when he wrote it, well it is just going to be a near meltdown moment for me. It is a symphony I have always loved for the way it seems to embrace something I recognise and feel familiar with. It paints vast visual landscapes to me, landscapes that hold many stories in their history, some of which are not so comfortable to hear. He also captures something that feels to have come from elements of an Africa I know.
Of course I am hugely anticipating the new work by Stevie Wishart for solo double bass and orchestra, Concerto a Double Entendre. I have not seen a single note of it yet, and so it currently stands as an unknown abyss, that I have an intrepid excitement about!”
Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, Principal Double Bass
OAE Horn player Martin Lawrence also chooses the New World Symphony:
“I’m looking forward to this concert mainly for the manic energy and spontaneity of conductor Adam Fischer. I am fascinated to know what his approach will be to these war-horse pieces – it won’t be normal… I am expecting huge drama, monstrous pianissimos and being on the edge of my seat.”
Martin Lawrence, Horn
“My pick would be the Russian programme in January. Principally because its conducted by Vladimir Jurowski – his concerts with the OAE are always special experiences – somehow very intense and involving. I’m especially looking forward to hearing the OAE play such a warhorse, Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain and hearing how it sounds with period instruments.
At the other end of the spectrum in terms of scale, I’d also pick our shows at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. It’s going to be fantastic hearing the OAE in such an intimate space, and these dramatised performances are shaping up to be something very special.”
William Norris, Communications and Creative Programming Director
“It’s always impossible picking favourites from such a varied and interesting season but I find myself leaning towards the Rameau double bill and Donizetti’s Les Martyrs. Maybe I’m still in operatic mode following a wonderful summer at Glyndebourne! My appetite for Rameau was throughly whetted playing Hippolyte et Aricie with William Christie last year, followed by the OAE’s magical Zais last season, so I’m delighted we’re exploring more. Rameau’s music has such a unique sound and colour; a distinctive grace that manages to tug at the emotions. The forces required mean I’m not needed on stage but I’ll be there in the audience.
I definitely will be on stage for the Donizetti opera. I love discovering these rarer operas with Sir Mark Elder. You get totally swept along by his knowledge, passion and enthusiasm, and the great stirring music too.
Oh, – but I can’t finish there without mentioning Dvořák New World Symphony. Another wonderful work we don’t often get to play, and to have Adam Fischer at the helm…..can’t wait!”
Cecelia Bruggemeyer, Double Bass
“Donizetti’s Les Martyrs is the concert I am most anticipating for this season.
There is something about the OAE that makes Donizetti sound so special. Have a try with previous releases (Imelda and Maria de Rohan) and you will be able to confirm what I am saying. Music flows so easily and lightly and still it captures all the tension when needed!
Donizetti is one of my favourite Opera composers. Though he is not a genius he is one with a deep sense of drama and theatricality. His comic operas are cheeky and his music has a pace that never lets you down. As for his most dramatic operas, it is interesting to note how he develops his skills across time and how he experiments so much with some works. Take for example the opera La Favorita where he brings to life such nice musical ideas that later on you will find fully developed and matured in Verdi’s works.
Regarding Les Martyrs, there are just not enough records of this opera! Most of them are live pirate captures and with poor sound quality. My favourite interpretation is with Leyla Gencer which (thank god!) is available on YouTube. The plot is an excuse for intense and dramatic singing and thrilling choral scenes. Being about religious persecution, the subject is sadly not unfamiliar to those who read the news and a modern stage for this opera wouldn’t be totally out of place.
Definitively an amazing opportunity to listen to one of Donizetti’s hidden gems”
Donizetti Les Martyrs – London 4 November
Daniel Coelho Antão da Silva, Finance Officer
“I’m most looking forward to Dvorak’s New World Symphony with Adam Fischer. The programme also includes Brahms’ Violin Concerto and, unknown to me, Smetana’s The Bartered Bride. I’m excited to learn new music and to hear an old favourite.”
Sophie Kelland, Projects Officer
“Looking forward to the Mussorgsky, it sounds like it’s from a horror movie and with Jurowski at the helm it will be dramatic and very Russian!”
Vladimir Jurowski conducts Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky – London 15 January
Zen Grisdale, Digital Content Officer
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