What Our Big Orchestras Have In Store For 2016/17

Neil Sowerby previews the Hallé, BBC Phil and Manchester Camerata

Written by  Neil Sowerby | Follow @AntonEgoManc | Monday, 5 September 2016 11:48

THERE’S an astonishingly eclectic next few months of music ahead for all our orchestras in a season which sees Hallé music director Sir Mark Elder turn 70 (for great conductors that’s just getting into your stride). That milestone will be celebrated by a June 4 seasonal closer of Schoenberg’s monumental Romantic choral work Gurrelieder.

The Camerata will play the Psycho soundtrack live as the Hitchcock shocker is shown at The Albert Hall for Halloween revellers

In a concert billed as 'a celebration for one of British music’s most treasured figures’, Elder will conduct the combined forces of the Hallé and BBC Philharmonic alongside the Hallé Choir, Sir Thomas Allen as narrator and five top soloists.

In a neat book-ending the big choral guns are also in Bridgewater Hall action early in the season. Juanjo Mena conducts the BBC Phil with the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus in Haydn’s joyous Die Schöpfung – The Creation, sung in German) with soloists joined by soloists Lucy Hall, Ben Hulett and Dietrich Henschel – on Saturday, September 24, while Elder guides the Hallé through Beethoven’s Choral Symphony (No.9) on Thursday, October 6, the quieter Pastoral Symphony having preceded it in September

On a different note, the adventurous Camerata, having kicked off September by giving Festival No.6 their ‘David Bowie Reimagined’, treat Common Bar in the Northern Quarter to interpretations of the Stones, Clapton and Hendrix, then latter a warm-up for ‘From Haydn to Hendrix’ at the RNCM on Friday, September 24, the sprightly Gabor Takacs-Nagy conducting ‘Purple Haze Variations’.

Further populism follows on October 31 as they play the Psycho soundtrack live as the Hitchcock shocker is shown at The Albert Hall for Halloween revellers.

.Sir Mark Elder

Back at the Albert Hall (bring cushions) on Sunday, December 18, the Camerata’s festive programme looks jollier, featuring Norwegian trumpet ace Tine Thing Helseth (main image), mince pies and mulled wine, matched on New Year’s Day by their Viennese Gala.

During the rest of the season, the chamber orchestra will perform the world premiere of Colin Riley’s double concerto for two cellos and the regular Upclose concerts will be led by pianists Alexander Ullman, Emanuel Rimoldi and Iyad Sughayer.

Undoubtedly a big Hallé season focus under Elder is their Elgar Festival (March 9 to 12) including the Enigma Variations First Symphony, and The Dream Of Gerontius. he also tackles Vaughan Williams’ Sixth Symphony.

Principal guest conductor Ryan Wigglesworth’s first concert of the season (October 28) features a work by later English composers Michael Tippett – his pacifist choral masterpiece, A Child of Our Time – and Benjamin Britten: his Sinfonia da Requiem.

Check out the Hallé website for the rest of a teeming programme – everything from a concert version of Wagner’s The Rheingold on November 27 to the popular Snowman at Christmas being joined this year by Paddington Bear, apparently.

The BBC Philharmonic is equally busy, offering classical and contemporary in equal measure. We look forward eagerly to further choral ecstasy on Good Friday from Bach’s St Matthew Passion, with Manchester Chamber Choir and Nicholas Kraemer, and charismatic soloist Leonard Elschenbroich in the world premiere of NOX – a cello concerto by the prodigious Mark Simpson, in his first BBC commission as new Composer in Association.

Works by two female composers (Kaija Saariaho’s Notes on Light and Sofia Gubaidulina’s Violin Concerto) feature centrally in the season, alongside fascinating works by Schoenberg, Gade and Harbison. 

Halle tickets can be purchased online at www.halle.co.uk, on the phone at 0161 907 9000 or by post or in person at The Box Office, The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St., Manchester M2 3WS. 

BBC Philharmonic tickets can be purchased online at bridgewater-hall.co.uk or by calling the box office on 0161 907 9000. Throughout September the orchestra is playing a series of studio concerts in MediaCity, featuring a wealth of British composers. Check this link for more information and to apply for tickets.

For Manchester Camerata booking details visit this link.


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