The works worth hearingby Alexandra Coghlan / March 15, 2017 / Leave a comment
Published in April 2017 issue of Prospect Magazine
Yo-Yo Ma & NY Philharmonic
Barbican, London, 2nd April
America’s greatest living composer, John Adams, celebrates his 70th birthday this year. Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic (below) bring two of his classic works to London: the pulsing urban symphony that is Harmonielehre and the sparkle of his Chairman Dances—a glittering foxtrot for orchestra that the composer describes as an “outtake” from his Nixon in China. The concert also includes the European premiere of a cello concerto by Esa-Pekka Salonen. With Yo-Yo Ma as soloist, this will be a work worth hearing.
London Philharmonic Orchestra
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, 8th April
The Southbank Centre’s year-long Belief And Beyond Belief festival is throwing up some interesting programming, but none more enticing than this bold collision of musical worlds. Mahler’s Eighth Symphony is an exercise in scale—an epic statement of faith that brings together multiple choirs, soloists and a massive orchestra. Vladimir Jurowski pairs it with its Renaissance twin: Thomas Tallis’s 40-part motet Spem in Alium, a supreme feat of musical engineering and one of the most beautiful choral works in the repertoire.