Psappha at Hallé St Peter’s Manchester plus LSO & Simon Rattle & Krystian Zimerman at Barbican Hallby Alexandra Coghlan / October 3, 2020 / Leave a comment
English Touring Opera Autumn Season, October to December
English Touring Opera have conceived a socially distanced programme of staged monodramas and song-cycles. Domestic conflict and isolation are the topical themes for the first evening. Poulenc’s devastating La voix humaine sees an unnamed woman plead and reproach her former lover in a painful telephone call that may or may not end in suicide. An English theme runs through the other two programmes, which bring Shostakovich’s mercurial Romances on Verses by English Poets together with the inscrutable beauty of Britten’s Songs and Proverbs of William Blake.
Psappha: 3×3, Hallé St Peter’s, Manchester, 12th November
Manchester’s innovative modern music ensemble (above) has also adapted swiftly. Its 3×3 series (running until December both digitally and live) presents concerts for three performers, each showcasing 20th-century and 21st-century composers. The November concert is typically wide ranging, stretching from Berio’s witty folk and avant-garde collision Naturale to Helmut Lachenmann’s virtuosic Serynade.
LSO & Simon Rattle, Krystian Zimerman, Barbican Hall, London, 29th November
Beethoven’s 250th anniversary goes out with a bang. Simon Rattle and the LSO join forces with pianist Krystian Zimerman to present a complete cycle of the composer’s piano concertos. Paired initially with works by Stravinsky that include the neoclassical ballet Apollon musagète and the highly ritualised Symphonies of Wind Instruments, they then come together in an epic final concert featuring all five concertos.