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The Hallé - January 2019Classical Music
Sir Mark Elder conductor
Stephen Hough piano
Berlioz Overture: Benvenuto Cellini
Saint-Saëns Piano Concerto No. 5 ‘Egyptian’
Wagner Lohengrin: Preludes to Act 1 and Act 3
Die Meistersinger (Suite)
Berlioz’s rousing overture begins this Franco-German concert. Benvenuto Cellini may have sunk without trace as an opera but it left behind a brilliant opening showpiece. Two rather more successful operas feature in the second half of this concert. Lohengrin was Wagner’s first major operatic hit, its mythical and chivalric subject matter evoked in the stirring preludes to Act One and Act Three. The suite from Die Meistersinger takes in the Apprentices’ Dance, as well as the grand Prelude to Act One. Stephen Hough’s recording of Saint-Saëns’ piano concertos earned the remarkable accolade of most popular classical CD of the last 30 years in a 2008 Gramophone readers’ poll. For this concert he’ll be performing the last of these concertos, which led critics of the day to compare it to Granada’s Alhambra Palace. Saint-Saëns’ acute ear for the sounds of the East prompted some striking effects, including croaking frogs, a Nubian love song and even the thrum of a ship’s propellers in the joyful and virtuosic finale.
Free pre-concert talk, 6.30pm in the auditorium: Stephen Hough in conversation.
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