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The Hallé with Nottingham Harmonic Choir and Jonathan Scott (organ)

Saturday May 5, 2018 at 19:30
Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
£35 - £10; concessions for multibuy packages, groups, Go card holders and families
Phone for tickets: 0115 9895555
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Overture to 'William Tell' - Gioachino Rossini
  2. Gloria - Francis Poulenc
  3. Intermezzo, from Manon Lescaut - Giacomo Puccini
  4. Symphony No 3 in C minor, 'Organ' Op 78 - Camille Saint-Saëns

Rossini’s last opera may be rarely performed these days but it’s nevertheless achieved a measure of immortality through its famous Overture, complete with peaceful opening sunrise, thunderous storm, idyllic mountain meadows and, of course, the irresistible ‘Lone Ranger’ gallop. It sets the scene perfectly for this Franco-Italian programme, in which the beautiful intermezzo from Puccini’s first opera, Manon Lescaut, provides a tragic interlude between Poulenc’s Gloria and Saint-Saëns’s ‘Organ’ Symphony.

One of the notorious group of young French composers who became known as ‘Les Six’, Poulenc embodied their disdain for Germanic formality and French impressionism, and his Gloria of 1959 is a fine example of his direct, often piquant style. Claiming to be inspired by “Crozzoli frescoes with angels sticking out their tongues, and also some solemn-looking Benedictine monks that I saw playing football one day”, Poulenc mixes Stravinskian angularity with sensuous lyricism to gleeful effect. Saint-Saëns’s most popular symphony has more solemnity and grandeur, but there are turbocharged thrills, too, as the composer adds a pair of rapid-firing pianists into the mix and a mighty organ to raise the roof in the spine-tingling finale.

Free pre-concert talk, 6.30pm in the auditorium: Richard Laing, Music Director of Nottingham Harmonic Choir, discusses Poulenc’s Gloria.

Royal Concert Hall
Theatre Square
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