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The Hallé with Sir Mark Elder and Sir Stephen Hough

Friday May 17, 2024 at 19:30
Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham
£11.50 - £39.50
Phone for tickets: 0115 989 5555
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 1 in D minor Op 15 - Johannes Brahms
  2. A Shropshire Lad (Orchestral Rhapsody) - George Butterworth
  3. Variations on an original theme, 'Enigma' Op 36 - Sir Edward Elgar

You don’t often hear concerts by two knights, but this starry Hallé performance unites Sir Mark Elder with Sir Stephen Hough for a concert that mirrors our preceding Philharmonia concert on 1 May. This time it’s Brahms’s more fractious First Piano Concerto that provides the first half of this performance. Bearing the imprint of Beethoven, whose heir he’d be proclaimed by his mentor Robert Schumann, the tempestuous opening of this expansive masterpiece also reflects the trauma of Schumann’s attempted suicide and his platonic love for Schumann’s wife, Clara.

Two emotive English classics complete the programme. Poignancy colours Butterworth’s heartfelt orchestral rhapsody, A Shropshire Lad, which, although written just before the First World War, seems to prefigure the national sense of loss, including his own untimely death. Elgar’s Enigma Variations embraces a much wider range of moods, transforming its ‘mystery’ theme into a vibrant portrait gallery of his friends, all brilliantly characterised by his unrivalled ear for orchestral colours. As you’d expect from Elgar, there’s great grandeur but also huge affection, not least in its magnificent centrepiece, Nimrod, arguably the most stirring sound to have emerged from these isles.

Free pre-concert talk, 6.20pm in the auditorium: Sir Stephen Hough in conversation.

Royal Concert Hall
Theatre Square

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