We asked the orchestra which pieces of music, and indeed concerts, they are most looking forward to this season, and our next concert, on Sunday 3 December*, ranked particularly highly in their responses (see below):
“The Ravel is one of my favourite piano concertos as it shows the genius of this great composer to perfection, and with a soloist we will be so proud to have with us again in Brighton. Three masterworks of the most contrasting mood and character will make up a wonderful afternoon of symphonic music.” Barry Wordsworth, Conductor Laureate
Rachmaninov’s Symphony No.2 is “one of the most beautiful symphonies ever written” John Bradbury, Leader
During her epic London to Brighton sponsored Trek for British Heart Foundation in June “I kept myself going by trying to play through my part of the Rachmaninov 2nd Symphony in my mind!” Rachel Benjamin, Viola
(Sadly Rachel cannot now perform with us on 3 December as she’s broken her wrist!)**
“l always so enjoy the thrill of the Ravel Piano Concerto, demanding but the contrasts are amazing. Energy, excitement and the beauty of the slow movement Cor Anglais so profound.” Wendy Phillips, Principal Bassoon
“I was in the Kent County Youth Orchestra under our rather fierce and fiery Hungarian conductor Bêla de Csillery in the 1980s. He loved conducting Elgar, I think because he considered himself rather an English gentleman after so many years on these shores. I loved learning the overture with the KCYO and have only played it two or three times since. Dr de Csillery always pronounced it “In ze Zouse”, and that’s how it remains for me.
We also played Rachmaninov’s 2nd Symphony when I was in KCYO, but I was a newcomer, and just joined in the loud tutti sections. I watched and listened in awe as the older players sang out the endless beautiful lines of solos and counterpoint. The last time we played this piece with BPO I loved having a doubling part to myself which enjoys gorgeous solos for the Cor Anglais in the slow movements, but has a lively and exciting 3rd oboe part in the 2nd and 4th movements – very much independent of the other oboe parts.
As for the Ravel G Major Piano Concerto – the Cor Anglais has the chance to share with the solo pianist the glorious and poignant melody of the 2nd movement. The solo is often set for auditions for Cor Anglais jobs, so I have practised it for many hours over many years, but have only ever stood nervously by myself, playing to a panel in a small room. Now at last I shall play Ravel’s fabulous tune with my friends and colleagues, and with a wonderful pianist.” Clare Hoskins, Principal Cor Anglais
“The 3rd December programme is a whole collection of favourites for me. The Elgar In the South is pretty much one of his best, placing him as an English counterpart to Richard Strauss, the perilous but exciting Ravel and the exuberant Rachmaninov – another great favourite for the sheer enjoyment of playing, lush tunes and plenty to get ones teeth into!” John James, Principal Horn
“Without question, the highlight for me will be the Rachmaninov in December. Glorious music that Barry interprets so well. (I may be a little biased, as it does have a wonderful part for me to play!)” John Elliott, Principal Tuba
(Catherine Stead, Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society)
- * Full details of the concert on 3rd December are available on our online calendar here
- ** BHAC wish Rachel Benjamin a speedy recovery