PSO spokesperson Emma Batley writes; ‘Sicilian-born Giuseppe Guarrera joins Plymouth Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No.2. The concert also includes works by Wagner and Beethoven.
The programme begins with the famous overture from Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser, which presents many of the important themes of the opera, commencing with the theme from the well-known Pilgrims’ Chorus. The opera features dramatic orchestration and expansive themes and was apparently inspired by a medieval singing contest held in 13th century Germany at Wartburg Castle.
Shostakovich wrote his Second Piano Concerto as a showcase for his 19-year-old son, on his first appearance with an orchestra, and it is one of his most popular works. It switches between jaunty charm and sprightliness in its outer movements and the central slow movement, which is beautifully sentimental. The concerto will be performed by Giuseppe Guarrera, who has been described as an ’extraordinary young talent’. In 2017 he won 2nd Prize at the Montreal International Competition and over the last year Giuseppe has obtained a prestigious Klavier Ruhr Festival scholarship and the Tabor Foundation Award. He has performed widely in Europe including solo performances with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, and the Orchestra del Teatro la Fenice. He has also premiered a concerto by Benjamin Attahir with the Pierre Boulez Ensemble conducted by Daniel Barenboim.
The final piece is Beethoven’s Symphony No.3, ‘Eroica’, one of his most celebrated works. Although grounded in the Classical tradition, the symphony is considered to be a turning point in symphonic composition, stretching boundaries of length, form, harmony and orchestral virtuosity. As such it is regarded as an important transition to the Romantic era. Beethoven created this ambitious work as a memorial to the heroic achievements of Napoleon.
The Plymouth Symphony Orchestra is one of the longest-established orchestras in the country and attracts many distinguished soloists, with Ralph Kirshbaum, Guy Johnston, Tasmin Little, Joanna MacGregor OBE, Michael Petrov and Savitri Grier among the performers to play with the orchestra. The indefatigable Anne Kimber once more wields the baton’.
For ticket information, please visit www.plymouthsymphony.co.uk.
The concert is taking place on Wednesday November 27 in Plymouth Guildhall at 7.30pm
Philip R Buttall
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