Howard Shelley looks forward to Sunday’s concert

Howard Shelley, who joins the Brighton Phil on Sunday afternoon at Brighton Dome, has written the following about the concert in which he will be both conducting and performing:

“I so look forward to Sunday’s concert in Brighton’s magnificent Dome – three great works which I will have the honour and joy of performing, in my dual role as conductor and soloist, with the Brighton Philharmonic, one of the great orchestras of the British Isles.

Mendelssohn loved working in Britain and came here at least ten times during his short life – quite extraordinary, given the miserable vicissitudes of travel in those days and the frantic work he undertook as composer, conductor, pianist, impresario and more.

When he premièred his First Piano Concerto in London, he reported to his father that the audience went mad with their applause, but he was too shy to return to the platform to take a bow! It is a gem of a piece which balances passion with lyricism, and intimacy in the rapt slow movement with virtuosity in the last (which he wanted played as fast as possible). The work is continuous with one movement linked to the next by brass fanfares. He wrote it for a lady in Münich who was a very fine pianist, but also beautiful and wealthy, and with whom he “flirted dreadfully”. He was only 21.

Schubert was also a young genius who had already written his first 5 symphonies by the age of 21. The ‘Unfinished’ Symphony, which starts our concert, came a bit later but represents all that is greatest in his writing – heavenly melodies accompanied by a kaleidoscope of textures and dramatic symphonic outbursts. ‘Unfinished’ in no way implies unsatisfying in this instance, and most people feel that the two glorious movements that Schubert did finish are so outstanding that no more needs to be said.

Our last work is by Dvořák whose passionate Sixth Symphony already uses the language of and is on the scale of the more famous ‘New World’ Symphony. Fabulous and impressive use of the orchestra accompanies the Bohemian themes of his heritage and shows clearly why Brahms was such an enthusiastic supporter of his younger colleague.

Please do come and join us for this exciting programme.”

Tickets (from £12-£38) are available from Brighton Dome Ticket Office in Church Street, in person, by telephone (01273) 709709, or online at: https://brightondome.org/…/14884/brighton_philharmonic_orc…/

50% discount for students and under 18s.

Discounted parking for BPO concert ticket-holders (just £6 between 1 & 6pm) is available at NCP Church Street Car Park

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