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The Madness/Lightness of Being

Saturday 16 November 2024


Brighton Corn Exchange

Tickets: £30 / £25 / £1 child or teen / other concessions at 50% saving available

Madness, mayhem and tango entwine in a cinematic concert of light and shade.


Alfred Hitchcock’s enduring artistic relationship with the American composer and conductor Bernard Herrmann reached its height with Hitchcock’s film Psycho (1960), whose originality caused audiences to faint with horror.  Herrmann arranged his unforgettable score – particularly that shower scene – into an orchestral suite, and here it’s matched with another composer who wrote over sixty film scores, Alfred Schnittke.  Schnittke’s brilliantly cinematic piano concerto, a series of short wild scenes culminating in a massive cadenza, is prefaced by Tango in a Madhouse: his bittersweet tango, written as an allegory of oppression under the Soviet Union.


The psychological darkness of the programme is balanced with Bach’s celestial dance, his F minor keyboard concerto, and Ukraine’s most famous living composer Valentin Silvestrov, whose Silent Music for Strings breathes with delicate yearning and nostalgia.  The dark and dangerous heart of Piazzolla, in Joanna MacGregor’s blistering tango arrangements, ends the evening with Buenos Aires panache.


‘One the most important British musicians of her generation: Joanna MacGregor’s significance rests not just on her rare ability as a pianist, but also her integrity.’ The Sunday Times

The Madness/Lightness of Being


Keyboard concerto in F minor BWV 1056

Alfred Schnittke

Tango in a Madhouse / Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra

Valentin Silvestrov

Silent Music for Strings

Bernard Herrmann

Suite from Psycho

Astor Piazzolla (arr. MacGregor)

Oblivion; Michelangelo; Milonga del Angel; Libertango

Joanna MacGregor


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