Luciano Berio: 4 Versioni originali della `Ritirata notturna di Madrid' (after Boccherini) superimposed & transc. for orchestra
Benjamin Britten: Suite from Death in Venice arr. Steuart Bedford
Interval
Dmitry Shostakovich: Symphony No.15

Britten's Death In Venice is a complex masterpiece that embraces the sheer depth and spirit of humanity, offering an insight into the human condition. First staged in 1973, it is the last of his 13 operas and a breathtaking culmination of his operatic career. It is also Britten's most public statement about his long-term relationship with tenor Peter Pears, who originally performed the highly demanding lead role.

Britten's great friend, the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich, wrote his final symphony in 1971 at the age of 65 following a heart attack. The work reflects the thaw that occurred behind the Iron Curtain after Stalin's death in 1953. Taking advantage of this, Shostakovich uses the symphony to reflect on his life and music, which was - sometimes oppressively - overshadowed by Soviet politics. The piece includes quotations from his earlier symphonies and other works by Rossini, Mahler and Wagner.

The concert opens with a playful orchestral arrangement made by composer Luciano Berio in 1975 of Luigi Boccherini's Ritirata - the final movement of a quintet written in 1780. The piece depicts Madrid at the hour of the midnight curfew. As the city watch comes closer the music grows louder, and then dies away as the parade passes.

Performers

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Vasily Petrenko conductor