Camargo Guarnieri: Symphony No.4 (Brasília)
Leonard Bernstein: Symphonic Dances from West Side Story
Luciano Berio: Sinfonia
Brazil's flagship orchestra returns to London following its hit performance at the 2012 BBC Proms, for a night of quintessentially '60s music with conductor Marin Alsop, a firm favourite with Southbank Centre audiences.
This concert, which is part of our festival The Rest Is Noise, features two pieces dedicated to Bernstein as well as the composer's own work. The concert is conducted by his former student and friend Marin Alsop, who has a special affinity with his work.
The premiere of Berio's 'Sinfonia', performed by the Swingle Singers in 1969, is revived here by the famous choir. One of the most popular classical pieces of the late 20th-century, 'Sinfonia' was written in the revolutionary year 1968, and it reflects the political and artistic heat of the time.
The amplified voices of the Swingle Singers, and the vast orchestra form a collage of classical music and the sounds and culture of the '60s. With a tribute to Martin Luther King and Mahler's Resurrection Symphony, it includes musical quotations from Stravinsky, Ravel, Strauss and Beethoven alongside extracts of Samuel Beckett and Bertolt Brecht.
Guarnieri's 'Brasília' composed in 1963, is based on Brazilian folk music. The first and third movements are vivacious and energetic with lively rhythms. In the long, slow second movement the strings create a darker sound, described by Guarnieri as a 'tragic, crazy feeling.'
Bernstein brought energy and a contemporary twist to the Broadway musical. His 'West Side Story' contains some of the best tunes ever written.
'Alsop is the real deal - a no-nonsense musician with a flair for texture and a real affinity for this generous, rhythmic repertoire.' (The Arts Desk)
'It's a great pairing; the orchestra's sound is as generous as Alsop's gestures, with a string section that moves from silvery violins to Caravaggio-black basses, and the sheer heft of the band is more than a match for the conductor's muscular style.' (The Arts Desk)Performers
São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
Marin Alsop conductor
The Swingle Singers
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