- John Adams
- The Chairman Dances
- Philip Glass
- Cello Concerto No. 2 (Naqoyqatsi)
- Michael Nyman
- Prospero’s Books
- Dennis Russell Davies
- Matt Haimowitz
One of Switzerland’s leading orchestras, the Basel Symphony Orchestra has a broad repertoire ranging effortlessly from the Viennese classics to contemporary music. Whether in the concert hall or the opera house, this internationally varied group of musicians constantly demonstrates its unique flexibility and artistic prowess. The orchestra performs a set of three concerts presenting visually inspired music with its roots in minimalism.
Adam’s The Chairman Dances, subtitled ‘Foxtrot for Orchestra’, is described by the composer as an ‘out take’ from the opera he was writing at the time, Nixon in China. It depicts Madame Mao gate-crashing a presidential banquet, hanging paper lanterns, and performing a seductive dance. The Chairman Mao descends from his portrait, and the two dance a foxtrot, back in time together.
Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto No. 2 contains intense and elegiac music distilled from the soundtrack to the film Naqoyqatsi, the third in the Qatsi trilogy directed by Godfrey Reggio. This performance is given by the same cellist and conductor that gave the piece its world premiere last year.
Nyman’s Prospero’s Books is the composer’s soundtrack to Peter Greenaway’s cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and one of his most ambitious works with a varied stylistic approach, from neo-Baroque minimalism and propulsive rhythms, to lush harmonic settings of vocal pieces, with a suitably celebratory closing Masque.
Part of Zurich International Orchestra Series 2013-14.
From 6.30pm: free pre-concert music in the Culford Room
Cellist Florence Petit and guitarist Elias Sibley perform Schubert’s ‘Arpeggione’ Sonata, D. 821