Knussen Chamber Orchestra

Tuesday 11 Jun 2019 7:30pm

Part of Aldeburgh Festival

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Knussen Chamber Orchestra
Ryan Wigglesworth conductor
Claire Booth soprano
Mark Padmore tenor

Knussen Gong (from Four Late Poems and an Epigram of Rainer Maria Rilke) 3’
Stravinsky Septet 11’
Knussen Scriabin Settings 7’
Takemitsu How Slow the Wind 11’
Knussen O Hototogisu! 8’

Britten Nocturne 25’
Schubert Symphony No.5 28’

Oliver Knussen’s last work O Hototogisu! was premiered at the 2017 Aldeburgh Festival, the shimmering delicacy of its seven haiku settings interspersed with the bird-like song of a solo flute. The work’s spirit flickers brightly amidst the rest of the programme in a debut concert by a new chamber orchestra that bears Knussen’s name. Solo instruments lend their distinctive colours to the singer’s song in music from Britten evoking night, sleep and dreams.

There are more miniatures from Knussen (transcription of Scriabin piano pieces), music by the composer’s great friend Takemitsu, a typically sensuously coloured tapestry.

The programme is completed by a new tribute from composer-conductor Ryan Wigglesworth and Schubert’s elegant and high-spirited symphony.

Photo credit: Shoel Stadlen

Supported by 

Oliver Knussen (1952 – 2018)

2019 marks the 50th anniversary of Oliver Knussen being invited by Britten to have his music performed at the Aldeburgh Festival. He was then 17 years old and grew to be not only one of the most important composers of his day but a hugely significant conductor and inspirational mentor to his fellow composers and musicians.

Sadly, his last concerts were at Snape in the 2018 Festival and so it is fitting that we should pay tribute to him by including a number of his works as well as presenting the debut performances of the newly-formed Knussen Chamber Orchestra, assembled from some of the UK’s leading orchestral principals and the finest emerging instrumentalists.

Other concerts featuring Knussen’s music: