Telling Tales

Thursday 24 March 2011 at 7.30pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121-780 3333

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Michael Seal  conductor
Peter Donohoe  piano

Strauss: Till Eulenspiegel 16′ Listen
requires Real Player
Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 2 22”
Dvořák: The Water Goblin 20”
Janácek: Taras Bulba 25′

Once upon a time… four composers set out to tell a story. Richard
Strauss told the tale of a famous prankster, in some of his cheekiest and
most playful music. Antonín Dvorák turned to Czech folklore, to spin a
spine-chilling fairy-tale complete with storms, goblins and an underwater
wedding. Leos Janácek splashed great buckets of dazzling orchestral
colour all over one of the most savage episodes in Russian history. And
Franz Liszt… well, rumour had it that he was in league with Satan
anyway! Peter Donohoe brings his trademark keyboard devilry to Liszt’s
outrageous Second Concerto. For this evening of orchestral music at its
most extravagantly entertaining, CBSO Assistant Conductor Michael
Seal is your storyteller… so, if you’re sitting comfortably, we’ll begin!

Peter Donahoe’s Encore -‘Les jeux d’eaux a la Villa d’Este’, from Années de Pèlerinage Book 3 by Liszt

Review by Maggie Cotton, Birmingham Post:

…   “Seal truly captured the haunting eerie tale of Dvorak’s Water Goblin ably abetted by finely-tuned woodwind teamwork, vivid brass and well-balanced top quality string playing.

More death in Taras Bulba with splendid battle scenes and magnificent brass.

Typical high pitched exciting timpani writing and intermittent tubular bells from composer Janácek added to the whole, as did lovely violin solos from Zoë Beyers.”    …