The Year 1912: Ives and Prokofiev

Thursday 24 May 2012 at 7.30pm

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

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Litton conductor
Lise de la Salle piano

Ives: Three Places in New England 18′ Listen on Spotify
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 1 16′
Walton: Symphony No. 1 45′

1912: and as Charles Ives imagined what it would sound like if two marching bands collided, the student Prokofiev threw his feisty First Piano Concerto straight in the faces of his outraged professors. Andrew Litton turns up the voltage for this high-octane programme, and then goes even further, with the symphony that threw a stick of dynamite under British music. Walton’s volcanic First Symphony is always a gripping ride – and knowing how much Litton relishes it, we don’t think he’ll pull his punches. Hold on to your hats!

To listen to some of the music in this concert, and explore the rest of the season, using our Spotify playlists, click here.

Lise de la Salle’s encore – Debussy – Preludes Livre 1 no 6, Des pas sur la neige.


Review by Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post:

Click here for full review

…     “And immediately we were into the taut, grinding passion which colours all of the magnificent opening movement, inexorable, horns trilling defiantly, timpani a constant presence, and Litton all the while taking huge risks — which, given this orchestra which seems incapable of leaving the top of its form, all came off. At the end, after the finale’s blistering fugue and desperately hard-won affirmation (though the Last Post-style trumpet does gainsay that), the sense of satisfied exhaustion on both sides of the stage was paramount.”     …