Saturday 14 December 2013 at 7.00pm
Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600
Andrew Litton conductor
Benjamin Grosvenor piano
Rachmaninov: The Rock 13′
Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No.2 23′
Benjamin Grosvenor’s encore – Saint-Saëns – Le Cygne
Tchaikovsky didn’t stint on emotion, and with his shattering Pathétique Symphony, he wrote out his very soul. Music simply doesn’t get more overwhelming than this, so we’ve paired it with a complete contrast: Saint-Saëns’s outrageously entertaining Second Piano Concerto, played tonight by the brightest new star of British piano playing, the 21-year old Benjamin Grosvenor, who opened the BBC Proms last year.
“The Pathétique is Tchaikovsky at his best: full of drama and great tunes, with the most tragic final movement… Cello and Double Bass heaven!” (Catherine Ardagh-Walter, Cello)
Due to the popularity of the Birmingham Christmas Market please allow ample time for your journey to Symphony Hall.
Review by Norman Stinchcombe, Birmingham Post:
Click here for full review
… “Benjamin Grosvenor’s performance encompassed its various moods with ease; cleanly articulated thunderous chords alternating with coquettishly delicate passagework and Saint-Saëns occasional vamp-till-ready passages were adroitly made to sound better than that. The CBSO under Andrew Litton (himself a fine pianist) gave excellent support.
Litton has long been a perceptive conductor of Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, as his recordings of their complete symphonies testify. The former’s youthful tone poem The Rock was given a splendid performance from its bass-led opening – black as the pit of Acheron – to the contrasting skittish woodwind section with some delightful playing from Marie-Christine Zupancic (flute). Litton built up the final delayed when-will-it-modulate section into an ecstasy worthy of Scriabin.” …