Tchaikovsky’s Pathétique Symphony

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  • Pure Emotion

Saturday 14 December 2013 at 7.00pm

Symphony Hall, Birmingham +44 (0)121 345 0600

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra 

Andrew Litton  conductor

Benjamin Grosvenor  piano

Rachmaninov: The Rock 13′

Saint-Saëns: Piano Concerto No.2 23′

Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 (Pathétique) 45′ Listen on Spotify Watch on YouTube

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.”     …

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