John Adams Slonimsky’s Earbox Leonard Bernstein Symphony No 1 ‘Jeremiah’ Beethoven Symphony No 7
Los Angeles Philharmonic Gustavo Dudamel conductor Kelley O’Connor mezzo-soprano
LA Philharmonic Walt Disney Concert Hall and the character of the orchestra
Beethoven's 7th Symphony is a work possessed by the power of rhythm - rhythm which propels forth themes of great might and memorability. The opening section of the second movement, funereal in sentiment if not in pace, is surely one of the most haunting things Beethoven ever wrote - but by the work's end the sheer thrill of Beethoven's writing ranks among his most life-affirming. It was one of the symphonies on the debut disc of tonight's conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, who brings his Los Angeles Philharmonic to the Barbican.
The young Dudamel already shares two things in common with Leonard Bernstein. Both were acclaimed whilst still in their 20's for their formidable musicianship and also for the gift of inspiring a love of classical music in audiences far beyond the art form's usual reach. Dudamel will conduct Bernstein's First Symphony, a powerful telling of the life of the prophet Jeremiah, featuring the alluring American mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor, who performs with artistic sensitivity and imagination. Also included in the concert is Slonimsky’s Earbox, a work by John Adams, one of America's leading contemporary composers.
‘O'Connor's smoky sound and riveting stage presence made an indelible impact.’ The New York Times