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BBC SO/Oramo

Elgar's Cello Concerto

Black and white photo of actor Jamie Parker surrounded by a colourful border

Brutalism meets orchestral beauty as we mark 40 years of the Barbican Centre with music as idealistic, integral and provocative as the building itself.

For his 1912 ballet depicting the pure, enduring love of Daphnis and Chloé, Michel Fokine knew who to ask for music of the most beguiling atmosphere. This story, brimming with passion, drew a magnificent score from Maurice Ravel, an orchestra-choral tapestry dripping in nostalgia and opulence. 

Six decades and two wars later, our idea of beauty had been changed forever. Judith Weir’s choral work Concrete pays homage to the Barbican – its idealism, its boldness, and the stories of the city from which it emerged. It includes texts read by award-winning actor Jamie Parker. Completing the programme is a concerto performed at the building’s first public concert. Despite the longing lyricism of Edward Elgar’s seminal work for cello and orchestra, it displays many of the rough edges of the twentieth century – as if cast in concrete.

This performance ends at approximately 9pm, with a 20 minute interval.

Produced by the BBC Symphony Orchestra

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