BBC Philharmonic: Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 at The Bridgewater Hall

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Matt Squire

BBC Philharmonic: Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 at The Bridgewater Hall, City Centre 15 February 2020 Tickets from £12.50 — Book now

Ludwig van Beethoven – Cantata for the death of Emperor Joseph II (39’)
Ludwig van Beethoven – Leonore Prohaska: Trauermarsch (6’)
Ludwig van Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 in A major (38’)

From Beethoven’s defiantly optimistic Seventh Symphony to two works marking lost lives, get ready for a BBC Philharmonic concert full of emotional extremes.

Written under the clouds of ill health and romantic failure, Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony is, against all odds, one of the composer’s most ebullient works. Described by Richard Wagner as “the apotheosis of the dance”, the symphony’s opening movement is full of nimble dotted rhythms, sudden dynamic changes and abrupt modulations. This leads to a slow, funerary second, before a propulsive and rollicking Presto third, which bursts into being with ecstatic joy. The boisterous finale is even more heart-pounding, subverting expectation with its whirlwind speed, rhythmic complexity and muscular prowess.

A counterweight to the Seventh Symphony’s life and energy, next up is Beethoven’s Cantata for the death of Emperor Joseph II. Intended for a memorial service for Joseph II, Holy Roman Emperor, the cantata was in fact never performed on the occasion, or in fact in Beethoven’s lifetime. Today, though, it is regarded as one of his most important early works, displaying remarkable maturity considering the composer’s tender age of nineteen. Featuring Miah Persson (soprano), Kitty Whately (mezzo-soprano), Anthony Gregory (tenor) and Brindley Sherratt (bass), we’re expecting a wonderful performance of this sombre work.

Lastly, we’ll hear the funeral march from Beethoven’s Leonore Prohaska. This was written in 1815 as incidental music for a play of the same name by Johann Friedrich Duncker. It follows the story of a female soldier who, disguised as a man, joined the Prussian army and was killed fighting the forces of Napoleon. A work of four movements, the closing Trauermarsch is an orchestration of the third movement from the composer’s Piano Sonata No.12, Op. 26. A particularly dark piece of music from Beethoven’s late period, it combines with Cantata for the death of Emperor Joseph II to balance this Bridgewater Hall programme perfectly.

From triumph to tragedy, this wide-ranging BBC Philharmonic concert showcases two emotional poles of Beethoven’s rich output – another great concert to celebrate Beethoven at 250.

BBC Philharmonic
Mark Wigglesworth – conductor
Miah Persson – soprano
Kitty Whately – mezzo-soprano
Anthony Gregory – tenor
Brindley Sherratt – bass
Manchester Chamber Choir

BBC Philharmonic: Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 at The Bridgewater Hall, City Centre 15 February 2020 Tickets from £12.50 Book now

What's on at The Bridgewater Hall

Where to go near BBC Philharmonic: Beethoven – Symphony No. 7 at The Bridgewater Hall

Manchester
Restaurant
Midland Tea Room

Dating back to 1903, Manchester’s stately Midland Hotel now has its own dedicated tea room. Expect traditional offerings in elegant surroundings.

Society Manchester
City Centre
Society Manchester

Society Manchester is a glorious indoor and outdoor space in the very heart of the city, with five street food vendors to choose from and a range of high-quality drinks.

Manchester
Restaurant
Friska

Latest branch of Friska, the independent healthy fast food chain.

Manchester
Restaurant
Don Giovanni

Traditional Italian restaurant, serving everything from pizza to steak. All this in a large modern venue with floor-to-ceiling windows.

Haunt MCR
Manchester
Bar or Pub
Haunt MCR

Haunt MCR is a speciality coffee shop and wine bar located on Manchester’s bustling Peter Street.

Manchester
Restaurant
Jaan

New food concept from the team behind Another Hand, based at Exhibition and serving up exceptional Persian cuisine.

City Centre
Restaurant
ONDA Pasta Bar

ONDA is a treat for the tastebuds. Long dark wood tables are shared by eager diners, as tapas-style plates of fresh pasta and other Italian dishes are ferried around the restaurant.

City Centre
Restaurant
Nudo Sushi Box

Nudo Sushi Box on Manchester’s Oxford Road specialises in freshly-prepared boxes of – you guessed it – sushi.

City Centre
Bar or Pub
Peveril Of The Peak

Iconic Manchester pub adorned with the sorts of bottle green, yellow and brown Victorian tiles that are a reclamation yard’s dream – this gem of a boozer is named after Sir Walter Scott’s novel of the same name and was a favourite hang-out of Eric Cantona.

What's on: Music

Until
ActivityManchester
DJ Gym at Hatch

Learn some DJ and production skills with DJ Gym Manchester, based in the culturally infused surrounds of Hatch.

from £269
Until
MusicManchester
Open Deck at Band on the Wall

Bring your records for a spin at our Open Deck session this Saturday! If you’ve bought some new vinyl from a local record shop this week, just show your receipt at the bar to get yourself a free 9” pizza!

Until
MusicManchester
RNCM Summer Season 2024

Read our highlights from the RNCM Summer Season, taking in huge collaborative events, internationally acclaimed artists and family adventures.

from £8.50

Culture Guides