The Hallé – Shostakovich’s Defiant Response at The Bridgewater Hall

Johnny James, Managing Editor
Ari Magg

The Hallé - Shostakovich’s Defiant Response at The Bridgewater Hall, City Centre 19 — 25 September 2019 Tickets from £14.50 — Book now

Beethoven – Overture: The Creatures of Prometheus
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 1
Shostakovich – Symphony No. 5

Featuring two firsts from Beethoven – his only ballet and his Piano Concerto No. 1 – as well as Shostakovich’s covertly defiant Fifth Symphony, the Hallé presents a splendid programme at The Bridgewater Hall. It will be conducted by Finland’s Klaus Mäkelä, who at just 23 is already Chief Conductor Designate of the Oslo Philharmonic.

Beethoven’s overture to The Creatures of Prometheus will kick the evening off in exhilarating style. Born out of a collaboration with celebrated choreographer, Salvatore Viganò, the German composer’s first foray into music for the dance was a great popular success. The overture shone particularly brightly, and remains richly celebrated in the concert hall. Violating harmonic convention, it begins with arresting dissonance, before sinking into a luxurious adagio section. Then comes a thrilling allegro whose flurrying violins paint a vibrant picture of Prometheus fleeing from heaven after stealing fire from the gods.

Next we’ll hear another first from Beethoven: his Piano Concerto No. 1. Grand in scale and thrillingly virtuosic, this work features some of Beethoven’s most magical writing. Its opening movement is march-like and imbued with the composer’s distinctive vigour. Then comes a dream-like development, which is held in exciting pianissimo. Often described as a piece-within-a-piece, this ruminating and wistful section leads to a finale full of rambunctious humour. Ripe for pianistic display, the work will be negotiated by Víkingur Ólafsson, who was described by the New York Times as ‘Iceland’s Glen Gould’. The cadenza and coda should be particularly exciting in the hands of this virtuoso!

Finally, we’ll hear Shostakovich’s highly controversial Fifth Symphony. Following a traditional symphonic journey from tragedy to triumph, the work is superficially one of Soviet propaganda. Covertly, however, it’s one of defiance. Written after the notorious Pravda newspaper attack on Shostakovich’s opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, the composer went to great lengths to ensure that Symphony No. 5 met with Stalin’s approval. Subtle cries of rebellion, however, are present in the work’s Western forms and patterns and thinly veiled pessimism – most obvious in the rather hollow ‘exultant finale’. Dark, dramatic and courageous, the work is celebrated as a landmark in the composer’s artistic life, as well as an act of historic resonance.

From the magic of Beethoven to the defiance of Shostakovich, this thrilling programme is a must see at The Bridgwater Hall, where it will enjoy not one but three outings as part of the Hallé’s Opus One series.

The Hallé
Klaus Mäkelä – conductor
Víkingur Ólafsson – piano

The Hallé - Shostakovich’s Defiant Response at The Bridgewater Hall, City Centre 19 — 25 September 2019 Tickets from £14.50 Book now

What's on at The Bridgewater Hall

Where to go near The Hallé – Shostakovich’s Defiant Response 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.

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
Event venue
3Space Manchester

The building consists of five floors of 10,000sqft in an L shape configuration – three of which are open-plan and the other two floors are divided into studio size spaces.

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
RNCM Autumn Season

The RNCM’s Autumn Season brings with it an incredibly diverse programme of live music from across the genre spectrum. Here are our highlights.

from £8.50

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Spotlighting global artists who all, in one way or another, break the mould, we preview the best gigs happening this side of Christmas and beyond.