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Basel Symphony Orchestra 2

More than minimal - Mini(mal music) Festival


John Adams
The Chairman Dances
Philip Glass
Cello Concerto No. 2 (Naqoyqatsi)
Michael Nyman
Prospero’s Books


Dennis Russell Davies
Matt Haimowitz

One of Switzerland’s leading orchestras, the Basel Symphony Orchestra has a broad repertoire ranging effortlessly from the Viennese classics to contemporary music. Whether in the concert hall or the opera house, this internationally varied group of musicians constantly demonstrates its unique flexibility and artistic prowess. The orchestra performs a set of three concerts presenting visually inspired music with its roots in minimalism.

Adam’s The Chairman Dances, subtitled ‘Foxtrot for Orchestra’, is described by the composer as an ‘out take’ from the opera he was writing at the time, Nixon in China. It depicts Madame Mao gate-crashing a presidential banquet, hanging paper lanterns, and performing a seductive dance. The Chairman Mao descends from his portrait, and the two dance a foxtrot, back in time together.

Philip Glass’ Cello Concerto No. 2 contains intense and elegiac music distilled from the soundtrack to the film Naqoyqatsi, the third in the Qatsi trilogy directed by Godfrey Reggio. This performance is given by the same cellist and conductor that gave the piece its world premiere last year.

Nyman’s Prospero’s Books is the composer’s soundtrack to Peter Greenaway’s cinematic adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and one of his most ambitious works with a varied stylistic approach, from neo-Baroque minimalism and propulsive rhythms, to lush harmonic settings of vocal pieces, with a suitably celebratory closing Masque.

Part of Zurich International Orchestra Series 2013-14.

From 6.30pm: free pre-concert music in the Culford Room
Cellist Florence Petit and guitarist Elias Sibley perform Schubert’s ‘Arpeggione’ Sonata, D. 821

Part of Zurich International Orchestra Series 2013/14

Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra of Moscow Radio

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The acclaimed pianist and 'best orchestra in the world' perform Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 4, alongside two stunning chamber works by Stravinsky.

Czech National Symphony Orchestra

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Brussels Philharmonic 1

The superb Belgian orchestra explores French music including Ravel's Piano Concerto and Daphnis et Chloé Suite, Debussy's Jeux and Dukas' The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Brussels Philharmonic 2

Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite, Ravel's jazzy Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, with soloist Andreas Haefliger, and Rimsky Korsakov's colourful Scheherazade. Michel Tabachnik conducts.

Brussels Philharmonic 3

An all-Russian programme: Mussorgsky's dramatic Night on the Bare Mountain, Stravinsky's glittering ballet music to Petrushka, and Tchaikovsky's beautiful Sleeping Beauty Suite.

Vienna Tonkünstler Orchestra

This distinguished orchestra performs Kodály's exquisite Dances of Galánta, Rachmaninov's First Piano Concerto, with solost Barry Douglas, and Beethoven's cheerful 'Pastoral' Symphony.

Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra

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Zurich Chamber Orchestra

Sir Roger Norrington conducts an all-Mozart programme of the First and Last Symphonies, and Piano Concerto No. 21 with Jonathan Biss, the brilliant American pianist.

Basel Symphony Orchestra 1

Dennis Russell Davies conducts the first of three concerts featuring masterworks by John Adams, Philip Glass, Arvo Pärt and Michael Nyman.

Basel Symphony Orchestra 3

The orchestra's final concert including Michael Nyman's thrilling Trombone Concerto and Philip Glass' Sixth Symphony with soprano soloist. Arvo Pärt's These Words opens the programme.

Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra

Two works by Tchaikovsky full of drama and anguish, Francesca da Rimini and the Fourth Symphony, plus Shostakovich's virtuosic Cello Concerto No.1 with the acclaimed cellist Guy Johnston.

La Chambre Philharmonique

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