J.Adams: Saxophone Concerto
Rachmaninov: Symphony No. 2, in E minor, op. 27
We are delighted to welcome back Jess Gillam after her memorable sell out concert last January, to perform The Saxophone Concerto (2013) of American composer John Adams. The music was inspired by the composer’s father who played the sax in the local swing bands – ‘ I was surrounded by swing music’ – is also a tribute to such great swing sax players as Charlie Parker and Stan Getz. Adams is clear that this music has to be played in ‘the same hard driven style as these greats’. This should be right up Jess Gillam’s street.
Rachmaninov’s 2nd symphony ‘rose like a phoenix from the disaster that was the 1st symphony in 1897. An under rehearsed orchestra, a drunk conductor (Glazunov) and a savaging from critics resulted in severe depression and a crisis in the belief in his own abilities. It took around 10 years and extensive hypnotherapy sessions from a Doctor Dahl (to whom the symphony is dedicated) before the 2nd Symphony appeared and was received triumphantly. It is a work memorable for its length, colour, dazzle and drive and especially the glorious clarinet melody in the slow movement.
Hallé is one of Europe’s finest orchestras, and a regular visitor to the Westmorland Hall. On the rostrum this time is dynamic young Japanese conductor Kazuki Yamada, who is the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s principal guest conductor, and Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo. In Japan he holds further titles of Principal Guest Conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra (from January 2019), Permanent Conductor of the Japan Philharmonic, Music Director and Chairman of The Philharmonic Chorus of Tokyo as well as Music Director of Yokohama Sinfonietta, an ensemble he founded whilst still a student.