Vasily Petrenko Conductor
Jess Gillam Saxophone
Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Star saxophonist Jess Gillam performs Michael Nyman’s Where the Bee Dances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Vasily Petrenko. Having performed at events such as the Last Night of the Proms and the BAFTAs, she has achieved international recognition as a soloist, leading her to become the first saxophonist to sign with Decca Classics. A saxophone concerto in one movement, Where the Bee Dances encompasses Nyman’s signature minimalist style whilst blending jazz rhythms that accompany a breakneck-pace soloist.
Two exquisite Russian ballet suites feature in the programme. The Firebird Suite burns with a primitive passion in Stravinsky’s concert arrangement of the 1910 ballet, which proved an instant success upon its premiere and launched the young composer into his long career in the genre. Excerpts from the Romeo and Juliet by Prokofiev conjure powerful moments from Shakespeare’s star-crossed narrative, as the evocative themes of the young lovers are disrupted by intense orchestral punches as violence and tragedy take root.