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The Opening Concert Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Sponsored by Baillie Gifford, Investment Managers

Friday 8 August 2014
  • Running time: 
    2 hours and 30 minutes approximately

Oliver Knussen Conductor

Kirill Gerstein Piano
Claire Booth Soprano

Edinburgh Festival Chorus
Christopher Bell Chorus Master

Schoenberg Five Orchestral Pieces Op 16 (original version)
Scriabin Prometheus – The Poem of Fire
Debussy Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien

The 2014 Festival opens with a concert of three opulent masterpieces. They are performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under composer and conductor Oliver Knussen, one of the most respected figures in British music, famed for his brilliant insights into 20th-century repertoire.

Schoenberg's explosive Five Orchestral Pieces are in many ways as revolutionary as Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, exploring troubled inner worlds in music of exquisite, kaleidoscopic colours. Award-winning Russian-born pianist Kirill Gerstein is the soloist in Scriabin's mystical Prometheus, which depicts nothing less than mankind's quest for enlightenment in music of tremendous power.

After the interval, Debussy seems to prophesy the fallen of the Great War in his oratorio Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien, a collaboration with Italian war veteran Gabriele D'Annunzio, which evokes a world of pitiful self-sacrifice, exotic spiritualism and repressed desire.

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Usher Hall

Lothian Road
Edinburgh
EH1 2EA

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Access

Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Oliver Knussen Conductor

Kirill Gerstein Piano
Claire Booth Soprano

Edinburgh Festival Chorus
Christopher Bell Chorus Master

Schoenberg Five Orchestral Pieces Op 16 (original version)
Scriabin Prometheus – The Poem of Fire
Debussy Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien

The Opening Concert - The Herald

August 9th 2014

★ ★ ★ ★ 

“... a colourful, idiosyncratic 20th century take on the overture/concerto/symphony concert formula.”

Review by: 

Keith Bruce
Arts Editor

The Opening Concert - The Telegraph

August 9th 2014

★ ★ ★ 

"... a programme of sumptuous aural magic... solo pianist Kirill Gerstein's jazz-like ease [which] brought out a surprising flavour of Gershwin in Scriabin’s big trumpet theme... soprano Claire Booth summoned up a lovely fervent tone"

Review by: 

Ivan Hewett

The Opening Concert - The Scotsman

August 11th 2014

★ ★ ★ ★ 

"a thought-provoking, unnerving experience"

Review by: 

Ken Walton

The Opening Concert - The Times

August 11th 2014

★ ★ ★ ★ 

"No one at the opening concert will complain they're not getting their money’s worth"

Review by: 

Richard Morrison

The Opening Concert - Bachtrack

August 11th 2014

★ ★ ★ ★

"It was a great privilege to hear these rarely performed works"

Review by: 

Alan Coady

The Opening Concert - The Guardian

August 11th 2014

★ ★ ★ ★

"Three of the most radical orchestral works which made for an intriguing prelude to the next three weeks"

Review by: 

Kate Molleson

Image: Alte Pinakothek, Munich Interfoto / The Bridgeman Art Library

This event was part of a previous Festival and is therefore unavailable to book.

Tickets

Grand circle: £46 £39 £26
Stalls: £46 £39 £32
Upper circle: £26 £20 £12
Organ gallery: £12

Current discounts

Under 18s: 50% off
Students: 50% off
Young Scot cardholders: 50% off
Senior citizens: 50% off
Unemployed people: 50% off
Equity/MU cardholders: 50% off
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