Sir Simon Rattle conducts Webern, Berg, Ligeti, and Stravinsky — With Barbara Hannigan

London Symphony Orchestra

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Program notes

Join soprano Barbara Hannigan and the legendary Sir Simon Rattle for a challenging and exhilarating program featuring music by 20th-century classical composers who began musical revolutions!

The first half of the program features works by members of the Second Viennese School—led by Berg, Schoenberg, and Webern—who devoted their energies to breaking the conventions of Romanticism. Webern's Six Orchestral Pieces, Op. 6 and selections from Berg's opera Wozzeck make for an absolutely electrifying beginning to the evening. Next, Soprano Barbara Hannigan gives an unsurpassed interpretation of Second Viennese School inheritor Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre (selections for soprano and orchestra of his opera Le Grand Macabre, written in 1978 and then reworked over the course of the following two decades). The program culminates by transporting the audience back in time to Paris of 1913: the city is in an uproar after the premiere of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring. Orchestral music like that had never been experienced before: violent rhythms, primal melodies, unheard-of timbres and daring harmonic treatments (described as cacophony!) completely surpassed the limits of the symphonic language of Stravinsky’s contemporaries. Be sure to catch this evening full of surprises and world-class artistry!

A closer look: featured composers

Further listening: featured works

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