Whether it’s religious masterpieces, glorious cinematic expeditions or political defiance, the BBC Philharmonic presents an eclectic and spectacular string of concerts at The Bridgewater Hall this March.

A Response to Criticism? | Sat 2 Mar

Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony forms the centrepiece of this concert, a piece that walked a tightrope between artistic integrity and political acceptance from Stalin. Audiences are left to mull over whether the symphony is an act of compliance or defiance.

Elsewhere, Smetana’s tone poem, Vltava, invites those in attendance on a cinematic journey along Bohemia’s great river, from its source through the countryside and into the city of Prague.

Finally, the sound of pastoral America is celebrated via the distinctive voice of Julia Perry, a cosmopolitan composer who fuses the classical style with the sounds of her African American heritage.

Stairway to Heaven | Sat 9 Mar

Originally penned to the accompaniment of gunfire, as Napoleon’s troops stormed Vienna, Beethoven captured the battle between soloist and orchestra in his groundbreaking Fifth Piano Concerto.

Bruckner’s mindful and mysterious Seventh Symphony follows, employing a cacophony of shimmering strings intended to transport the listener up the celestial ladders of the composer’s world.

Rise and Shine | Sat 23 Mar

Featuring one of ‘music’s most glorious openings ever’, Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra is packed with flair. By sublimely mixing Gregorian chant, mathematical puzzles and an uplifting Viennese waltz, Strauss crafted what is regarded as one of the most sumptuous orchestral pieces ever written.

Meanwhile, Mozart’s Symphony No 25 marked the iconic composer at his characterful best, while Bruch’s First Violin Concerto takes centre stage, employing rich melodies, dazzling folk rhythms and a glorious slow movement in a romantic masterpiece that consistently tops classical charts.

Bach's St John Passion | Fri 29 Mar

The story of Christ’s arrest, trial and crucifixion is told through the eyes of John the Baptist. Bach’s St John Passion features witness accounts of Jesus, Peter and Pontius Pilate within an intense, dramatic orchestral setting.

The first of five passion settings created by Bach, and one of only two which remain, the piece was originally written for the Good Friday Vespers service of 1724. 300 years later, almost to the day, Nicholas Kraemer recreates this drama at The Bridgewater Hall.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Fri 1 Mar - Sun 31 Mar,
The Bridgewater Hall, Lower Mosley St, Manchester M2 3WS
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Fri 9 Feb 2024