This summer join a band of pioneers exploring composers taking music to new frontiers. The world’s greatest orchestra of teenagers, the National Youth Orchestra, is going on a voyage of discovery. And with Thomas Adès at the helm it is bound to be an exciting ride.
A protégé of tonight’s conductor, young Spanish composer Francisco Coll writes music that encapsulates modern life. Mural is an extraordinary symphony where crazy Dionysus meets calm Apollo. Alternating between festive dances and dreamlike harmonies at times you can hear the hustle and bustle of the urban landscape and at others the calm stillness of a mountain range.
As night falls on Earth we look up and see Polaris - the North Star - glittering brightly in the vastness of space. For centuries, it guided sailors across the oceans and in Thomas Adès’s dazzling music we hear surging waves of brass undulate beneath the iridescent sparkle of piano and strings, the musicians drawn magnetically towards the note A, their own musical lodestar.
And then it’s back down to Earth with a bang. The musicians throw themselves with abandon into the wild pagan ceremonies of Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. When Stravinsky unleashed this sensational ballet on Parisian audiences it was unlike anything that had ever been heard before. Its elemental, ritualistic percussion, stabbing strings and blaring winds make it one of the defining works of the 20th century.
Totally teenage orchestral brilliance.
Come and hear it.