The Halle performs a number of concerts at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall in October 2017.  We take a look at what the world famous orchestra has in store.

The Firebird
Thursday 5 October, 7.30pm
Debussy Prélude à l’après midi d’un faune
Rachmaninov Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
Stravinsky The Firebird (1910)
Conductor Sir Mark Elder
Featuring Alexander Gavrylyuk, piano
Sir Mark Elder and the Hallé open the Thursday Series with Stravinsky’s runaway success written for Diaghilev’s second season of Ballets Russes in Paris. A beguiling and exotic telling of a Russian fairy tale, The Firebird, takes us on a magical journey from an enchanted forest through dreams, dances and games, from darkness and death, to light and rebirth. The brilliant and thought-provoking Alexander Gavrylyuk is soloist in Rachmaninov’s great Paganini Rhapsody, arguably that composer’s defining work for piano and orchestra. ‘This one’s for my agent’ Rachmaninov said of the work’s ravishing eighteenth variation. The concert begins with Debussy’s ground-breaking orchestral prelude, based on a poem by Mallarmé in which a faun (represented by a solo flute) sees two beautiful nymphs and, drifting in and out of sleep, savours the exquisite memory.

The Best of British Cinema
Saturday 7 October, 7.30pm
The concert includes
Spitfire Prelude and Fugue Walton
Four Weddings And A Funeral: Carrie’s Bedroom Bennett
The Bridge On The River Kwai – Arnold
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Sherman & Sherman
Chariots Of Fire Vangelis
Wallace and Gromit: Theme and Chase Nott
James Bond Medley Barry arr. Black
Out Of Africa Barry
Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines Goodwin
Love Actually: Glasgow Love Theme Armstrong
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: Hedwig’s Theme John Williams
Sherlock Suite Arnold/Price
Conductor Stephen Bell
Featuring Rodney Earl Clarke, Presenter
Hallé Pops conductor Stephen Bell and presenter Rodney Earl Clarke guide us through a festival of British film favourites with scores packed full of drama, excitement and comedy.

Opus One Concerts – Pictures at an Exhibition
Thursday 12 October, 7.30pm; Wednesday 18 October, 2.15pm; Sunday 22 October 7.30pm
Ravel Rapsodie espagnole
Debussy Rhapsody for clarinet and orchestra
Ravel Boléro
Mussorgsky orch. Ravel Pictures at an Exhibition
Conductor Sir Mark Elder
Featuring Sergio Castelló López, clarinet
These delectable concerts add French dressing to Spanish, American and Russian ingredients. The Hallé’s principal clarinettist Sergio Castelló López is soloist in Debussy’s Rhapsody. It ends with a joyful celebration of the home of jazz, New Orleans. Either side of this are two Ravel works celebrating Spain and its great dance traditions. The famous Boléro is a masterpiece of orchestration and dramatic pacing, while the vibrant Rapsodie espagnole equally evokes the spirit of Iberia. Ravel’s genius, in his peerless version of Pictures at an Exhibition takes Mussorgsky’s vivid sound-pictures far beyond the original artworks which inspired them.

Beyond the Score Shostakovich Symphony No.4 – Is Music Dangerous?
Saturday 28 October, 7pm
Conductor Sir Mark Elder
Creative Director Gerard McBurney
The Soviet Union’s most famous composer, Dmitri Shostakovich had triumphed internationally with a wildly successful opera, Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, running simultaneously in different theatres in Moscow and Leningrad, and creating scandals and excitement in Europe and America. The composer was determined to follow with a massive symphony, scored for enormous orchestra and designed to show the full power and scale of modern music.
And then he fell from grace. At the beginning of the year, two unsigned articles appear in the national newspaper Pravda, condemning his work as ‘coarse, primitive and vulgar’, ‘musical chaos’, an example of the evil and anti-Soviet influence of Western ‘formalism’ and bourgeois values. The opera was taken off, the new symphony abruptly cancelled, and the composer plunged into public peril.
Beyond the Score dramatises this dark and shocking story, setting the violence and pathos of the music alongside political and personal events in a multimedia performance using diaries, letters, prose and poetry, documentary films and posters of the time. There will be a complete performance of the symphony after the interval.

The Halle Orchestra – image courtesy Russel Hart.