The ever excellent Halle are performing a series of concerts at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall in November, so we thought we would take a look at what’s on …

Vaughan William’s Sixth Symphony
Thursday 10 November, 7.30pm

Mendelssohn – Overture: The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave)
Bruch – Violin Concerto No.2
Janáček – Jealousy
Vaughan Williams – Symphony No.6
Conductor – Sir Mark Elder & Jonathon Heyward
Featuring – James Ehnes, Violin

Mendelssohn’s briny Hebrides Overture was inspired by a storm-tossed voyage to Fingal’s Cave on the island of Staffa. It is conducted here by the Hallé’s new Assistant Conductor, Jonathon Heyward. James Ehnes gives a rare performance of Bruch’s Second Violin Concerto. Its wealth of great melody and virtuoso writing makes for fascinating comparison with its hugely popular predecessor. Fascinating too is Jealousy by Janáček, a passionate work originally conceived as the overture to his opera Jenůfa. Many interpreted Vaughan Williams’s stormy Sixth Symphony as a ‘war symphony’ after its premiere in 1944, though he strenuously denied this. Instead, the composer likened its hushed final epilogue to Prospero’s line in Shakespeare’s The Tempest: ‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on; and our little life is rounded with a sleep.’
Tickets from £13 (Including booking fee)

Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto
Wednesday 16 November, 2.15pm
Thursday 17 November, 7.30pm
Sunday 20 November 7.30pm

Wagner – Overture: The Flying Dutchman
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No.5, ‘Emperor’
Sibelius – Symphony No.2
Conductor – Andrew Manze
Featuring – Martin Helmchen, Piano

Andrew Manze returns to the Hallé to conduct a typically imaginative and compelling programme. Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman Overture is a masterful microcosm of an opera about a man condemned by Satan to forever sail the seas. Its storm episode is one of the most dramatic ever written. The New York Times described Martin Helmchen as possessing ‘a noble bearing and a noble sound’. Premiered in 1902, Sibelius’s Second Symphony immediately became an emblem for Finnish people in their battle against Russian oppression. Sibelius hadn’t intended such a purpose, but a sense of heroic struggle still lies at the work’s core.
Tickets from £13 (including booking fee)

Das Rheingold
Sunday 27 November, 5.00pm

Wagner – Das Rheingold
Conductor – Sir Mark Elder
Woglinde: Sarah Tynan, Soprano
Wellgunde: Jennifer Johnston, Mezzo-soprano
Flosshilde: Leah-Marian Jones, Mezzo-soprano
Alberich: Christopher Purves, Baritone
Wotan: Iain Paterson, Bass-baritone
Fricka: Susan Bickley, Mezzo-soprano
Freia: Emma Bell, Soprano
Fasolt: Reinhard Hagen, Bass
Fafner: Clive Bayley, Bass
Donner: David Stout, Baritone
Froh: David Butt Philip, Tenor
Loge: Will Hartmann, Tenor
Mime: Nicky Spence, Tenor
Erda: Susanne Resmark, Mezzo-soprano

A superb cast of soloists joins acclaimed Wagnerian Sir Mark and the orchestra for a concert performance of Das Rheingold, the first part of Wagner’s epic The Ring of the Niebelung, with its origins in the ancient Norse sagas. The story of the cycle concerns the struggles of gods, heroes and other mythical figures over the possession of a magic ring that gives its bearer mastery over the entire world. It begins with a magnificent orchestral evocation of the River Rhine and ends with the gods ascending into Valhalla over a magic rainbow. In between, much of the action of The Ring is set up, Wagner using a series of ingenious musical leitmotifs associated with its various characters, locations and themes. It will be a remarkable musical and dramatic experience.  This performance will be 150 minutes long with no interval.
Tickets from £13.50 (including booking fee)

The Halle Orchestra.  Image credit – Russel Hart.