Empowered peak performers
Scottish dance rhythms, highlights from Beethoven’s opera »Fidelio« (originally titled »Leonore«) and Prokofiev’s ballet »Romeo and Juliet« – the US conductor Marin Alsop has come up with an energetic programme, culminating in one of the most famous love stories of all: »Romeo and Juliet«. Adapted into a ballet from the Shakespearean story, it is arguably Sergei Prokofiev’s most popular work. He later turned the rousing melodies into independent suites, which have long since become concert hall standards.
Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3 is also based on a larger work, his one and only opera »Fidelio«, which he also reworked many times. The composer brings together the most important dramatic moments in the overture and follows his heroine Leonore in her quest to free her imprisoned husband from the prison crypt. To achieve her mission, Leonore slips into men’s clothing and confidently asserts herself against arbitrary rulers and other dangers. It is a role that is perhaps close to Marin Alsop’s heart. She has also had to assert herself in a male domain after all. As a conductor, she has already broken a number of records: She was the first woman ever to conduct one of the major US orchestras, and in 2013 she became the first woman to conduct the renowned BBC Proms.
The British saxophonist Jess Gillam can certainly hold her own when it comes to records – as the youngest soloist ever to perform at the BBC Proms. Highly popular and extremely versatile, this twenty-something has already performed at the Elbphilharmonie several times. Now she is returning to play James MacMillan’s Saxophone Concerto. »The three-movement piece is a fantasy on traditional Scottish dances,« wrote The Times, »but that doesn’t begin to describe the tensions and ambiguities of this absorbing piece.«
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester
Jess Gillam saxophone
conductor Marin Alsop
Ludwig van Beethoven
Leonore Overture No. 3, Op. 72a
Concerto for Saxophone and Orchestra
Suites from the ballet »Romeo and Juliet«, Op. 64
19:00 / Elbphilharmonie, Großer Saal
NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra Subscription C
Hamburg International Music Festival