Piano masters Worbey and Farrell join BPO for last concert of season

Worbey and Farrell
Worbey and Farrell

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra returns to the Dome on Sunday, March 25 (2.45pm).

The musicians’ latest season draws to a close when Conductor Laureate Barry Wordsworth stars in a memorable concert to celebrate his 70th birthday.

The show opens with the Karelia Suite by Sibelius. Written very early in his career as a commission it is based on folk tunes from South East Finland, and Sibelius noted that he wanted it to sound like folk music.

It has become one of his most popular works and includes the exhilarating ‘Alla Marcia’.

The virtuosic piano duo Stephen Worbey and Kevin Farrell join the orchestra to perform Malcolm Arnold’s Piano Concerto Op.104 – on this occasion for four hands on one piano. It was a BBC Proms commission for the three-handed piano duo Cyril Smith and Phyllis Sellick (Steven Worbey’s teacher) and was first performed by them with huge success at the Proms in 1969.

The concerto shows Arnold at his very best, from dark and tragic in the first movement, through a melting romantic melody in the slow movement, to a glorious Rumba in the last movement, full of wit and unashamedly popular.

For this concert Barry Wordsworth wanted to include ballet music, which has been such a great part of his conducting life, and he has compiled a short suite from Delibes’ comic ballet Coppélia.

The orchestra will play Prelude, Valse and Czardas. These are brilliantly orchestrated and based on dance tunes Delibes found in his native northern France.

Finally, Worbey and Farrell rejoin the orchestra to perform Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals, a hugely entertaining composition that conjures up a musical parade of creatures using instrumental groups and orchestral soloists, as well as four hands on one piano, with imagination and insight.

In this performance the narration will be brought up to date with modern-day cultural references by Worbey and Farrell.

As Barry Wordsworth writes in the programme for this concert: “I cannot wait to perform for you all with Steven Worbey and Kevin Farrell.

“This will be fun, and will provide an excuse for celebration at the end of another wonderful season.”

Tickets cost £12-£38 (50 percent discount for students and under 18s). They are available from Brighton Dome ticket office in Church Street, Brighton. Call 01273 709709 or visit www.brightondome.org.

Discounted parking for Brighton Phil concert attendees can be found in NCP Church Street, a couple of minutes’ walk from the Dome, costing just £6 between 1pm and 6pm.

On the morning of this, the final concert of the season, the orchestra will be holding its annual free Open Rehearsal for Children in Brighton Dome Concert Hall, 10.15am-11am – an exciting introduction to classical music and the instruments of the orchestra using extracts from Carnival of the Animals and Coppélia.

As part of the orchestra’s Education Programme interactive workshops are being held in Sussex schools this term and the Open Rehearsal is the culmination of the work done there.

Places for the rehearsal are free but must be booked in advance via Brighton Dome Ticket Office.

The Brighton Phil is deeply saddened to have learned of the recent death of D V Newbold, CBE, a long-standing and passionate supporter and generous sponsor of the orchestra, who has sponsored this concert, which we will be dedicating to his memory.

Contributed by Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra

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