Ulster Orchestra: Rustioni Conducts Pictures at an Exhibition

Ulster Orchestra: Rustioni Conducts Pictures at an Exhibition

Friday, 3 December 2021, 7.45pm

Thomas Adès …but all shall be well
Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2
Maconchy Nocturne
Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition


...but all shall be well is Thomas Adès’s first composition for full orchestra. The work’s title comes from TS Eliot and reflects the finding of peace following adversity. The piece’s shimmering soundscape has echoes of Britten (especially his War Requiem) as it builds through a dramatic climax to find its own contentment.

Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto was a gift for his gifted pianist son Maxim, who gave the piece its premiere on his nineteenth birthday. Full of family in-jokes between father and son and with a gorgeous slow movement that couldn’t fail to touch any gift recipient, this concerto requires a pianist who can capture the wit and character of Shostakovich’s writing and we are delighted to welcome Steven Osborne back to join us for this performance.

A mood of brooding menace is created by Elizabeth Maconchy’s Nocturne, before we close by taking that grandest of art tours and explore Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Gnomes, ballet-dancing unhatched chicks and the mythical ‘hut on fowl’s legs’ that is home to the Baba Yaga run riot through this vivid musical depiction of paintings by the visual artist Hartman.

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