Edward Gardner conductor
John Adams (b 1947)
Aria with Walking Bass
Sir Harrison Birtwistle (b 1934)
In Broken Images
Arnold Schoenberg (1874-1951)
Chamber Symphony No 1, Op 9
All performers at this event are conforming to our safety requirements of being at least two metres apart.
Chief Conductor of the Bergen Philharmonic since October 2015, Edward Gardner has led the orchestra on multiple international tours, including performances in Berlin, Munich and Amsterdam, and at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival. Gardner was recently appointed Principal Conductor Designate of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, with his tenure commencing in September 2021.
In demand as a guest conductor, the previous two seasons saw Gardner's debut with the New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Vienna Symphony, and the Chicago Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and The Philadelphia orchestras, as well as at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in a new production of Janáček's Káťa Kabanová. Return engagements include performances with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Philharmonia Orchestra and Orchestra del Teatro alla Scala di Milano.
The 2020/21 season sees Gardner open the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s season, returning later for more concerts at the Royal Festival Hall and a tour of Germany and the UK. Highlights with the Bergen Philharmonic include Verdi’s Macbeth in concert, undertaking a European tour, and celebrating Beethoven’s 250th anniversary with a two-week festival. Guest conducting highlights, and projects that will be rearranged due to COVID-19, include performances with the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, and the Bavarian Radio Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Finnish Radio Symphony, and The Cleveland orchestras.
Music Director of English National Opera for ten years from 2006 until 2015, Edward has an ongoing relationship with New York’s Metropolitan Opera, where he has conducted productions of Berlioz's La damnation de Faust, Bizet's Carmen, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier and Massenet's Werther. Elsewhere, he has conducted at La Scala Milan, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Glyndebourne Festival Opera and Opéra national de Paris.
Kum Jung Lee
Ignacio Cano Raboso
Luiz De Campos
Clarinet in B flat
Maria Ferreira Gomes
Clarinet in E flat
Maria Ferreira Gomes
Shing To Mak
Ryan Delgado Barreiro
Ryan Delgado Barreiro
Kin Tat Alfred Lee
Jun Yan Chen
Elena Blanco Junquera
Rodrigo Checa Lorite
Lon Fon Law
Of his Chamber Symphony, John Adams writes:
‘The Chamber Symphony, written between September and December of 1992, bears a superficial resemblance to its eponymous predecessor, the Opus 9 of Arnold Schoenberg. The choice of instruments is roughly the same as Schoenberg’s although mine includes parts for synthesizer, percussion (a trap set), trumpet and trombone. However, whereas the Schoenberg symphony is in one interrupted structure, mine is broken into three discrete movements; Mongrel Airs, Aria with Walking Bass and Roadrunner. The titles give a hint of the general ambience of the music.
‘I originally set out to write a children’s piece, and my intentions were to sample the voices of children and work them into a fabric of acoustic and electronic instruments. But before I began that project I had another one of those strange interludes that often lead to a new piece. This one involved a brief moment of what Melville called ‘the shock of recognition’: I was sitting in my studio, studying the score of Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony, and as I was doing so I became aware that my seven-year-old son Sam was in the adjacent room watching cartoons (good cartoons, old ones from the fifties). The hyperactive, insistently aggressive and acrobatic scores for the cartoons mixed in my head with the Schoenberg music, itself hyperactive, acrobatic and not a little aggressive, and I realised suddenly how much these two traditions had in common.
‘For a long time my music has been conceived for large forces and has involved broad brush strokes on big canvasses. These works have been either symphonic or operatic, and even the ones for smaller forces like Phrygian Gates, Shaker Loops or Grand Pianola Music have essentially been studies in the acoustical power of massed sonorities. Chamber music, with its inherently polyphonic and democratic sharing of roles, was always difficult for me to compose. But the Schoenberg symphony provided a key to unlock that door, and it did so by suggesting a format in which the weight and mass of a symphonic work could be married to the transparency and mobility of a chamber work. The tradition of American cartoon music also suggested a further model for a music that was at once flamboyantly virtuosic and polyphonic.’
The work of Harrison Birtwistle often takes advantage of physical and metaphorical separation, as memorably seen in his opera The Mask of Orpheus, where versions the story are played out by three sets of the same characters in different mediums. In In Broken Images, the players are divided into four groups: woodwind, brass, percussion and strings (a proposed stage plan is included at the front of the score). Reminiscent of the polychoral textures of the Venetian composer Gabrieli, this work sees the four groups in dialogue with and in opposition to one another, both aided and hindered by their physical separation.
Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony No 1 is a defining early work. In it, one can hear the composer stretching at the boundaries of musical convention and harmonic expectation. Schoenberg’s compositions, and those of his most famous pupils Anton Webern and Alban Berg, are often either massive in scope (such as Berg’s operas, and Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron and Gurrelieder) or tiny (such as most of Webern’s work, or Schoenberg’s celebrated piano miniatures). The Chamber Symphony reflects this interest in smaller forms, and in the reduction of the late-Romantic symphony orchestra into a handful of solo players.