Shostakovich’s 6th symphony, conceived in the 1930s, is a very personal work, reflecting not only the suffocating oppression of the Stalinist era but also the resilient spirit of the composer, with the power of the first movement balanced by the defiant and even riotous flair of the following two. Mussorgsky’s famous Pictures at an Exhibition was composed within a single month for piano, and has never slipped from orchestral repertoire since Ravel (among others) arranged it and it is Ravel’s orchestration we will be playing. Listen to the spooky ‘Catacombs’, enjoy the gossip from ‘The Market of Limoges’ and thrill to the grandeur of the final ‘Great Gate of Kiev.’
We end our season with three very different works depicting Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Tchaikovsky’s sublime fantasy overture weaves the main themes of the story into twenty minutes of orchestral perfection. In West Side Story, Leonard Bernstein transplants the two doomed lovers to jazzy 1950’s New York. His Symphonic Dances leave the listener breathless as they are shamelessly bombarded with many of the twentieth century’s best tunes, including ‘Maria’, ‘America’ and ‘Cool.’ Berlioz was equally inspired, especially by his wife-to-be’s performance as Shakespeare’s Juliet. His ‘take’ on the work is bursting with harmonic imagination, fervent power, eloquent emotion and frustrated desire.
Concerts are at Langley Park Centre for the Performing Arts, Langley Park School for Boys, South Eden Park Road, Beckenham BR3 3BP.
Arriving by car
There is now ample parking in front of the hall, with places reserved for disabled drivers and step-free access for wheelchair users. A large banner with the words "CONCERT HERE" marks the Hawksbrook Lane turning from South Eden Park Road on concert days. The car park entrance is then approximately 200 metres on the left.
Arriving by public transport
Trains run from Charing Cross or Hayes (Kent) to Eden Park station every 30 mins. It's advisable to check tfl.gov.uk in case of weekend maintenance work. Bus 352 runs from Bromley North station or from Beckenham to the east end of Hawksbrook Lane about every 20 minutes. Bus 358 runs from Bromley South station or from Beckenham to the west end of Hawksbrook Lane about every 15 minutes (alight at "Elderslie Close").