The NNO, under principal guest conductor Antony Hermus, are about to scare you. It’s Halloween!
We start with a visit to a Russian iron foundry where there are a cacophony of machines running at full speed. Written by composer Alexander Mosolov as a glorification of labour, there is something really terrifying about it.
In Mussorgsky’s Night on the Bare Mountain you witness a witches’ sabbath and are dragged through the ritual. Ominous bell chimes announces the coming of the Devil … what awaits you? Many will know this music in the pounding disco adaptation from the film Saturday Night Fever.
One of the most celebrated nineteenth century violinists was Spaniard Pablo de Sarasate. Tonight highly acclaimed violinist Simone Lamsma will first play a short, but intensely beautiful work that French composer Saint-Saëns dedicated to him in 1863. Later in the programme Simone will play a piece by De Sarasate himself, a fantasy on Georges Bizet’s opera Carmen, the story of a free-spirited gypsy woman who meets a tragic end.
The spine-chilling shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 film Psycho can be heard with music by Bernard Herrmann who wrote the music for seven of Hitchcock’s films.
At the end of the 19th century, Paul Dukas based his Sorcerer’s Apprentice on a ballad by the poet Goethe and in 1940 the music played an important role in the Disney film Fantasia. In it, we see Micky Mouse as a mischievous apprentice who ignores his master’s warnings. Micky knows the magic spell to make a broom dance, but no longer knows how to stop it and things get completely out of hand. The music is so visual that even without a film you can imagine the story. The last gruesome work is Tchaikovsky’s Francesca da Rimini, inspired by Dante’s epic La Divina Commedia. In it, the reader witnesses an encounter with Francesca who ended up in Hell after cheating on her husband. Together with her murdered lover, she is eternally thrown around by a storm and tormented by sweet memories. Tchaikovsky’s music is just as terrifying and sinister as the story.