Sir Simon Rattle kicks off the new LSO season with the best of British – from the sweeping landscapes of Elgar and Frank Bridge to the dynamic sounds of Daniel Kidane. New Music Britain is a celebration of the medley of cultures that forms the historical and contemporary sonic life of the country.
“I have always mentioned in my own biographies and writings that I’m from a mixed background,” explains Daniel. “My father was from Eritrea, my mother is Russian, and I was born in London, so that medley of cultures is ever-present in my thinking and where I get my ideas and inspiration. To draw from a Caribbean poet, Kamau Brathwaite, about the idea of heritage and paternal lineage came very naturally to me and resonated with the ideas that I wanted to explore in the music.”
Sun Poem, the piece by Daniel that will be played at this inaugural concert, was co-commission by the LSO and debuts on Sunday 11th in London. “Sun Poem is a personal journey as I look at my own heritage and how that is interconnected with becoming a father.,” Daniel shares, “I wanted to reflect the idea and the journey of fatherhood up until the point when the newborn comes into the world – the excitement but also the trepidation and worrying.”
The piece is divided between two ideas: faster exciting writing, and slower more meditative writing. There is a push and pull between the fast and slow, which Daniel explains reflects the culmination of his earlier interest in more energetic music and how is own has been slowing down slightly over the last few years.
“New Music Britain is such a broad and inclusive context that I hope listeners would be eager to go and explore and hear different types of music.”
– Daniel Kidane
The concert starts with Enter Spring by Frank Bridge (yes, we know it’s September, but British music has always made its own rules). This orchestral rhapsody evokes the burgeoning charm of nature and the celebration of a season in renewal. Surges of sound glow from across the orchestra, echoing the dynamic energy of the countryside rather than that of a peaceful idyll.
Daniel Kidane dances on the edge, in the latest innovative creation from a composer as imaginative – and as dynamic – as 21st century London itself. His history with the LSO started many years ago.” Through my involvement in the LSO’s schemes for composers, I have had the incredible pleasure of working with lots of great musicians,” he comments. “It has been a great space for me to explore my own musical language. There is an openness to creativity and trying new things. Being on that journey together with the LSO has been very special.”
For many people, Sir Simon Rattle is British classical music – and as the LSO’s Music Director, he makes a point of beginning each new season with a celebration of British music in all its diversity, past, present and, most importantly, future.
“The LSO is all about looking forward. They ask what is next, what can we do that’s new.”
– Sir Simon Rattle.
Finally, Edward Elgar delights us with his epic Second Symphony, which begins on the crest of a wave – then watches as the clouds gather and the light begins to fade. He referred to this work as “a passionate pilgrimage of the soul”. Tender moments of reflection carry emotional darkness while leaping angular melodies capture passionate energy, spurring the drama on. By containing such contrasting sections, the symphony captures the grandeur and expansiveness of British music as well as the essence of the soul.
“There is music in the air, music all around us, the world is full of it and you simply take as much as you require.”
– Edward Elgar
London Symphony Orchestra
2022/23 Season Launch Concert with Sir Simon Rattle
New Music Britain
Sunday 11 September 2022 7 pm
Frank Bridge Enter Spring
Daniel Kidane Sun Poem* (LSO co-commission; London premiere)
Edward Elgar Symphony No 2
Sir Simon Rattle conductor
London Symphony Orchestra
Rebirth. Innovation. Grandeur.
Tickets £65 £49 £35 £24 £18