John Wilson conductor
Bernstein, Chichester Psalms
From jazz-tinged sophistication to profound spirituality, the Philharmonia Orchestra closes this year’s Brighton Festival in rousing form with a range of 20th-century masterpieces. John Wilson, one of the most engaging communicators in music today, makes his Festival debut with a programme that combines verve and veneration. The Brighton Festival Chorus is splendidly showcased in two great works that provide a fascinating contrast in their approach to the Psalms. Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, a rousing setting of the original Hebrew text and one of the most challenging works in the choral repertory, returns to its Sussex roots alongside Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, a work of elemental grandeur composed ‘for the glory of God’. The French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet performs Ravel’s quicksilver Piano Concerto in G, a work of sparkling wit and inventiveness, while Bernstein’s magnificent Symphonic Suite for On the Waterfront finds John Wilson on home territory conducting this classic film score.
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