A vintage film reel showing scenes from Psycho
Classical Music

The Madness/Lightness of Being

Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra 2024/25 Season
Sat 16 Nov 2024, 19:30
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J.S. Bach Keyboard concerto in F minor BWV 1056  
Alfred Schnittke Tango in a Madhouse
Alfred Schnittke Concerto for Piano and String Orchestra
Valentin Silvestrov Silent Music for Strings
Bernard Herrmann Suite from Psycho
Astor Piazzolla (arr.MacGregorOblivion
Astor Piazzolla (arr.MacGregor) Michelangelo 70
Astor Piazzolla (arr.MacGregor) Milonga del Angel
Astor Piazzolla (arr.MacGregor) Libertango

Joanna MacGregor conductor/piano
Brighton Philharmonic Strings

Madness, mayhem and tango entwine in a cinematic concert of light and shade. 

Alfred Hitchcock’s enduring artistic relationship with the American composer and conductor Bernard Herrmann reached its height with Hitchcock’s film Psycho (1960), whose originality caused audiences to faint with horror. Herrmann arranged his unforgettable score – particularly that shower scene – into an orchestral suite, and here it’s matched with another composer who wrote over sixty film scores, Alfred Schnittke.

Schnittke’s brilliantly cinematic piano concerto, a series of short wild scenes culminating in a massive cadenza, is prefaced by Tango in a Madhouse: his bittersweet tango, written as an allegory of oppression under the Soviet Union.

The psychological darkness of the programme is balanced with Bach’s celestial dance, his F minor keyboard concerto, and Ukraine’s most famous living composer Valentin Silvestrov, whose Silent Music for Strings breathes with delicate yearning and nostalgia. The dark and dangerous heart of Piazzolla, in Joanna MacGregor’s blistering tango arrangements, ends the evening with Buenos Aires panache. 

‘One the most important British musicians of her generation: Joanna MacGregor’s significance rests not just on her rare ability as a pianist, but also her integrity.’  – The Sunday Times