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Gianandrea Noseda on the 2023/24 Season

‘What is crucially important when we perform is to be able to tell a story, to be narrators,’ says Gianandrea Noseda, LSO Principal Guest Conductor. He introduces his 2023/24 season, including music by Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich and Carl Orff.

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‘What is crucially important when we perform is to be able to tell a story, to be narrators,’ says Gianandrea Noseda, LSO Principal Guest Conductor.

‘We have to live the story, otherwise we look like we’re reproducing something that we don’t believe in. Music will not change the world, but music talks to the hearts of people … and if music changes the hearts of people, people will change the world.’

Gianandrea Noseda conducting at the Barbican

Prokofiev’s Symphonies

‘Prokofiev was one of the most gifted composers at writing melodies, and that makes his music approachable for anyone. As a young composer, he started in a very aggressive style to establish himself, but later in his career he found a language that connected with the audience. It’s very refined, his way of composing, without losing a moment of melody – and there’s also an element of bitterness, an ironic sense of humour.

There’s also an element of bitterness, an ironic sense of humour.

There are two versions of Prokofiev’s Symphony No 4. One was written in the late 1920s, and then Prokofiev reworked the symphony in 1947. He put together the first version in 1928 because Serge Koussevitzky, a great Russian conductor, had asked him to write a symphony. To do the work quickly, he took some material from his ballet The Prodigal Son, which he was working on at the same time. In the second version, in 1947, he used the same material, but the development, the architecture, is much more satisfying.

The Seventh Symphony is less dramatic, less tragic. As a more mature composer, Prokofiev wished to leave a legacy of hope and openness, and that’s why he always said that he wanted to write this symphony for the new generations. Everything is presented more gently, without losing the moments of irony, or the sense of humour. Of course, he didn’t know that he was going to die a few months later.

There are two endings – and I don’t know yet which one I will choose [to conduct]. Prokofiev was forced to create a more enthusiastic ending, and he accepted, but I think the one that finishes calmly is the one that is closer to my heart.’

Brahms’ Piano Concertos

‘The two Brahms Piano Concertos are among the peak of the repertoire for piano and orchestra, the peak of the Romantics. When you put the two together, you hear how Brahms developed from the First to the Second, over more than 20 years. The First Piano Concerto was more tentative; it was meant to be his First Symphony and he transformed some of the material into a version for piano, then piano and orchestra. Brahms was still trying to find himself and, because of that, it is particularly fascinating. The Second Piano Concerto is more assertive, more sure … it’s a mature piece.

Through the two Concertos, you take a journey through the life of Brahms – especially when you have the same soloist. Simon Trpčeski will play both concertos with us. I like the fantasy, the sense of freedom that Simon has. We share the same approach to music.’

Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony

‘The Sixth Symphony is Tchaikovsky’s last word as a composer. There is an element of farewell: you can see an old composer looking back on his life and trying to retrace the journey through the symphony. It is one of the few symphonies that finishes with a slow movement, a funeral march.

There’s a legend that it’s about Tchaikovsky’s own death. I think it carries a strong thought about artistry, what artistry means, your legacy for the next generation. That’s why the symphony starts from nothing, with this double bass fifth, and finishes with nothing. From silence to silence. In between there is this huge journey of human emotion. It’s a masterpiece, and it still talks today with the freshness that it did the first time it was performed.’

The Concerts

Half Six Fix: Prokofiev 7
Barbican

Half Six Fix: Prokofiev 7

Elusive. Affecting. Disarming.

Wednesday 19 June 2024 • 6.30pm

Kick-start your evening with a 60-minute concert, featuring Prokofiev's wistful final symphony conducted by Gianandrea Noseda.

Lost and Found – Beethoven, Beamish, Prokofiev
Gianandrea Noseda conducting the LSO, with soloist Janine Jansen
Barbican

Lost and Found – Beethoven, Beamish, Prokofiev

Elusive. Affecting. Disarming.

Thursday 20 June 2024 • 7pm

What is lost returns once more in emotive music conducted by Gianandrea Noseda, LSO Principal Guest Conductor.

Fortune Favours the Bold – Carmina Burana
Conductor Gianandrea Noseda
Barbican

Fortune Favours the Bold – Carmina Burana

Blazing. Hypnotic. Intoxicating.

Sunday 23 June 2024 • 7pm

Experience Carl Orff’s irresistible cantata and Shostakovich's Third Symphony, conducted by Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda, as he closes the LSO's 2023/24 season.

Fortune Favours the Bold – Carmina Burana
Gianandre Noseda conducting the LSO
Barbican

Fortune Favours the Bold – Carmina Burana

Blazing. Hypnotic. Intoxicating.

Tuesday 25 June 2024 • 7pm

Experience Carl Orff’s irresistible cantata and Shostakovich's Third Symphony, conducted by Principal Guest Conductor Gianandrea Noseda, as he closes the LSO's 2023/24 season.