Christ on the Mount of Olives


Beethoven 250

Thu 13 Feb 2020 7.30pm - 9.35pm
Barbican Hall, London

Berg Violin Concerto
Beethoven Christ on the Mount of Olives

Sir Simon Rattle conductor
Lisa Batiashvili violin
Elsa Dreisig soprano
Pavol Breslik tenor
David Soar bass
London Symphony Chorus
Simon Halsey chorus director
London Symphony Orchestra

Tickets: £57 £42 £32 £22 £16

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Part of the 2019/20 season

Please note that finish times are approximate and subject to change

Marrying emotive force with theatrically, Sir Simon Rattle sheds light on a rarely performed Beethoven masterpiece and Berg’s lyrical Violin Concerto with Lisa Batiashvili.

Lisa Batiashvili brings sensitivity and supple technique to Berg’s Violin Concerto, an ode to lost youth composed after the death of Alma Gropius’ daughter, aged just 18. Berg did not survive to hear the premiere of the concerto, which combines experimentation with lyrical melodies, ending with variations based on a hymn tune by Bach.

In the words of Sir Simon Rattle, Beethoven is ‘absolutely inescapable’, especially in the year of his 250th anniversary. Nevertheless, Christ on the Mount of Olives is a rarely heard masterpiece, which combines the emotive force of the composer’s later Missa Solemnis with the theatre of a Bach Passion. With orchestra, chorus and soloists, it tells the story of Jesus’ prayer and arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Part of Beethoven 250 at the Barbican


'What Rattle made clear is that the music is full of life. It is hard to imagine this performance being bettered.' (Richard Fairman, Financial Times, ★★★★)

'In the hands of Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, Beethoven's only oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives sparkled very brightly indeed.' (David Karlin, Bachtrack, ★★★★)

Lisa Batiashvili's performance 'is flawless'. (Michael Church, Independent, ★★★★)