Giacinto Scelsi Uaxuctum The Legend of the Maya City, destroyed by themselves for religious reasons (UK premiere)
John Luther Adams Become Ocean
Experience the self-destruction of an ancient civilisation and our planet engulfed by the vastness of the ocean in two massive audio-visual portrayals of a dark past – and still-avoidable future.
These two modern masterpieces share a single unignorable message. John Luther Adam’s Become Ocean imagines our planet succumbing to the rising sea in music of startling, bottomless beauty in what Alex Ross declared ‘may be the loveliest apocalypse in musical history’. And Giacinto Scelsi’s Uaxuctum is equally ravishing in its own way; a vast orchestra creating a fierce, haunting atmosphere through sounds as strange as they are prophetic, building to a point of no return as the ancient Mayan city implodes.
London Contemporary Orchestra & Choir
Robert Ames (conductor)
Prince is widely regarded as one of the best musicians ever to live, and one of the greatest showmen of all time. His music makes up the soundtrack of our lives – from the parties of our youth to our weddings; and we share his music with our children who repeat the cycle.
Great music lives on forever, and, it’s with this in mind that we introduce 4U: A Symphonic Celebration of Prince. The first and only estate-approved Prince celebration, 4U is curated, produced, and directed by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson of The Roots, widely known to be Prince’s biggest fan and musical genius in his own right.
Through the course of the evening, we’ll hear everything from the biggest hits to some lesser-known gems, all played by a top-tier band hand-selected by Questlove, and with a spectacular video presentation featuring never-before-seen footage courtesy of the estate.
Book now via the Royal Albert Hall website.
Philip Glass: Symphony No.1 (Low); Symphony No.4 (Heroes)
Philip Glass: Symphony No.12 (Lodger) for orchestra & organ – from the music of David Bowie and Brian Eno (European premiere)
Attend the European premiere of Philip Glass’ Symphony No.12, a tribute to the chameleon genius of pop mastermind David Bowie.
It’s performed alongside his First and Fourth symphonies by trail-blazing new music ensemble the London Contemporary Orchestra with innovative organist James McVinnie.
Philip Glass’ Symphony No.1 and Symphony No.4 reimagine the first two albums of David Bowie’s Berlin trilogy, Low and Heroes, as classical works.
Bowie had moved to the East German capital in 1976, where he joined forces with Brian Eno over a triptych of albums to create a more experimental sound, bringing together aleatoric techniques (involving elements of chance), Krautrock influences and synthesizers.
Glass describes his Low Symphony, composed in 1992, as ‘a real collaboration’ between his music and the work of Bowie and Eno on the first album in the trilogy, released in 1977.
A few months after Bowie’s death in January 2016, Glass’ Heroes symphony became the first classical work to headline Glastonbury. Composed in 1996, the six-movement work responds to Bowie’s brooding Cold War album, out just seven months after Low, and its well-known title track.
Bowie liked the symphonic version so much that he used it as walk-in music at his live appearances, and according to Glass, privately superimposed his own vocals over the recording.
Bowie and Glass had discussed a third symphony, and now, finally, the work has been realised, in a Southbank Centre co-commission with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra.
London Contemporary Orchestra
Robert Ames conductor
Hugh Brunt conductor
James McVinnie organ
vocalist to be announced