Richard Ayres No. 42 ‘In the Alps’
Brahms Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 68

Mary Bevan soprano
Nicholas Collon

“Marvellous… Playing from memory, Aurora created an organic sense of community, dynamism and inspiration.” (David Allen, The New York Times)

Aurora is currently the only orchestra worldwide presenting whole symphonies from memory – a unique performance style which conveys an electrifying sense of adventure, intimacy and heightened communication.  For the orchestra’s debut performance at St John’s Smith Square, conducted by Nicholas Collon, Aurora apply this thrilling approach to Brahms’ monumental First Symphony: thought to be the first such presentation of a Brahms symphony in Europe since the composer himself enjoyed the memorised playing of the Meiningen Court Orchestra in the 1880s.

Brahms’ famous ‘alphorn’ theme introduces an alpine journey which continues in Richard Ayres’ In the Alps: an ‘animated concert’ which combines a virtuosic and ravishing score with elements of theatre and projected film. Mary Bevan appears as soloist for this playful, beautiful and zany piece which tells the story of a young girl stranded on top of an unclimbable mountain-top, who learns to talk from the mountain animals around her and falls in love with the distant trumpet-playing of a boy in the valley far below.

This project is developed as is part of The Orchestral Theatre: The Claus Moser Series at Southbank Centre. The series is generously supported by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation (in memory of Sir Claus Moser), Cockayne – Grants for the Arts and The London Community Foundation, and the Hargreaves & Ball Trust.

For more about our memorised performance strand, please click here.

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