Many happy returns with Halle

THE Royal Concert Hall in Nottingham will be marking its 30th anniversary with an extra special season of Nottingham Classics concerts.

The programme has just been announced and it will be a double celebration too as 2012-2013 will be the tenth anniversary for The Halle being the resident orchestra at the venue.

So it’s appropriate that the orchestra, with conductor Sir Mark Elder at the helm, will be kicking off this most prestigious of seasons on Wednesday, September 26, from 7.30pm.

And it’s fitting that some fireworks start the concert, namely Stravinsky’s spectacular work of that name, written for the wedding of his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov’s daughter.

After this orchestral showpiece, the following work could hardly be a greater contrast. Elgar’s Cello Concerto is a deeply poignant work, arguably the final masterpiece of this great composer’s career.

The outstanding young American cellist Alisa Weilerstein will join Sir Mark Elder and the orchestra for a keenly-anticipated performance.

The second half is given to a bona fide 20th century classic. Gustav Holst’s multi-faceted suite The Planets was first heard in the latter part of the First World War.

Inspired by his interest in astrology, Holst’s masterpiece vividly captures the characters of each planet, from the ferocity of Mars The Bringer Of War, to the ethereal chill of Neptune the Mystic.

Nearly a 100 years after its first performance it remains one of the most original works for orchestra, drawing every ounce of colour from its huge orchestral forces.

The orchestra will be joined for this work by the women’s voices of Nottingham Harmonic Choir.

On November 7, Sir Mark Elder and The Halle return for their Ten-Year Gala Concert, including Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture, Grieg’s Piano Concerto, with top soloist Simon Trpceski, and Janacek’s epic Sinfonietta.

Roderick Dunk will be in charge when the orchestra performs at the Halle Christmas Concert, on December 18, with a programme including Humperdinck’s Hansel And Gretel Overture, excerpts from The Nutcracker, plus music by John Williams, Handel and Delius.

For ticket details, contact the box office on 0115 9895555.