Behold the Sea! – already the title of the concert sounds grand and impressive, and yes, it is a tour de force for all involved.
Preparing for this concert has been hard work and rightly so, bearing in mind the choral involvement of the symphony, yet coupling these works with another ‘sea-faring’ piece – the Four Sea Interludes from ‘Peter Grimes’ by Benjamin Britten.
I feel a strange responsibility to do justice to all of these works, possibly more than any other concert I have conducted, and yet I cannot explain why. The forces involved are vast and in particular the contribution of the Baritone soloist.
I know the ladies and gentlemen of the orchestra will rise to the challenge of this large programme, but I also know that they are looking forward to performing the Britten and indeed so am I.
We have built a relationship with this orchestra over the years and every time they seem to produce a performance of tremendous spirit and quality, and I know this concert will be no exception.
I feel very privileged to be conducting these works and believe that the depth of each composer involvement shines through in every bar.
The contrast between the pieces is vibrant and exciting, yet all are unified by the same theme – the sea!
A force which has affected so many and in so many different ways, and for me the following words exemplify everything magical about it.
"Sometimes we are lucky enough to know that our lives have been changed, to discard the old, embrace the new, and run headlong down an immutable course. It happened to me ... on that summer’s day, when my eyes were opened to the sea."
. . . Jacques Yves Cousteau