Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra

Santtu-Matias Rouvali conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra

With their focus on uninhibited enjoyment of life’s pleasures, it’s hard to believe that the works in tonight’s programme were composed under two of the twentieth century’s most oppressive regimes.




Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, London SE1


n mid-1930s Germany, Carl Orff took a collection of 13th-century poems and created a sonic spectacle of a cantata. Choir, soloists and a huge orchestra sing of the joys and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling and lust, and, in the roof-raising ‘O Fortuna’, the fickleness of fortune.

In late-1950s Russia, Shostakovich assembled music from several of his scores for the stage and screen into the Suite for Variety Orchestra, better known in the West as Jazz Suite No. 2. Saxophones, guitar and accordion, and a delightful succession of hummable tunes, give the orchestra a distincive dance-hall flavour. The suite’s exuberant march, cheerful polkas, and sentimental waltzes have become some of Shostakovich’s most popular music.


Santtu-Matias Rouvali – conductor
Mari Eriksmoen – soprano
Brett Sprague – tenor
Marcus Farnsworth – baritone
Philharmonia Chorus


SHOSTAKOVICH Suite for Variety Orchestra (Jazz Suite No. 2)

ORFF Carmina Burana


Southbank Centre
Philharmonia Orchestra