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Love List:
Sydney Symphony Orchestra by the Orchestra

Love List is our Spotify series where we ask Opera House guests, friends and staff to curate a playlist dedicated to an artist, genre or subject of their choice.

To celebrate the Sydney Symphony Orchestra's return to our Concert Hall with their 2022 season, we asked the Orchestra to make a Love List with their season highlights. Read on for their warm welcome to what awaits you in their season of new beginnings.

Our season marks a year of new beginnings for all of us. We have some great concerts and must-see live experiences, including concerts with our new Chief Conductor Simone Young and some brilliant guest artists.

We celebrate our return to the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall with Simone Young conducting Mahler’s Symphony No.2. In August, Simone Young is our guide through Brahms’ epic choral masterpiece A German Requiem and leads us as we join forces with Belvoir St Theatre to perform Mendelssohn’s magical music and scenes from Shakespeare’s enchanting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Finally, we end with Beethoven’s opera Fidelio, a love story, but also a tale of rebellion against injustice and the struggle for individual freedom.

Our Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles joins us in two special concerts conducting Berlioz’s revolutionary Symphonie fantastique and Debussy’s colourful La Mer, a portrayal of the sea in all its shifting moods, excitement, and splendour.

We’re also looking forward to welcoming some brilliant guest artists. Hilary Hahn makes her long-awaited return to Sydney with Prokofiev’s powerful Violin Concerto No.1 and Grammy-award winning violinist Augustin Hadelich makes his Sydney debut with Brahms’ gorgeous Violin Concerto. One of the world’s greatest cellists, Daniel Müller-Schott, performs Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, Alexander Gavrylyuk performs Rachmaninov’s passionate Piano Concerto No.2, and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet performs Ravel’s jazz-infused Piano Concerto in G. James Ehnes returns to Sydney to perform Beethoven’s monumental Violin Concerto, and brilliant Australian violinist Ray Chen performs Mendelssohn’s uplifting and enduringly popular Violin Concerto and Max Richter’s reimagined Four Seasons of Vivaldi’s masterpiece.

Add the playlist to your Spotify library. 

▷ Holst: Jupiter, the Bringer of Joy

"Some look within for inspiration. Gustav Holst looked up. The Planets is his suite of seven movements, capturing the mythical character of each namesake planet. Jupiter, the Bringer of Joy is one of the most well known from this piece, and it’s bursting with energy and good humour."

Featured concert: Holst's Planets & Britten

▷ Recomposed by Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons: Spring 1

"Max Richter’s reimagined Four Seasons draws on the best aspects of Vivaldi’s original music, his incredibly famous violin concertos The Four Seasons. Richter captures all the drama and excitement of Vivaldi’s music but makes the familiar into something fresh and new. We’ll be joined for our performances by the incredible Ray Chen whose vivacious playing will bring this music to life."

Featured concert: Max Richter: The Four Seasons

▷ Beethoven: Violin Concerto: III. Rondo

"The last time James Ehnes performed this concerto with us he received rave reviews, and we enjoyed the experience so much that we decided to invite him back to do it again. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto is one of the greatest in the repertoire. It’s noble and uplifting and completely mesmerising in the hands of a violinist like James Ehnes – you can hear that for yourself in this recording of the final movement of the concerto."

Featured concert: James Ehnes performs Beethoven

▷ Mendelssohn: Violin Concerto: I. Allegro molto appassionata

"Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto is another one of the great violin concertos. It’s a truly Romantic concerto, bursting with emotion from the dramatic opening notes of the violin right until the end of its bubbly finale. Our soloist is the award-winning Ray Chen, and you can get a taste of his playing in this recording of the first movement of the concerto."

Featured concert: Ray Chen performs Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto

▷ Mendelssohn: A Midsummer Night's Dream, Incidental Music: Scherzo

"With Simone Young at the helm we’ll be joining forces with Belvoir St Theatre to perform Mendelssohn’s magical music and scenes from Shakespeare’s enchanting play. This scherzo is intended to be performed between the first two acts of the play, just before the introduction of the fairies, including Puck, Oberon and Titania. It captures the atmosphere of magic and mischief perfectly."

Featured concert: A Midsummer Night's Dream with Simone Young

▷ Prokofiev: Violin Concerto No.1: II. Scherzo: Vivacissimo

"Hilary Hahn is one of the greatest violinists performing on the world stage today. She makes her long-awaited return to Sydney in 2022 performing Prokofiev’s powerful Violin Concerto No.1. You can hear her extraordinary technique come to the fore in the lightning-fast and athletic second movement."

Featured concert: Simone Young & Hilary Hahn

▷ Brahms: Violin Concerto: III. Allegro giocoso, ma non troppo

"We’re excited to have Grammy-award winning violinist Augustin Hadelich join us for his Sydney debut in 2022. He’s performing Brahms’ gorgeous violin concerto, one of the great Romantic violin concertos. The final movement captures the best aspects of the whole piece in a nutshell – gorgeous introspective moments alongside a high-spirited melody that runs all the way through."

Featured concert: Augustin Hadelich performs Brahms

▷ Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2: II. Adagio sostenuto

"Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto is not only one of his most famous pieces, but the work that truly established him as a composer of extraordinary power. The slow movement is surely some of the most gorgeous music ever written, and it will be in safe hands when Alexander Gavrylyuk performs as our soloist."

Featured concert: Alexander Gavrylyuk performs Rachmaninov 2

▷ Mahler: Symphony No.2, Resurrection: IV. Urlicht

"In our first concerts celebrating the reopening of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall we’re turning to Mahler’s mighty Second Symphony with our new Chief Conductor, Simone Young. His Resurrection Symphony is a piece of extraordinary power, and the perfect way to celebrate a season of new beginnings. The fourth movement is the most serene music in the whole symphony, a gorgeous song for alto and orchestra and Mahler at his most beautiful."

Featured concert: Simone Young conducts Mahler 2

▷ Dvořák: Cello Concerto: I. Allegro

"The greatest cello concerto of all? Many cellists would argue it’s this piece by Dvořák. In the hands of Daniel Müller-Schott, one of the world’s great cellists it’s easy to hear why, with sublime and lush melodies of extraordinary beauty."

Featured concert: Daniel Müller-Schott performs Dvorák

▷ Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique: II. A Ball

“Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique was revolutionary when it was first performed – a symphony that follows an extraordinary narrative, following a musician grappling with unrequited and obsessive love. The second movement takes place at a ball, and Berlioz elegantly conjures a scene of dancers waltzing in this gorgeous music."

Featured concert: Ravel's Piano Concerto

▷ Ravel: Piano Concerto in G: II. Adagio

“Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G contains what is surely some of the most beautiful and heart-breaking music ever written for the piano. In this slow movement a breathtaking melody unfolds, performed first by the piano alone, and then later by the oboe. It’s a truly special moment by the French master, and we’ll have French music specialist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet to perform it with us in 2022.”

Featured concert: Ravel's Piano Concerto

▷ Debussy: La Mer: I. De l’aube à midi sur la mer

"Debussy’s La mer is an impressionist masterpiece – sketches of the sea, with all its shifting moods, excitement and splendour. This first movement captures “dawn to midday on the sea”, as the day gently awakens and the sea comes to life."

Featured concert: Debussy, Copland & Vaughan Williams

▷ Fidelio: Act 1: Chorus: O welche Lust

“Beethoven’s only opera Fidelio is grapples with timeless and powerful themes. It’s a love story, but also a tale of rebellion against injustice and the struggle for individual freedom. Simone Young will bring her three decades of experience leading productions of Beethoven’s opera around the globe when she conducts this masterpiece in 2022. In this chorus, a number of prisoners enjoy a moment of temporary freedom and Beethoven’s music conveys the absolute joy of this moment in his uniquely powerful style.”

Featured concert: Simone Young conducts Beethoven's Fidelio

▷ Brahms: A German Requiem: VII. Selig sind die Toten, dies in dem Herren sterben

“A German Requiem is one of Brahms’ greatest achievements, a profound, intimate and stunningly beautiful piece for orchestra, choir and vocal soloists. Brahms privately referred to it as “a human requiem” and it stands as a testament to the human spirit itself. The final movement is a serene and uplifting ending to one of Brahms’ most powerful pieces of music.”

Featured concert: Simone Young conducts A German Requiem

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