Classical Playlist: LIVE presented by BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales’ at the Brangwyn Hall [5 October] offers an alternative way to enjoy classical music. The event aims to deliver an accessible, enveloping experience that showcases a wide variety of music in a relaxed listening environment.
Three stages in Brangwyn Hall will enable the widest range of music to be performed, featuring symphony orchestra, chorus, chamber line-ups, solo numbers and unaccompanied choral masterpieces.
With the majority of the venue’s seating removed, audience members are able to walk around, sit or lie on the floor during the performance, and enjoy a drink alongside the music.
Unusually for a classical concert, audience members will be encouraged to keep their phones on – enabling them to take photos and post on social media about the performances during the concert.
The evening will feature beloved and well-known music, including Elgar’s Nimrod from the Enigma Variations, Prokofiev’s Dance of the Knights from Romeo & Juliet, Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries, Orff’s O Fortuna from Carmina Burana and Sir Karl Jenkins’ Palladio. Other composers featured include Bruckner, Copland, Mozart and Ravel.
Get up close to the musicians and soloists in promenade performances and spotlight moments; one of the world’s leading saxophonists Amy Dickson, pianist Huw Watkins and organist Huw Williams.
Over 180 musicians from BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales and a special performance by young string musicians from Six Counties Music.
Classical Playlist: LIVE is the brainchild of BBC NOW’s Head of Artistic Planning, Meurig Bowen, who has staged similar, chamber-scaled events in Tewkesbury Abbey and St George’s Bristol. “Having the opportunity to present this Classical Playlist format in the handsome expanse of Swansea’s Brangwyn Hall is really exciting for us,” says Meurig. “There aren’t many venues that allow for the flexibility that this format requires, let alone ones that are big enough for symphony orchestra and chorus. Most concert halls have fixed seating, but in Brangwyn we can create these three different performance ‘stations’ and an open expanse of floor space for the audience to occupy in whichever way that takes their fancy – with rugs, bean-bags, deckchairs, whatever!” He continues “Classical Playlist: LIVE dispenses with any of the formalities that people associate with a classical concert – except, of course, listening in a rapt and focused way to the music. I know from previous experience, that this format with a wide range of carefully sequenced shorter pieces, can deliver huge waves of impact and emotion amongst a diverse audience, many of whom may be experiencing this music live for the very first time.”
Presented from three separate stages inside the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea, lighting will direct the listener’s attention in sequence to different performances and styles of classical music. Australian saxophonist, Amy Dickson will join BBC NOW, as well as Welsh pianist and BBC NOW’s Composer-in-Association Huw Watkins who performs Ravel with the orchestra. The concert will also feature music by Watkins, as well as the eminent Welsh composer Sir Karl Jenkins.
Organist and current Director of Music at Bath Abbey, Huw Williams, will return to his hometown to perform the magnificent Toccata from Widor’s fifth Symphony.
In July 2019, BBC NOW invited over 60 young musicians from Six Counties Music (Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Ceredigion, Neath and Port Talbot and Powys) to their home, BBC Hoddinott Hall, to rehearse and hone their performance skills side by side with the professional musicians of the orchestra. Following such a successful project, BBC NOW is thrilled to invite these young musicians to perform Sir Karl Jenkins’ Palladio as part of Classical Playlist: LIVE.
Robert Francis-Davies, Swansea council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, says: "It will be wonderful to see BBC NOW’s Classical Playlist: LIVE at the Brangwyn Hall. As an innovative, high-quality concert, it is a very welcome feature as part of Swansea’s 50th anniversary as a city programme.”
Classical Playlist: LIVE forms part of Swansea Fringe Festival 3-6 October. For more information visit theswanseafringe.com.
Classical Playlist: LIVE with BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales is on 5 Oct at Brangwyn Hall, 7.30pm. Tickets £15. For more information visit bbc.co.uk/now or BBC NOW Audience Line 0800 052 1812.