LPO Player Picks

With our 2017/18 season at Southbank Centre now well underway, what to come and hear next at Southbank Centre? We asked LPO musicians Alice Munday (oboe) and Thomas Eisner (first violin) what pieces they’re most looking forward to playing over the next couple of months.

Eisner3Thomas Eisner, First Violin

A highlight for me will be Schumann’s Violin Concerto, which Patricia Kopatchinskaja performs with the Orchestra at Royal Festival Hall on 8 November. This piece has been part of my life in quite an unusual way, as wife, Jessica Duchen, wrote a novel, Ghost Variations, about its extraordinary history. The Concerto was Schumann’s last orchestral work and was left unpublished, languishing in a library until 1933 when it was rediscovered by the great Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Arányi, allegedly with the startling aid of a Ouija board. Hitler had just come to power and his Ministry of Propaganda conscripted the work for their own purposes. The starry young Yehudi Menuhin also wanted to play it, and an alarming race to the premiere ensued. Arguments still rage about whether or not it betrays Schumann’s worsening mental illness. Either way, I think it’s great!

Alice MundayAlice Munday, Oboe

I’m looking forward to Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances conducted by Andrés Orozco-Estrada on 25 October. It’s a challenging piece, but the writing really showcases the woodwind (especially the oboe section!) right from the opening bar. I like hearing the different soloists within the Orchestra being featured for a while before someone else takes the spotlight. There are so many different colours and moods conjured up in this piece and it always transports me in my head to faraway lands. The other concert I’m really looking forward to is JS Bach’s Christmas Oratorio on 16 December. Most of Bach’s orchestral works have prominent roles for the oboe section. However, as a modern symphony orchestra we don’t often play in this Baroque style, so this will be an interesting challenge that I don’t doubt under Vladimir Jurowski’s direction the Orchestra can rise to! The Christmas Oratorio has two oboes and two cors anglais in the scoring, so my section will be out in force that night. It’s the last London concert of the year, and will send us off for Christmas very happily indeed!

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