Rebels with a Cause | Symphonic Orchestra

Rebels with a Cause | Symphonic Orchestra (p Tom De Beuckelaer) KCB 2024
Event in spotlight
Concert Hall, Regentschapsstraat 30, 1000 Brussels
€10 / €5 / €0

Photo: Tom De Beuckelaer

Rebels with a Cause - Introduction

Rebels with a cause? A typo? Should we expect an homage to James Dean? No, this is about musical rebels, one without a cause and two with a cause. The image of W.A. Mozart as an iconoclastic composer is well enough known by now, including through representations in films such as Amadeus. But his presumed rebellious nature is not really evident in the sweet melodies he came up with for his first (of two) flute concerto, starring one of our own students.

Two other rebels did have a cause, prompted by the political-social climate in which they were active. After a small, short fanfare, the focus turns to the Four Sea Interludes from Benjamin Britten's opera Peter Grimes. This work is often considered an allegory on homosexual repression, something that resonated strongly with Britten, himself gay when it was still punishable in Britain. With Dmitri Shostakovich, a close friend of Britten's since the 1960s, the cause was also by necessity implicit. His furtive commentary on the Soviet regime of which he was willingly and unwillingly a part pops up in several compositions, at least to the good listener. This is the case, for instance, in his Seventh Symphony, written in the context of the Siege of Leningrad so that it can be heard as anti-Nazi although, according to sources, it was conceived equally as anti-Stalin. On the programme now, however, is an apolitical work, Shostakovich's Fifteenth Symphony, his last and one of his least known. It is characterised by the frequent use of musical quotations, including from Rossini's William Tell, which gives it a peculiar character. Perhaps the rebel rearing its head after all?

Anyway, three rebels on one programme, that can only give fireworks.

With thanks for the text to Matthias Heyman, Research Department KCB.


Jonathan Bloxham

Orchestral preparation

Bart Bouckaert

Soloist flute

Maialen Pascual Huarte


KCB Symphonic Orchestra
Students department of Music - Classical


Benjamin Britten
~ Fanfare for St. Edmundsbury
~ Four Sea Interludes from the Opera Peter Grimes

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
~ Concerto for Flute and Orchestra in G major, KV313

  • Soloist flute: Maialen Pascual Huarte


Dmitri Shostakovich
~ Symphony Nr. 15, Op. 141

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