Middle Eastern music of heart-wrenching beauty and hypnotic energy meets the western imagination of sensuality and drama along the ancient Silk Road.
Hassan is an unlikely hero – an unattractive Baghdad sweet merchant who is comically rebuffed by his would-be love. But the mood changes when he is accidentally taken into the court of the city’s all-powerful ruler, whose shocking brutality and corruption sickens him. Written 100 years ago, Delius’s richly evocative incidental music to James Elroy Flecker’s play is very rarely performed – here we experience it in a compelling adaptation for orchestra, narrated by Zeb Soanes – a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4’s shipping forecast for over two decades, who now hosts a daily show on Classic FM.
In the first half Britten Sinfonia is joined by Egyptian-Australian oud virtuoso and composer Joseph Tawadros to play works including the premiere of his new oud concerto, Three Stages of Hindsight.
Hear from Joseph about the oud and his new concerto