Middle Eastern music of heart-wrenching beauty meets the Western imagination of sensuality and drama along the medieval Silk Road.
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.
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 the shipping forecast for over two decades, who now hosts a daily show on Classic FM.