Vivaldi: Autumn” from the Four Seasons”

Allegro Adagio molto Allegro Composed in 1723, Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” are the first four violin concertos of a set of twelve, published in 1725 as “The Contest between Harmony and Invention”. Each of the “Seasons” is in three short movements, each depicting a different scene. “Autumn”, the third of the “Seasons”, portrays country folk … Read more

Krommer: Clarinet Concerto in E flat

Franz Krommer’s clarinet concerto in E flat, opus 36, is one of over 300 pieces he wrote during a prolific and illustrious career.  A late eighteenth century Viennese contemporary of Mozart and Beethoven, Krommer was born in the Czech town of Kamenice in 1759, where he was taught by his uncle Anton, who was choirmaster … Read more

Haydn: Cello Concerto No.2 in D major

Haydn composed his cello concerto no. 2 in D major in 1783 for Antonín Kraft, a cellist of Prince Nikolaus’s Esterházy Orchestra. From 1761 to 1790 Haydn worked as Kapellmeister to the princely court of the Esterházys where he led a rather isolated life resulting in the composition of an enormous number of works. During … Read more

Rodrigo: Concierto de Aranjuez

This concerto is a remarkable feat of musical composition, as Rodrigo was blind from the age of 3, a pianist, and did not even play the guitar! Pitting a solo guitar against the full force of an orchestra is also fairly unique instrumentation, and it is remarkable how the guitar is never totally overwhelmed. Joaquin … Read more

Elgar: Violin Concerto in B minor Op. 61

Elgar’s violin concerto is dedicated to the Austrian violinist Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962). It was written in 1909-10, between the first and second symphonies, and first performed in November 1910 with Kreisler as soloist and Elgar himself conducting. It was not Elgar’s first attempt at a violin concerto: he had started to compose one in 1890, … Read more

Mozart: Concerto for Horn and Orchestra K494a

I. Allegro In 1786, the year in which he completed his best-known Horn Concerto (K.495 in E-flat major), Mozart began work on another Concerto for Horn and Orchestra in E major. Only a fragment of the first movement survives. An element of mystery surrounds the 91-bar incomplete manuscript which Mozart left. Why was the work … Read more

Mozart: Concert for Flute and Harp

By 1777 Mozart had resigned his position with the Archbishop of Salzburg, and set out with his mother to seek his fortune elsewhere in Europe. Whilst in Mannheim, he was commissioned to write two concertos and some quartets for flute. This was the first time that Mozart had composed for the flute, and it would … Read more

Carr Paul: Double Saxophone Concerto

This concerto, written 10 years ago, was composed especially for tonight’s soloists, Andrew Sutton (soprano sax) and Andrew Franks (alto sax). It was first performed in June 1994. The composer acknowledges this work as belonging to his “light romantic period”. He has since moved on to writing scores for TV and film, along with a … Read more

Sibelius: Violin Concerto

The Finnish Violinist Sibelius was 38 years old when he completed this, his only example of the Concerto form, in the Summer of 1903. It was written for and dedicated to Willy Burmester, leader of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and one of the most highly regarded soloists of his day. At the time Sibelius’ finances … Read more