Nimrod

Elgar wrote this orchestral piece in 1898-99 with its premiere in London, June 1899, establishing the composer’s international reputation. The theme is followed by 14 variations which Elgar “dedicated to my friends pictured within”. Whilst composing the work Edward Elgar wrote to his close friend, Augustus Jaeger, a music publisher with Novello, who had encouraged … Read more

Fantasia on British Sea Songs

Bugle Calls The Anchor’s Weighed The Saucy Arethusa Tom Bowling Jack’s The Lad (Hornpipe) Farewell and Adieu, Ye Spanish Ladies Home, Sweet Home See, the Conqu’ring Hero Comes Rule, Britannia! Sir Henry Wood arranged this medley of British sea songs to mark the centenary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1905. It was first played … Read more

Music from Frozen

Frozen is the hugely popular Disney film about the newly-crowned Queen Elsa who accidentally uses her powers to turn things into ice in order to curse her home to infinite winter. Her sister Anna teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff, his reindeer Sven and Olaf the snowman to try and reverse the curse and … Read more

Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Opening on Broadway in 1957, West Side Story broke the mould with its fusion of Old World classical and New World jazz and Latin genres. The Symphonic Dances were first performed in 1961 and present symphonic arrangements of some of the best-loved songs and dances from the musical. We are playing a selection as follows: … Read more

Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin

Maurice Ravel, the distinguished French composer, pianist and conductor, originally composed this work to celebrate the tradition of Francois Couperin, the eighteenth century French composer. First arranged for piano, four of the movements were later orchestrated, in 1919, for orchestra. Tonight, you will hear two of them entitled Menuet and Rigaudon. I am not sure … Read more

Butterworth: Banks of Green Willow

The Banks of Green Willow was the third of three “idylls” George Butterworth composed. He wrote this one based on a Sussex folk tune in 1913 when he was 28 years old. It was first performed the following February in West Kirby by the Halle and Liverpool Orchestras under 24-year-old Adrian Boult, a friend of … Read more

Grieg – Peer Gynt Suite No. 1

Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) was approached by Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) in 1867 to write the music for the premiere of his new play, Peer Gynt. Grieg felt constrained by the demands of the play and was not happy with the score that accompanied the premiere in Oslo in 1876. However, the play was revived in Copenhagen … Read more

Williams: Star Wars Suite

John Williams is one of the most respected and successful composers for cinema of all time, with an incredible 49 Oscar nominations to date, among them five wins. Born in Long Island, New York in 1932, John Towner Williams was exposed to music early by his father who was a jazz drummer and percussionist for … Read more

Mendelssohn: Midsummer Nights Dream

Mendelssohn became familiar with Shakespeare by reading German translations as a young boy of seventeen. He was inspired to write an overture to accompany Shakespeare’s comedy which quickly became a popular favourite throughout Europe. Twenty-five years later, the Prussian King, Frederick William IV requested that Mendelssohn composed a set of incidental pieces to accompany an … Read more