Song for Athene John Tavener Download 'Song for Athene' on iTunes
Salieri's Flute and Oboe Concerto and Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending are among tonight's classical masterpieces.
Tonight's concert opens with Eric Coates' London Again Suite, written in 1936 in response to the huge popularity of his original London Suite of 1933. Like its predecessor, the suite draws inspiration from three London streets - this time Oxford Street, Langham Place and Mayfair - offering up a march, an elegy and a waltz respectively to represent each location.
Still little known today, the Flute and Oboe Concerto in C major by Salieri (pictured) remained unpublished for 188 years after its composition in 1774 - the same year that Salieri was appointed, at the age of 24, as Kapellmeister of the Italian Opera in Vienna. His skill as an opera composer shows through in the concerto where the two soloists frequently operate like duetting singers - sometimes playing parallel lines, at others engaging in inventive, sometimes boisterous dialogue.
Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending is one of the nation's favourite pieces of classical music, coming second in the 2013 Classic FM Hall of Fame. Written in 1914, the piece is a serene evocation of an innocent bird rising over the rolling English countryside to ever loftier heights. It's played tonight by the violinist Hilary Hahn.
Bach's keyboard concertos of the 1730s were originally his transcriptions of old violin and oboe concertos. One Violin Concerto in A minor was reshaped by Bach into the Harpsichord Concerto No. 7 in G minor, BWV 1058. We hear it tonight played on the piano by Angela Hewitt. It has the most stunningly deep and rich solo part of all the Bach keyboard concertos - less an arrangement of the original solo line than a newly composed part that takes the original as its start.
Bruch's third and final Symphony was written in Liverpool as a commission from the New York Symphony Society. It was performed in a preliminary version in 1883 in New York but Bruch was not satisfied with the work, which had been based on sketches made when he was young. The following year made a thorough revision of the first and fourth movements. The symphony is a revelation of Bruch's love for his native Rhineland. He wrote to one friend, 'This symphony is a work of life, of joy ... and it should have the title On the Rhine - Am Rhein -, since it is a real expression of Rhineland love of life.'
Eric Coates: London Again Suite
John Wilson conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Antonio Salieri: Flute and Oboe Concerto in C major
Flute: Susan Milan
Oboe: David Theodore
Richard Hickox conducts the City of London Sinfonia
Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Violin: Hilary Hahn
Colin Davis conducts the London Symphony Orchestra
Johann Sebastian Bach: Keyboard Concerto in G minor BWV.1058
Piano: Angela Hewitt
Richard Tognetti conducts the Australian Chamber Orchestra
Max Bruch: Symphony No.3 in E major Opus 51
Kurt Masur conducts the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra