Russian March Opus 426 Johann Strauss (II) Download 'Russian March Opus 426' on iTunes
Music for a 20th century coronation and from the hallowed halls of the Vatican feature among tonight's Hall of Fame favourites.
Tonight's Hall of Fame concert opens in regal style with William Walton's Crown Imperial. Walton wrote coronation anthems for two monarchs - Crown Imperial for King George VI and, later, Orb and Sceptre for the 1953 Coronation of Queen Elizaebth II.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote his Clarinet Quintet for his friend, the clarinettist Anton Stadler. As the recipient both of this glorious work and of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, he was truly blessed. Mozart refers to this quintet in his letters as ‘the Stadler quintet’. Written when the composer was 33, it pairs Stadler’s new basset clarinet with a standard string quartet. It was considered by many to be almost a dummy run for the great concerto. Mozart’s effortless writing, combined with some simply inspired tunes, means it is still one of the most widely played works in the repertoire today.
Mozart, when he was a teenager, so the story goes, once heard the fiercely protected Miserere by Allegri (pictured), being performed in the Vatican's Sistine Chapel. The precocious young composer apparently scurried home and wrote down the entire work from memory. Allegri was a devout catholic, trained as a priest, who worked with the Vatican’s Papal Choir right up until his death. He was described as ‘a model of priestly peace and humility, a father to the poor, the consoler of captives and the forsaken, a self-sacrificing help and rescuer of suffering humanity’.
Edvard Grieg's Holberg Suite opens with a sprightly, energetic Praeludium, followed by a more introspective Sarabande, a rather polite Gavotte, a stately Air and, finally, a boisterous Rigaudon. It was originally composed for piano – an instrument in front of which Grieg was always at home – but was later turned into an orchestral suite by the composer.
Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No.2 is both virtuosic and lyrical all at once, with the piano and orchestra taking it in turns to caress the heavy Russian melody. If, when listening to the sublime second movement, you think you might have heard the tune somewhere else before, take a listen to the power ballad 'All By Myself'. The song was based on Rachmaninov’s melody.
William Walton: Crown Imperial
Andrew Litton conducts Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A major K.581
Jack Brymer (clarinet)
Allegri String Quartet
Gregorio Allegri: Miserere
Nigel Short conducts Tenebrae
Edvard Grieg: Holberg Suite Opus 40
Richard Tognetti directs Australian Chamber Orchestra
Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor Opus 18
Piano: Stephen Hough
Andrew Litton conducts Dallas Symphony Orchestra