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Tonight Jane Jones conjures up sorcery from Dukas, symphonic magic from the 17-year old Bizet, sublime oboe music from Albinoni and Elgar's wonderful violin concerto.
Tonight's concert opens with Paul Dukas' The Sorcerer’s Apprentice - a piece immortalised by the on-screen antics of one Mickey Mouse complete with pointed wizard's hat. The original musical work was a huge hit for Dukas which surprised the composer as he intended it as a satirical piece and quite a diversion from his usually more serious works. The brilliantly descriptive music vividly describes Goethe's story of an apprentice magician who tries out some spells during his master’s absence with disastrous results.
The 16 oboe concertos of Tomaso Albinoni, eight for a single oboe and eight for duet, were the earliest such works by an Italian composer to be published. They are also, perhaps, the most unusual and individual instrumental works Albinoni ever wrote. In his concertos the oboes function, in their relationship to the strings, almost like singers. Tonight we hear the Concerto in C major for two oboes.
The Symphony in C was written as a student assignment in one month by the 17-year old Georges Bizet, while he was studying at the Paris Conservatoire under Gounod. Bizet showed no apparent interest in having it performed or published, and while he used certain material from the symphony in later works, the piece was never played in his lifetime. He died in 1875, and the symphony was only found in 1933, receiving its first performance in Basel, Switzerland, two years later. It was immediately hailed as a youthful masterpiece and quickly became part of the standard Romantic repertoire.
Despite the status that Elgar’s Cello Concerto has acquired since its premiere, there is a case to be made for proposing that it was in fact the Violin Concerto that was truly the composer’s favourite among his own works. Elgar, after all, was writing here for his own instrument; he prided himself on the way in which he had plied his trade as a player for many years, rising up through the practical ranks of real musicians.
Paul Dukas: The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Michel Plasson conducts the Toulouse Capitole Orchestra
Tomaso Albinoni: Concerto in C major for 2 Oboes Opus 9 No.9
Oboes: Frank de Bruine, Alberto Bernardini
Christopher Hogwood conducts the Academy of Ancient Music
Georges Bizet: Symphony in C major
Jukka-Pekka Saraste conducts the Scottish Chamber Orchestra
Edward Elgar: Violin Concerto in B minor Opus 61
Violin: Hilary Hahn
Colin Davis conducts the London Symphony Orchestra