The Full Works Concert - Thursday 3 April 2014: Neville Marriner at 90

Tonight’s offering by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields and Sir Neville Marriner includes works by Mendelssohn, Prokofiev, Haydn and Fauré.

Thursday 3 April 2014, 8pm-10pm

Our Concert tonight opens with the First Symphony by Prokofiev, written when the composer was 26. The young composer had a very clear plan when it came to writing the work: ‘I thought that if Haydn were alive today he would compose just as he did before, but at the same time would include something new in his manner of composition. I wanted to compose such a symphony: a symphony in the classical style’. Many musical historians say that Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 is evidence that he, rather than Stravinsky, is the true father of the movement known as ‘neo-Classicalism’.

The Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra in E Major by Mendelssohn was written in 1823 when the composer was just 14 years old. It was first performed in December of that year with Felix and his sister Fanny as the two soloists. Tonight it's played by two great pianists, the late John Ogdon and his wife Brenda Lucas. 

Arcangelo Corelli was a true musical pioneer, a champion of the violin’s potential as a solo instrument and an immense influence on the composers who followed him, including Bach and Handel. He was a highly skilled virtuoso violinist and an enormously popular composer, who earned the description of ‘father of the concerto grosso’. Tonight we hear the 10th in a set of 12.

Pelléas et Mélisande is incidental music by Gabriel Fauré (pictured)for Maurice Maeterlinck's play. Fauré was the first of four leading composers to write music inspired by the drama. Debussy, Schoenberg and Sibelius followed in the first decade of the 20th century. Fauré's music was written for the 1898 London production of the play. To meet a tight deadline, Fauré reused some earlier music from incomplete works and enlisted the help of his pupil Charles Koechlin, who orchestrated the music. The composer later constructed a four-movement suite from the original theatre music, orchestrating the concert version himself. 

Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major was composed around 1761-65 for the composer's friend Joseph Franz Weigl, then the principal cellist of Prince Nicolaus's Esterházy Orchestra. The work was presumed lost until 1961, when a musicologist discovered a copy of the score at the Prague National Museum. Though some doubts have been raised about the authenticity of the work, most experts believe that Haydn did compose this concerto, which already shows him as a master of instrumental writing.

Sergei Prokofiev: Symphony No.1 in D major Opus 25 ‘Classical’
Sir Neville Marriner conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields 

Felix Mendelssohn: Concerto for 2 Pianos & Orchestra in E major
Pianos: John Ogdon, Brenda Lucas
Sir Neville Marriner conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields 

Arcangelo Corelli: Concerto Grosso in C major Opus 6 No.10
Sir Neville Marriner conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Gabriel Faure: Pelleas and Melisande Suite Opus 46
Sir Neville Marriner conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Joseph Haydn: Cello Concerto No.1 in C major
Cello: Lynn Harrell
Sir Neville Marriner conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

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