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Tonight's concert features some new recordings - including the world premiere of a Vaughan Williams orchestral suite.
This evening's concert gets under way with the fizzing overture to Glinka's pioneering opera, Ruslan and Ludmilla. Glinka was the first Russian composer to receive wide recognition and is often regarded as the father of Russian music, influencing his fellow countrymen to produce a distinctive style all of their own. The opera is a folk tale with all the necessary ingredients - a beautiful princess and her valiant suitor, an evil wizard, battles, abduction and rescue. Tchaikovsky dubbed Ruslan “the Tsar of operas”. The overture has become a concert hall favourite in its own right. It's performed tonight by the Kirov Orchestra conducted by Valery Gergiev.
Composed at the court in Esterhazy where Haydn lived and worked away from the hubbub of musical life, the Violin Concerto No.4 in G was written for Luigi Tomasini. Even though scored for only string accompaniment, Haydn pulls out a wide array of colours and builds an energetic dialogue between the work's rhythmic and melodic figures.
Next we have the world premiere recording of Three Impressions for Orchestra by Vaughan Williams. The three movements are Burley Heath, The Solent, and Harnham Down. The Solent is a delicate, melancholy tone poem, reminiscent of Vaughan Williams' In the Fen Country which also dates from the early 1900s.
As the recipient both of the glorious Clarinet Quintet (and the Clarinet Concerto), clarinettist Anton Stadler 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.
A new recording of Franz Schubert's Symphony No.3 in D major ends tonight's concert. The Freiburg Baroque Orchestra injects lively, infectious energy into the music with the young Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado at the helm. His approach is at once vigorous, dynamic and graceful without a hint of sentimentality.
Mikhail Glinka: Russlan and Ludmilla – Overture
Valery Gergiev conducts the Kirov Orchestra
Joseph Haydn: Violin Concerto in G major Hob.VIIa:4
Violin: Giuliano Carmignola
Orchestra of the Champs-Elysees
Ralph Vaughan Williams: 3 Impressions for Orchestra
Paul Daniel conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Clarinet Quintet in A major
Clarinet: Peter Schmidl
Members of the New Vienna Octet
Franz Schubert: Symphony No.3 in D major
Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra