The Full Works Concert - Thursday 13 June: English Discoveries
Jane Jones presents the first of two concerts showcasing some rarely heard English music that's well worth discovering.
Tonight's concert kicks off with the Coronation March composed by Elgar for the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary in 1911. Written for the recessional at the end of the ceremony, the piece seems to be mourning the passing of Edward VII more than celebrating the accession of his successor. Perhaps it's Elgar's attempt to reflect the changing mood of Britain at that time, with industrial strikes at home and the military build up against Germany preoccupying the national mind.
At the other end of the musical spectrum, Howard Blake's Nocturne in B is a lyrical, Chopinesque piano piece with elements of jazz. 74-year old Blake's best known for his soundtrack for The Snowman which featured the song Walking In The Air (made famous by Classic FM's Aled Jones).
The Violin Concerto in F major by Thomas Linley (1756-1778) is the only surviving concerto from some 20 that the young composer wrote. As a boy, between 1768 and 1771, he travelled to Florence to study violin and composition. There he met Mozart and they became warm friends. 'Tommasino', as he was known and Mozart were talked of all over Italy as the most promising geniuses of the age. Linley drowned in a boating accident at the age of 22. Mozart later said that 'Linley was a true genius' who 'had he lived, would have been one of the greatest ornaments of the musical world'. Tonight's Violin Concerto strongly shows the impact that Linley's Italian travels had on him.
William Boyce’s eight symphonies are among the best loved of any English Baroque musical pieces. Originally titled the Worcester Overture, the Symphony No.8 was probably composed for a meeting of the Three Choirs Festival. Boyce directed the festival orchestra from 1737 and the Worcester Journal of 3rd July 1755 states that he, 'continued to preside in that department for several years'.
The four-movement Florida Suite is the earliest orchestral work of Frederick Delius - pictured above - and was inspired by his youthful residence on a Florida orange plantation. It's a much underrated, seldomly played work, full of rich, orchestral colour.
The piano concerto by Francis Edward Bache (1833–1858) was probably never performed before tonight's recording by the pianist Howard Shelley. The composer was acclaimed at a young age by his contemporaries all over Europe as a prodigious talent of whom great things were expected. But sadly he died of tuberculosis at the age of 25, leaving the manuscript of his Piano Concerto in the library of the Royal Academy of Music where it languished until this recording. This enchanting work is a great discovery.
Edward Elgar: Coronation March
James Judd conducts the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra
Howard Blake: Nocturne in B minor
Piano: William Chen
Thomas Linley: Violin Concerto in F major
Violin: Elizabeth Wallfisch
Peter Holman conducts the Parley of Instruments
William Boyce: Symphony No.8 in D minor
Kevin Mallon conducts the Aradia Ensemble
Frederick Delius: Florida Suite
David Lloyd-Jones conducts the Orchestra of Opera North
Francis Bache: Piano Concerto in E major
Piano: Howard Shelley
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra