Thunder and Lightning Polka Opus 324 Johann Strauss (II) Download 'Thunder and Lightning Polka Opus 324' on iTunes
Works by Bach, Bizet, Elgar and Mozart are all on the menu for tonight's Full Works Concert.
In Elgar's lifetime, there were five Pomp and Circumstance marches, with the first four coming between 1901 and 1907, long before the harsh realities of the First World War changed many British people’s patriotic attitudes. The most famous first march – which includes the ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ middle section – opens our concert tonight.
Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 20 in D minor was premiered in Vienna on 11 February 1785, with the composer as soloist. It is the first of two piano concertos that Mozart wrote in a minor key and the young Beethoven admired it greatly and kept it in his repertoire.
The Suite for Orchestra No. 1 in C major is the first known example of secular orchestral music that Bach wrote in Leipzig; his position as cantor of St. Thomas did not pay for secular music. Orchestral suites or ouvertures were the rage of German courts of the 18th century, which were enamoured with French music at the time. The opening of Bach's first orchestral suite has a strong French influence and the overall feel is fun and light, although the musicians themselves have some very difficult parts to play and have to make them sound easy.
Bizet began work on Carmen in the summer of 1873, and finally finished it late the following year. It was a time of great emotional strain for him. His marriage was beginning to break up and during the composition he was separated from his wife for two months. It was premiered on 3 March 1875, and, even though it ran for 48 performances, was not initially well-received by the critics. Sadly, Bizet did not live to see Carmen's success. He died from a heart attack at the age of 36 exactly three months after the premiere, on his sixth wedding anniversary. Two Carmen suites were published for orchestral performance after the composer's death and remind us of the brilliance of Bizet's melodic writing and show why the opera's popularity has endured for more than a century.
Edward Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No.1 in D major
Paul Daniel conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Piano Concerto No.20 in D minor
Piano: Mitsuko Uchida
The Cleveland Orchestra
Johann Sebastian Bach: Orchestral Suite No.1 in C major
John Eliot Gardiner conducts the English Baroque Soloists
Georges Bizet: Carmen Suite
Charles Dutoit conducts the Montreal Symphony Orchestra