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A favourite Organ Symphony and a modern guitar concerto are highlights in tonight's Full Works Concert.
Tonight's concert opens with Johann Sebastian Bach's Keyboard Concerto in D minor. The concerto is believed to be based on a lost violin concerto that was later arranged as an organ concerto in 1728 for use in two of Bach’s cantatas. Tonight it's performed by pianist Angela Hewitt. She gives a relaxed, elegant, technically brilliant, performance with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. In addition to the quality of the playing, the recording quality is immaculate as well.
Mozart's Symphony No. 25 in G minor was written by the then 17-year old in October 1773, shortly after the success of his opera, Lucio Silla. It was reportedly completed in Salzburg on 5 October, just two days after the completion of his Symphony No. 24. The first movement is widely known as the opening music in the film Amadeus. Mozart wrote two symphonies in G minor - this one is known as the 'little G minor'. With its leaping melodic lines and syncopation, it is reminiscent of the Sturm und Drang symphonies of the time - and probably inspired by Haydn's Symphony No. 39 which is also in G minor.
The complex and highly intricate Concerto Antico for Guitar and Small Orchestra was composed by BAFTA award-winning composer Richard Harvey for guitarist John Williams. It's a suite of tunes based on old dance and song forms from different parts of Europe. Written in 1995, it remains one of Harvey's most popular works, entering the Classic FM Hall of Fame for the first time in 2012. Harvey hoped that this highly-demanding piece would both complement and contrast the standard staples of the guitar repertoire.
The 'Organ' Symphony by Saint-Saëns - pictured - is probably best understood as a ‘Symphony with added organ’, because only two of its four movements feature the instrument. It’s a magnificent work with the composer saying he was writing to his limits: ‘I gave everything to it I was able to give. What I have accomplished here, I will never achieve again.’ The Royal Philharmonic Society in the UK commissioned the work and Saint-Saëns came over to conduct its premiere at the old St James’s Hall, now the site of the Le Meridien Hotel in London’s Piccadilly.
Johann Sebastian Bach: Keyboard Concerto in D minor
Piano: Angela Hewitt
Richard Tognetti conducts the Australian Chamber Orchestra
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No.25 in G minor
Jane Glover conducts the London Mozart Players
Richard Harvey: Concerto Antico for Guitar and Small Orchestra
Guitar: John Williams
Paul Daniel conducts the London Symphony Orchestra
Camille Saint-Saens: Symphony No.3 in C minor (‘Organ’)
Organ: Daniel Chorzempa
Zubin Mehta conducts the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra