The Full Works Concert - Friday 18 October 2013

An exclusive broadcast of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra live in Glasgow, with music by Dvorak, Shostakovich and Britten.


Throughout this week, Classic FM is in Scotland broadcasting from five different cities. It's all to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Classic FM's partnership with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

The week's festivities culminate with tonight's very special Full Works Concert recorded last Saturday at Glasgow's Royal Concert Hall. Jane Jones introduces the RSNO conducted by Peter Oundjian in a programme of Britten, Shostakovich and Dvorák.

Benjamin Britten's The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra was written in 1946 for an educational documentary film about the instruments of the orchestra. For his musical inspiration, Britten went all the way back to the 17th century and music of Henry Purcell. The tune - upon which Britten's numerous orchestral explorations are based - is a simple hornpipe from Abdelazer, a play for which Purcell composed incidental music in 1695. 

The Cello Concerto No.1 in E-flat major by Shostakovich was composed in 1959 and is perhaps the most popular 20th Century cello concerto. Shostakovich wrote the work for his friend, the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who committed it to memory in four days and gave the premiere on 4 October 1959 in the Large Hall of the Leningrad Conservatory. It is widely considered to be one of the most difficult works for cello, along with the Sinfonia Concertante of Sergei Prokofiev. Shostakovich said that 'an impulse' for the piece was provided by his admiration for that earlier work. It's played tonight by the brilliant Argentine cellist, Sol Gabetta

Tonight's concert concludes with Dvorák's Symphony No.7. In December 1884, Dvořák heard and admired Brahms's new 3rd Symphony and this prompted him to think of writing of a new symphony himself. So it was fortuitous that the Philharmonic Society of London invited him to write a new symphony. Soon afterwards, after his daily walk to the railway station in Prague, he said 'the first subject of my new symphony flashed in to my mind on the arrival of the festive train bringing our countrymen from Pest'. The Czechs were coming to the National Theatre in Prague, where there was to be a musical evening to support the political struggles of the Czech nation. He resolved that his new symphony would reflect this struggle. This symphony, together with the 8th and 9th, represents Dvořák at his best; but the 7th is the most ambitious.

Britten: The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra 

Shostakovich: Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major
Cello - Sol Gabetta

Dvorák: Symphony No. 7 

Peter Oundjian conducts the Royal Scottish National Orchestra 

The Full Works Concert