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Gerald Finzi's glorious Eclogue is the climax of tonight's Concert spanning music from three centuries.
Tonight's Concert opens with a visit to the ballet to experience Tchaikovsky's seasonal favourite, The Nutcracker. It also features Ravel’s gypsy inspired work Tzigane, a rhapsody for violin and orchestra commissioned by and dedicated to the great-niece of the influential violin virtuoso Joachim. The name of the piece is derived from the generic European term for gypsy, although it does not use any authentic melodies. In Ravel's day, the term gypsy did not so much refer to the Roma people rather a kind of musical exoticism. The work clearly demonstrates Ravel's ability to imitate the late Romantic style of violin showmanship promoted by such composer-virtuosi as Paganini and Sarasate.
The concert concludes with Finzi’s glorious piano piece Eclogue. It was begun in the late 1920s, but Finzi never got round to finishing it in the manner he wanted. The idea originally was to write a grand piano concerto but, for some reason, it was never to be. This movement is based on an archaic form of poem that was originally meant to be a conversation between shepherds. In the end, probably knowing that other movements were never going to come, Finzi reworked it so that it could be played on its own. Even then, it didn’t see the public light of day until the composer had passed away.
Ludwig van Beethoven: Fidelio – Overture
Christoph von Dohnanyi conducts the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Johann Sebastian Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No.2 in F major BWV.1047
Trevor Pinnock conducts the European Brandenburg Ensemble
Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker – Suite
Charles Dutoit conducts the Montreal Symphony Orchestra
Maurice Ravel: Tzigane
Violin: Rachel Kolly d'Alba
John Axelrod conducts the Orchestre National de Pays de la Loire
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No.36 in C major K.425
Jiri Belohlavek conducts the Prague Philharmonia
Gerald Finzi: Eclogue
Piano: Peter Donohoe
Howard Griffiths conducts the Royal Northern Sinfonia