The Full Works Concert - Monday 16 December 2013

Samuel Barber's Agnus Dei is the choral centrepiece of a concert that ranges from opera to chamber music to ballet.

The curtain rises on tonight's concert with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's bustling overture to his opera, Così fan tutte. The title literally means "Thus do all [women]", but is often rendered as "Women are like that". For the opera, Mozart and his librettist Da Ponte use the time-honoured theme of fiancée swapping and the overture reflects the shenanigans to come.

The highly inventive Piano Concerto No. 4 in C minor by Camille Saint-Saëns is the composer's most innovative concerto when it comes to structure. It is arranged more like a four-movement symphony but with the movements grouped in two pairs. The concerto was premièred in 1875 with the composer as the soloist. It continues to be one of his most popular concertos.

Samuel Barber (pictured) made his own choral arrangement of his Adagio for Strings. The haunting Agnus Dei is performed tonight by The Sixteen conducted by Harry Christophers.

Boccherini's String Quintet in E major is famous for its minuet third movement, often played as a standalone piece outside of the context of the full quintet. The minuet has been used extensively in movies, television, and video games, among others. It was most notably used in The Ladykillers starring Sir Alec Guinness and Peter Sellers.

La Boutique fantasque, also known as The Magic Toyshop or The Fantastic Toyshop, was a ballet in one act conceived by Léonide Massine. Ottorino Respighi wrote the music based on piano pieces by Rossini. Its world premiere was at the Alhambra Theatre in London on 5 June 1919, performed by Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes. Toulouse-Lautrec was an influence on the period setting and style of the ballet, and Massine envisaged the principal character "quite Lautrec-like".

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Cosi fan Tutte – Overture
Rinaldo Alessandrini conducts the Norwegian National Opera Orchestra

Camille Saint-Saens: Piano Concerto No.4 in C minor
Piano: Stephen Hough
Sakari Oramo conducts the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Samuel Barber: Agnus Dei
Harry Christophers conducts The Sixteen

Luigi Boccherini: String Quintet in E major
Vanbrugh Quartet 
Cello: Richard Lester

Ottorino Respighi: La Boutique Fantasque
Richard Bonynge conducts the National Philharmonic Orchestra