The Full Works Concert - Wednesday 17 December 2014

Jane Jones introduces one of the most loved symphonies of all time, Dvorak’s 'New World.’

Tonight's concert opens with a seasonal Christmas Cracker. This three movement orchestral suite is based on well-known Christmas melodies and was written by Thomas Hewitt Jones. He's an award-winning composer of both concert and commercial music, including the four animated Mascot Films for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

Felix Mendelssohn's Octet in E flat major was conceived on a grand scale. The 16-year old composer even stated on the title page of the score that the work must be played 'in the style of a symphony'. One critic has written, 'Its youthful verve, brilliance and perfection make it one of the miracles of nineteenth-century music.' 

The subtitle of Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 is important: it’s not ‘To the New World’; it’s ‘From’. That doesn't stop people referring it simply as 'The New World Symphony', though. This is very much a symphony that looks back, from the USA, to Dvořák’s native Bohemia. It was the lure of an amazing fee that persuaded Dvořák to venture to New York. From his house overlooking Stuyvesant Park, he appeared to spend much of his time pining for home, rarely going out (unless contractually obliged to) and taking every opportunity to remind himself of home, particularly during the summer, which he spent with the Czech community of Spillville, Iowa. When he premiered this work in Carnegie Hall in 1893, critics disagreed over whether it was an all-American symphony (as he’d promised) or just more of Dvořák’s usual fare. What is certain is that it has lived on its myriad merits ever since, remaining one of the most popular symphonies of all.

Joseph Haydn's Keyboard Concerto in D major was written between 1780 and 1783. It was originally composed for harpsichord or fortepiano and scored for an orchestra in a relatively undeveloped galant style evident in his early works, and has a lively Hungarian Rondo finale. It also shows more similarities to Mozart's piano concertos than do Haydn's other keyboard concertos. 

Thomas Hewitt Jones: Christmas Cracker
Gareth Sutherland conducts the Royal Ballet Sinfonia

Felix Mendelssohn: String Octet in E-flat major
Kodaly & Auer Quartets 

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No.9 in E minor (‘From the New World’)
Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the National Academy of St Cecilia 

Joseph Haydn: Keyboard Concerto in D major
Piano: Marc-Andre Hamelin
Bernard Labadie conducts Les Violons du Roy