The Full Works Concert - Wednesday 2 April 2014: Neville Marriner at 90

More superb recordings of the legendary Sir Neville Marriner including a complete performance of Mozart’s Requiem.

Wednesday 2 April 2014, 8pm-10pm

Tonight's Concert - the latest in our series celebrating Sir Neville Marriner's 90th birthday - opens with Bach's Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor. All four of these Suites were scored by Bach for an ensemble of wind and string instruments, but the Second is unusual in that it features only one wind instrument – the flute; some scholars have even called this one of the earliest flute concertos. The title of the famous concluding movement, 'Badinerie', translates as 'jesting', 'joking', or 'bantering' and the flute's infectious main theme certainly rolls along joyfully.

Dvorak's popular Serenade for Strings was composed in just two weeks in May 1875. It's believed that the composer took up this small orchestral genre because it was less demanding than a symphony, but allowed for the provision of pleasure and entertainment. One critic wrote, 'The Serenade was aptly entitled, since at least four of its five movements (the second of which was a delightful waltz) displayed an elegant touch suggestive of gracious living accompanied by ‘serenading’ in the stately home of some 18th-century aristocrat…'

When the Count von Walsegg's wife Anna died on Valentine’s Day 1791, it set in motion a series of events that, one could argue, has never stopped. Walsegg, an accomplished musician himself, anonymously commissioned a Requiem from Mozart, totally spooking the already unstable composer in the process. Mozart became consumed by the work, believing he had been cursed to write a requiem for himself, because he was about to die. The opening movement was the only section to be completed. The rest of the Requiem was brushed into some sort of shape by Mozart’s only composition pupil, Süssmayr. Regardless, the Requiem still sounds wonderful to most ears.

Johann Sebastian Bach: Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor BWV.1067
Flute: Williams Bennett
Harpsichord continuo: Thurston Dart
Sir Neville Marriner conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields 

Antonin Dvorak: Serenade for Strings Opus 22
Sir Neville Marriner conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Requiem K.626
Soloists: Ileana Cotrubas, Helen Watts, Robert Tear, John Shirley-Quirk
Sir Neville Marriner conducts the Academy and Chorus of St. Martin in the Fields