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Jane Jones has an English-music special on tonight's Full Works Concert.
Tonight's concert opens with Edward Elgar 's Cockaigne Overture, a commission from the Royal Philharmonic Society, first performed at the Queen's Hall, London on 20 June 1901, conducted by the composer. In its 15 minutes or so the overture gives a lively and colourful musical portrait of Edwardian London. 'Cockaigne' was a term used at that time as a metaphor for gluttony and drunkenness, and it was adopted humorously to describe London. Elgar dedicated the work to his 'many friends, the members of British orchestras'. It was an immediate success and became one of Elgar's most popular works.
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Despite sounding like a full-blooded Romantic piano concerto,Richard Addinsell 's Warsaw Concerto was actually composed for the 1941 film Dangerous Moonlight, a World War II love story with a sweeping soundtrack to match the romance of the plot. The film’s producers apparently had their eyes on Rachmaninov: he, they thought, would be the perfect man to write the score. But if you’re Rachmaninov, you can afford to turn down the odd commission here and there – and so, when the first-choice composer said ‘thanks but no thanks’, the job of penning the music for Dangerous Moonlight fell to Addinsell. His unashamed use of indulgent harmonies and grand Romantic gestures goes a great way towards explaining why the Warsaw Concerto remains hugely popular today.
Vaughan Williams began collecting folk songs in 1902 and ultimately gathered more than 800. Their distinctive harmonies and rhythms had a profound influence on his own, unique musical voice. The English Folksongs Suite was commissioned by the band of the Royal Military School of Music and was premiered on 4 July 1923. The Suite contains a number of different folk songs from Norfolk and Somerset, including Seventeen Come Sunday, Pretty Caroline, Dives and Lazarus, My Bonny Boy, Green Bushes, Blow Away the Morning Dew, High Germany, and The Tree So High.
Edward Elgar: Cockaigne Overture Opus 40
Mark Elder conducts the Halle Orchestra
Richard Addinsell: Warsaw Concerto
Piano: Roderick Elms
Jose Serebrier conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
Ralph Vaughan Williams: English Folksongs Suite
Neville Marriner conducts the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields
Hubert Parry: Jerusalem
Carl Davis conducts the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Brighton Festival Chorus
William Crotch: Symphony in F major
Hilary Davan Wetton conducts the Milton Keynes Chamber Orchestra
Gerald Finzi: 5 Bagatelles Opus 23
Clarinet: Emma Johnson
Piano: Malcolm Martineau
Frederick Delius: Paris: The Song of a Great City
Charles Mackerras conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra