The Full Works Concert - Friday 25 April 2014

A requiem by Classic FM's Composer in Residence is the climax of this week's Full Works Concerts.

Tonight's concert opens with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. It's a piece that Mozart never published in his lifetime. His widow, Constanze, later sold it in a job lot of his music to a publisher in 1799, to raise funds. We'll hear a recording from Nikolaus Harnoncourt with Concentus Musicus Vienna.

The half-Scottish, half-Alsatian pianist Henry Litolff left audiences spellbound with his magical performances from the age of 14. In order that he might continue to enchant concert-goers across Europe, he wrote himself a series of symphonies with a solo piano part. They were not quite concertos — and they weren't quite symphonies either. Instead, they were pieces that were specifically designed to make him sound great when he played them. The Concerto Sinfonique No.4 in D minor is just a joy of a work and is said to have inspired Liszt. So much so, in fact, that he dedicated his own piano concerto to Litolff.

Eternal Light: A Requiem by Howard Goodall (pictured) was commissioned by London Musici to celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2008. Talking about composing the work, Goodall said, 'Most requiems are based, one way or another, on the medieval church’s Mass for the Dead, which is made up of a series of sections beginning with the ‘Kyrie Eleison’ and ending with ‘In Paradisum’. Although the traditional requiem text calls for ‘eternal peace, rest and light’ for those who have died, it also emphasises judgement and everlasting damnation for anyone who transgresses the Roman Catholic Church’s code of behaviour, as seen from the perspective of the Middle Ages. I did not feel at ease with this approach to the appalling pain of loss and grief, so in an attempt to provide some solace for the living that mourn, I stripped down the old Latin texts to a few phrases in each movement and laid beside them words from English poems from across the last 500 years.'


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Eine Kleine Nachtmusik
Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts Concentus Musicus Vienna

Henry Litolff: Concerto Sinfonique No.4 in D minor Opus 102
Piano: Peter Donohoe
Andrew Litton conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Howard Goodall: Eternal Light: A Requiem
Soloists: Natasha Marsh, Alfie Boe, Christopher Maltman
Stephen Darlington conducts London Musici and the Choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford