The Full Works Concert - Tuesday 25 November 2014

Jane Jones introduces a quintessentially English programme, including Vaughan Williams's evergreen The Lark Ascending.

The St. Paul's Suite was written in 1912 and named after St Paul's Girls' School in London where Holst was Director of Music from 1905 to 1934. He wrote it in gratitude to the school which had built a soundproof studio for him. While it was written for strings, Holst added wind parts for his pupils at St. Paul's to allow more of them to participate.

Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending is the nation's favourite piece of classical music, coming top in the 2014 Classic FM Hall of Fame. Written in 1914, it is a serene evocation of an innocent bird rising over the rolling English countryside to ever loftier heights.

Elgar worked on his Piano Quintet in A minor alongside two other major chamber pieces in the summer of 1918 while he was staying at Brinkwells near Fittleworth in Sussex. W. H. "Billy" Reed considered that all three were ‘influenced by the quiet and peaceful surroundings during that wonderful summer’. Elgar's wife's first reaction on hearing the three works was 'E. writing wonderful new music'. The work took some years to establish itself in the repertoire, but in recent years it has been performed and recorded many times.

Rutter's Requiem was written in 1985 in memory of the composer’s father. The first performance was given in Dallas, Texas in October 1985, and what was conceived as a personal memorial has gone on to become one of John Rutter’s internationally most often-performed choral works, both in church and concert hall. Unlike the dramatic, large-scale Requiems of Berlioz and Verdi , Rutter’s setting belongs in the smaller-scale, more devotional tradition of Fauré and Duruflé. The complete seven-movement work forms an arch-like structure: the first and last movements are prayers to God the Father, movements 2 and 6 are psalms, 3 and 5 are prayers to Christ the Son, and the central Sanctus is an affirmation of divine glory.


Gustav Holst: St Paul’s Suite
Richard Hickox conducts the City of London Sinfonia

Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending
Violin: Lyn Fletcher
Mark Elder conducts the Halle Orchestra 

Edward Elgar: Piano Quintet in A minor
Piano: Allan Schiller
Coull String Quartet 

John Rutter: Requiem
Stephen Cleobury conducts the City of London Sinfonia and the Choir of King’s College Cambridge