The Full Works Concert - Monday 25 November 2013

Inspired by the new Turner and the Sea exhibition in Greenwich, Jane Jones has a water-themed Concert tonight.

Turner and the Sea at the National Maritime Museum is the first full-scale examination of J.M.W Turner’s lifelong fascination with the sea. Dramatic, contemplative, violent, beautiful, dangerous and sublime – the sea was the perfect subject to showcase Turner’s singular talents, and the 120 pieces on display include some of the most celebrated paintings of the artist’s long career.

Jane Jones has been inspired by the exhibition to put together a concert of works inspired by the sea, and bodies of water in general.

The concert opens gently and inland with Ronald Binge's oboe piece, The Watermill, before heading to the Thames for Handel's Water Music Suite No.1 in F major. Handel wrote the music for an outdoor performance for King George I on the river. The king watched from the royal barge with various dukes and duchesses as the 50 musicians played nearby. The king enjoyed the music so much, he asked the musicians to play the three suites three times over the course of the trip down the river.

A choral interlude follows with Frederick Delius' To Be Sung of a Summer Night on the Water before Jane's boat sails down to Cornwall to Tintagel. Bax had visited Tintagel Castle during the summer of 1917 and, according to the composer, the music it inspired is meant to depict a castle perched high on the rocks, battered on a sunny summer day by the Atlantic Ocean.

Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage is a cantata for chorus and orchestra composed by Ludwig van Beethoven based on verses by Goethe and dedicated to him. The first section depicts a ship becalmed, the second its success in resuming its voyage.

The Four Sea Interludes from Benjamin Britten's 1945 opera Peter Grimes depict the relationship between the sea and a small Suffolk coastal town whose rhythms and way of life depend on it. Not since Henry Purcell some 250 years earlier had a British composer really written an opera of real significance. Since it was premiered at Sadlers Wells in London, Peter Grimes has stayed in the international repertoire, containing some of the most brilliant music depicting the sea ever composed.

Britten regarded his teacher Frank Bridge as one of the great British composers of his day, and held Bridge's orchestral suite The Sea in high regard. The Sea was composed in 1911 and received its premiere in London conducted by Henry Wood. It is a finely crafted impressionistic work which stirs memories of Debussy's La Mer.


Ronald Binge: The Watermill
Oboe: Ruth Scott
Ronald Corp conducts the New London Orchestra

George Frideric Handel: Water Music Suite No.1 in F major
Marc Minkowski conducts Les Musiciens du Louvre

Frederick Delius: To Be Sung of a Summer Night on the Water
Marcus Creed conducts the RIAS Chamber Choir

Arnold Bax: Tintagel
Mark Elder conducts the Halle Orchestra

Ludwig van Beethoven: Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Matthew Best conducts the Corydon Orchestra and Singers

Benjamin Britten: Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes
Richard Hickox conducts the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Frank Bridge: The Sea
Vernon Handley conducts the Ulster Orchestra