The Full Works Concert - Friday 3 January 2014

Jane Jones celebrates three giants of English music - Elgar, Delius and Holst, who all died 80 years ago in 1934.

Strange as it seems, three of the greatest British composers all died within five months of each other in the year 1934, 80 years ago this year. Tonight, Jane Jones offers just a taste of things to come in 2014 with music from Holst, Elgar and Delius.

The St.Paul's Suite was written in 1912 and named after St Paul's Girls' School in London where Holst (pictured) 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.

The Walk to the Paradise Garden by Delius comes from his opera, A Village Romeo and Juliet. In this impressionistic interlude Delius began to achieve the texture of sound that would characterise all his later compositions.

Despite the status that Elgar’s Cello Concerto has acquired since its premiere, there is a case to be made for proposing that it was in fact the Violin Concerto that was truly the composer’s favourite among his own works. Elgar, after all, was writing here for his own instrument; he prided himself on the way in which he had plied his trade as a player for many years, rising up through the practical ranks of real musicians. 

Tonight's concert concludes with Holst's Symphony in F major, subtitled 'The Cotswolds'. He completed it in 1900 while touring as a trombonist with the Carl Rosa opera company. The second movement of the work, an elegy, was written in honour of the great Socialist visionary and designer William Morris who died in 1896. It has some amazing harmonic and dramatic moments. Holst's daughter Imogen remarked that her father was beginning to take more chances in his music and this symphony proved to be the most ambitious work he had undertaken to date.

Gustav Holst: St.Paul's Suite Opus 29 No.2
Howard Griffiths conducts English Sinfonia

Frederick Delius: The Walk to the Paradise Garden
Neville Marriner conducts Academy of St.Martin in the Fields

Edward Elgar: Violin Concerto in B minor
Nigel Kennedy
Simon Rattle conducts City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra 

Gustav Holst: Symphony in F major, 'The Cotswolds'
Douglas Bostock conducts Munich Symphony Orchestra