The Full Works Concert - Thursday 31 October 2013

Puccini's extraordinary Messa di Gloria is the climax of tonight's - and this month's - Full Works Concerts.

This evening's concert kicks off with Johann Sebastian Bach's Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor. The suite features the famous Badinerie - meaning literally 'jesting' in French. It's become a popular show piece for flautists.

Hummel's Piano Concerto No. 3 in B minor was composed in Vienna in 1819 and published in Leipzig in 1821. Unlike his earlier piano concertos, which closely followed the model of Mozart's, this concerto is written in a nascent Romantic style that anticipates the later stylistic developments of composers such as Chopin and Mendelssohn.

The climax of tonight's concert is Puccini's Messa di Gloria. Unusually for Puccini (pictured) - who is best-known for his full-scale operatic works, this is a Mass composed for orchestra and four-part choir with tenor, bass and baritone soloists. Puccini composed the work as his graduation exercise. It had its first performance in Lucca on 12 July 1880. However, the Credo had already been written and performed in 1878 and was initially conceived by Puccini as a self-contained work. He never published the full manuscript of the Messa, and although well received at the time, it was not performed again until 1952. However, he re-used some of its themes in other works, such as the Agnus Dei in his opera Manon Lescaut and the Kyrie in Edgar.


Johann Sebastian Bach: Orchestral Suite No.2 in B minor
Freiburg Baroque Orchestra

Johann Nepomuk Hummel: Piano Concerto No.3 in B minor
Piano: Stephen Hough
Bryden Thomson conducts English Chamber Orchestra

Giacomo Puccini: Messa di Gloria
Soloists: Robert Alagna, Thomas Hampson
Antonio Pappano conducts the London Symphony Orchestra and Chorus