The Full Works Concert - Thursday 7 November 2013

Symphonies from Dvorak and Vaughan Williams are highlights of tonight's concert from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.

Tonight's concert kicks off with the RLPO's current Chief Conductor Vasily Petrenko joined by violinist Nicola Benedetti in Pablo de Sarasate's showpiece, Zigeunerweisen.

Former RLPO Principal Conductor Libor Pesek then takes to the rostrum for Dvorak's Symphony No.8. It was composed and orchestrated within a two-and-a-half-month period in 1889 and dedicated by Dvorak to 'the Bohemian Academy of Emperor Franz Joseph for the Encouragement of Arts and Literature, in thanks for my election.' The symphony is performed not nearly as often as the more famous ninth. It's a cheery work and draws its inspiration from the Bohemian folk music that Dvořák loved.

Franz Liszt composed his Piano Concerto No. 1 over a 26-year period. The main themes are written in a sketchbook dated 1830, when Liszt was 19 years old. He seems to have completed the work in 1849, but even made further adjustments in 1853. It was first performed at Weimar in 1855, with the composer at the piano and Hector Berlioz conducting. Liszt made yet more changes before publication in 1856. It was worth the wait.

A film score favourite follows that sees the RLPO taking to the high seas. It's the Pirates of the Caribbean theme by Klaus Badelt.

The Symphony No. 4 in F minor by Ralph Vaughan Williams was dedicated to his fellow composer Arnold Bax. Unlike Vaughan Williams's first three symphonies it was not given a title, the composer stating that it was to be understood as pure music, without any incidental or external inspiration. In contrast to many of his previous compositions, the symphony displays a severity of tone. The composer himself once observed of it, "I'm not at all sure that I like it myself now. All I know is that it's what I wanted to do at the time." William Walton admired the work greatly, speaking of it as "the greatest symphony since Beethoven". It's one of only two symphonies of Vaughan Williams which end loudly!


Pablo de Sarasate: Zigeunerweisen
Violin: Nicola Benedetti
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony No.8 in G major
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Libor Pesek

Franz Liszt: Piano Concerto No.1 in E flat major
Piano: Eldar Nebolsin
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vasily Petrenko

Klaus Badelt: Pirates of the Caribbean – Theme
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Carl Davis

Ralph Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.4 in F minor
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra/Vernon Handley