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Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra - Best of British

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra


Sun 10 March   3pm                 Best of British

Celebrating 90 years of Bournemouth Pavilion

ELGAR Cockaigne
DELIUS On Hearing the First Cuckoo of Spring
WALTON Crown Imperial March
ARNOLD English Dances Set 1
WALTON Henry V Suite

Conductor: Stephen Bell

The BSO celebrates the 90th anniversary of the opening of the Pavilion in a special concert featuring the cream of British music from the time. Elgar’s overture (performed at the very first Pavilion concert) is an unashamedly populist portrait of ‘old London town’, complete with references to whistling errand boys, lovers strolling in the park and a marching band. Elgar described the music as “cheerful and Londony – ‘stout and steaky’”. More of London is evoked in Coates’ march made famous as the theme tune for the BBC’s In Town Tonight, but it’s a trip to the country for two bucolic idylls by Delius and Butterworth – each a beautifully crafted gem – and rumbustious suite of English folk dances by Malcolm Arnold.

Vaughan Williams’ scintillating overture to The Wasps, after initial “buzzing” is also a spirited potpourri of attractive folk melodies, humorous and lyrical by turn, and we turn to Walton to provide the pageantry with his rousing coronation march Crown Imperial complete with rousing central maestoso tune, and stirring incidental music to Laurence Olivier’s film of Shakespeare’s Henry V complete with noble fanfares, sombre passacaglia foretelling the death of Falstaff and delicate lullaby Touch Her Soft Lips and Part.


Sun 14 April 3pm                     Musical Artistry

FAURÉ Pelléas et Mélisande Suite
SHOSTAKOVICH Piano Concerto No.2
MUSSORGSKY Pictures at an Exhibition

Conductor: Victor Aviat 
Piano: Alexander Romanovsky

Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto stands miles apart from many of his other works in its sense of freedom and abandon. It is a gloriously free, wistful creation; an unrestrained delight from start to finish. In particular, the famous, soulful and heart-rending adagio – one of the most enduringly popular pieces for piano – never fails to stir the heart, opening peacefully and mournfully before the piano enters with pure radiance. Either side of which are two vivacious movements, both full of style and an overwhelming sense of fun.

Mussorgsky’s musical wander through a fictitious gallery of works by his friend Victor Hartmann is a beautifully curated series of miniatures, some intimate, like the love forlorn troubadour in The Old Castle; some grotesque, as with the menacing Hut on Foul’s Legs; and others bursting with grandeur, including the final Great Gate of Kiev – but all imbued with vivid orchestral colour by Ravel’s genius for scoring. No less beautifully painted, Fauré’s exquisite music eschews melodrama, and prefers to make its point in subtly shaded and highly original ways.


Sat 11 May 7pm                        Hall of Fame

ROSSINI William Tell Overture
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No.5 'Emperor'
BIZET Carmen Suite
TCHAIKOVSKY 1812 Overture

Conductor: Marta Gardolińska
Piano: Yu Kosuge 

Welcome to the Hall of Fame and four works which continually top the charts and remain as popular as ever. Rossini’s overture to William Tellwas the longest he wrote and is often said to foreshadow the tone poems of the coming generation of composers. Included you can hear the fury of a storm, followed by a gentle pastorale which was based on a Swiss ranz des vaches, played by herdsmen on an Alpine horn to call their cattle, and finally on to the most famous motif of all, the heroic ride heralded by the trumpets. The Emperor is the largest in scale of all Beethoven’s concertos.

It is written in a virtuosic style that looks forward to the grand theatrics of Liszt in its full chordal textures and wide dynamic range. Although Beethoven never gave the work its now familiar name, a spirit of spirit of heroism nonetheless infuses the music, whilst the sublime slow movement is one of his most profound. Bizet’s celebrated music to Carmen shows his greatest strengths as an opera composer: the variety and effectiveness of his orchestration, which reveals character at the same time that it underlines the sultry mood of southern Spain – hot and passionate. With Tchaikovsky’s explosive

1812 Overture the evening will definitely finish with a bang!

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

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