Elgar’s Enigma

English music has a quality all its own, whether in evoking the landscape, drawing upon history or capturing the sound world of a particular epoch. Vaughan Williams turned to the musical glories of Tudor England in his Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis, Benjamin Britten was inspired by the sea and sky of his […]

Hough plays Rachmaninov

A concerto in all but name, the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini is one of Rachmaninov’s great achievements, rivalling in popularity his canonical piano concertos. Rachmaninov, the unsurpassed pianist-composer of the 20th century, performed the solo part when the work was premièred in 1934. Taking on that role in this concert is one of […]

Tchaikovsky’s Sixth

Few orchestral works are as moving as Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, which rises from the depths, soars to tremendous heights and slowly and gently fades into nothingness. It seems to contain within its four movements a lifetime’s worth of experiences. The fact that Tchaikovsky died within days of conducting the first performance adds to this extraordinary […]

Faure Requiem

In Gabriel Fauré’s setting of the Requiem, the soul journeys from this life to the next on wings of most glorious song. Quiet and reflective, the Fauré Requiem eschews the fire and brimstone dramatics of many settings of the Mass for the Dead and instead offers music that soothes and consoles. With its comforting mood […]

French Impressions

Stylish, witty, urbane. French music exhibits a very particular set of attributes, as can be heard in these debonair works by Ravel and Poulenc. Ravel’s Piano Concerto is an energetic romp that pauses in its middle movement for one of the most transcendent adagios ever written. Poulenc’s Sinfonietta – a “little” symphony – bustles with […]

The Joy of Mozart

Emma McGrath, TSO Concertmaster, shines as soloist in Mozart’s joyous Violin Concerto No 3, one of the loveliest creations of a composer whose music never fails to touch the soul. Despite the nickname, Haydn’s Mourning Symphony is not in the least bit melancholy. One of the composer’s “Storm and Stress” symphonies, it revels in minor […]

Viva Violin! Hobart

Violinist Ning Feng rises to the challenge of Saint-Saëns’ Violin Concerto No 3, the most demanding – and astounding – of the composer’s violin concertos. Fauré’s Pavane evokes the serenity of an earlier time while the overture to Béatrice et Bénédict captures the quick-witted repartee of the quarrelsome lovers from Much Ado about Nothing. Likewise […]