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Tchaikovsky 6th Symphony
Saturday 16 March 2019, 19:45
Farnham Maltings, Farnham, GU9 7QR - Venue Map
Conductor: William Carslake
Soloist: Nathan Winters (Clarinet)
Nielsen: Helios Overture
Finzi: Clarinet Concerto
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 in B minor (Pathétique)
To the excitement of all in the orchestra, our March concert will mark the FSO debut of Nathan Winters, our principal clarinetist, as a concerto soloist and of Bill Carslake as our new Artistic Director. Nathan will be performing the Finzi concerto for clarinet and string orchestra, which was premiered at the Three Choirs Festival in Hereford in 1949 and which remains the composer's most widely performed and recorded orchestral work. Not only does it show Finzi's particular empathy for the solo clarinet but it also exemplifies his imaginative writing for strings. By contrast, the other main work in the programme is Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony, the Pathétique. Described by the composer as "the best thing I ever composed or shall compose", the symphony takes the listener on an epic emotional journey from lightness and frivolity to the depths of sombre pathos and tragedy. It remains arguably the most defining work of the romantic period and is a not-to-be-missed part of this season's programme. The Helios overture by Nielsen opens the evening with his depiction of the rising and setting of the sun over the Aegean Sea. We hope that you will join Bill, Nathan, and all of us at the FSO for what is bound to be a highly memorable evening.
Saturday 15 June 2019, 19:45
Princes Hall, Aldershot, GU11 1NX - Venue Map
Conductor: William Carslake
Soloist: Hiroko Imai
Stravinsky: Symphonies of Wind Instruments (1947)
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 2
Stravinsky: Concerto in D
Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9 in E flat major
Our final concert of the season is a celebration of the work of two Russian composers: Stravinsky and Shostakovich. A highlight of the evening is the latter's second piano concerto which enjoys enduring popularity on account of the soulful and wistful Andante. This, together with the other two vivacious movements, sets the concerto apart from many of the composer's other works in its sense of freedom and abandon. To perform this delightful work, we are very excited to welcome the young Japanese pianist, Hiroko Imai (Photo: Gerhard Flekatsch) who is a multi-award-winning soloist in her native country.
The Stravinsky elements of the concert comprise two works, one for wind instruments and the other for strings. The Symphonies for Wind Instruments, which was composed in 1920 in memory of Claude Debussy, grew from a chorale, drawing on Russian folk idoms. The Concerto in D was composed much later in 1946 just after Stravinsky's naturalisation as a US citizen and reflects his exposure to a diversity of musical styles.
The final work of the season is Shostakovich's 9th Symphony, which was completed just three months after the Allied victory in Europe. In contrast to the majesty and triumphalism the critics were expecting, the symphony is a small-scale almost neoclassical work which reflected Shostakovich's attitude to the political elite; as he said, "I couldn’t write an apotheosis to Stalin, I simply couldn’t". A Russian critic described it as "old man Haydn and a regular American sergeant unsuccessfully made up to look like Charlie Chaplin, with every possible grimace and whimsical gesture." We hope this excites your curiosity enough to make the concert unmissable; why not take to social media and tell us what you think?
For more information on past concerts, see the drop-down menu at the top of the page