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Concert: Beach and Brahms

Saturday 11 March 2023 7.45pm
Farnham Maltings, Farnham, GU9 7QR – Venue Information

Guest Conductor: Benedict Collins-Rice

Brahms: Symphony No. 4
Amy Beach: Gaelic Symphony

To preside over the FSO’s Spring concert, which is supported by the Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust, we will be welcoming guest conductor, Benedict Collins-Rice, who has performed throughout Europe and America, recorded for several record labels and TV companies, and broadcast live on Radio 3. We look forward to his bringing his passion, insight and inspiration to the two works in the concert programme. The Gaelic Symphony, written by Amy Beach, was first performed in 1896 and was the first symphony by an American composer to use folk songs as thematic material. It was also the first symphony to be composed and published by a female American composer and helped her gain widespread acknowledgement of her talents in a male-dominated profession. The work draws on several Irish melodies because of what Beach called “their simple, rugged, and unpretentious beauty.”

The other work in the concert is Brahms’ well-known Symphony No. 4 in E minor. Written in the same key as the Gaelic Symphony, it was first performed just over a decade earlier in 1885. The last of Brahms’ symphonies, it has an undeniably tragic character despite its warmth and beauty. When premièred, Eduard Hanslick wrote of it that it was “like a dark well; the longer we look into it, the more brightly the stars shine back.” We look forward to sharing with you the depth and beauty of these two late-nineteenth-century masterpieces.

Supported by the Humphrey Richardson Taylor Charitable Trust

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