Many guests join us on the stage of the Town Hall for this concert, in a programme of well-loved works.The Choir of Hipperholme Grammar School sing two well-known choral excerpts of their own choice in the first half, which follow an overture which will evoke memories of television viewing for many people.The Overture to William Tell, Rossini's last opera composed in 1829, starts with a quintet of cellos, before winding up to the music used as the theme tune to both The Lone Ranger and William Tell television programmes.
In contrast, the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss, also the composer's last work, are settings of three poems by Hesse and one by Eichendorff published as a set by his publishers only after his death. Like Grieg, Strauss was married to a singer and learned much about vocal writing from her. These songs portray a mood of peace and honesty in the evening of life, and the orchestra will be performing them with Cressida Sharp, first heard on the Town Hall stage in the Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde in February 2013.
Holst's great tone poem,The Planets, remains the best-known of the composer's orchestral works and one of the most popular amongst concert audiences.The seven movements evoke the character of the planets: Mars,Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Perhaps Mars and Jupiter are the best-known movements. Specific staging directions are given for Neptune, the choir remaining off-stage, behind a door which Holst directs to be closed during the very last bar, leaving the voices fading into nothing - beyond the final frontier.
- Overture to 'William Tell'
- Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
- Worthy is the Lamb from Messiah
- George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
- Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco
- Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901)
- 4 Letzte Lieder, '4 Last Songs'
- Richard Strauss (1864-1949)
- The Planets
- Gustav Holst (1874-1934)