Suffolk's fully professional orchestra returns to The Apex with the young New Zealand violinist Benjamin Baker in another programme designed to feature todays most exciting talent. Born in 1990 in New Zealand, Benjamin studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music. Over the last year he has won a string of competitions in Italy and England, performed across the UK, and made his debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra.
In 2004, listeners to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme voted Barber’s Adagio for strings the saddest piece of classical music. It has been played to mark the passing of the famous, including Franklin D Roosevelt, John F Kennedy, and Albert Einstein, and at the Last Night of the Proms in 2001 to commemorate the victims of 9/11. We have included it in this concert as a tribute to the fallen of the Great War, and it begins our programme.
Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture on the other hand, with its musical impression of the rising and falling of waves, sets a cheerful tone, and is included in this programme to celebrate the recent completion of a sailing circumnavigation of the British Isles by a supporter of the Suffolk Philharmonic Orchestra.
After our Cream Tea interval, we settle down to a feast of expressiveness. Leslie Olive writes: 'As a young conductor in the 1980s, I had the great pleasure of conducting a concert performance of Vaughan Williams’s A Pilgrim’s Progress, and its vibrant themes live with me to this day. RVW worked on Pilgrim’s Progress for many years before finally bringing it to fruition, and in 1938 he used some of its themes in the Fifth Symphony. It is a fascinating study to see which ones he used and how he used them, and an intriguing speculation whether the extra-musical ideas associated with those themes have any place in his thinking in the symphony. We shall probably never know. Either way, many commentators regard the fifth as the greatest of his symphonies. It is certainly glorious!'
- Adagio for Strings
- Samuel Barber (1910-1981)
- The Hebrides Overture
- Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
- Concerto for Violin and Orchestra No 1 in G minor
- Max Bruch (1838-1920)
- Symphony No 5 in D
- Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)