Our next concert:

Please note that due to unforseen circumstances there has been a change of venue for this concert.

Saturday 6th April 2019 7.30pm

St. James Norland Church
St James Gardens
London W11 4RA


£8 in advance online. No booking fee.

£10 on the door on the day. Children (16 and under) free

A Concert of Russian Music

Rimsky-Korsakoff Overture on Russian Themes Op. 28
Rachmaninoff Vocalise Op. 34 No 14 (Version for Violin and Orchestra)
Soloist: George Mattar
Mussorgsky Night on a Bare Mountain
Orchestrated by Rimsky-Korsakoff
Tchaikovsky Symphony No 2 in C minor Op. 17 (The little Russian)

Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakoff was a member of the group of composers, known as "the Mighty Handful", whose aim was to create a new school of composition using traditional Russian folk melodies in their works. His overture on Russian themes is a lively attractive work that makes good use of three such melodies within a traditional orchestral format.

Sergei Rachmaninoff originally wrote his vocalise for wordless soprano accompanied by piano. It proved to be so successful that he made several different arrangements of it including one for solo violin and orchestra. It is a very beautiful piece with a sustained, nostalgic, melodic line from the violin, supported by delicate late romantic harmonies typical of the composer. The solo violin will be played by our highly talented leader George Mattar.

Modest Mussorgsky was also a member of the Mighty Handful. St John's Night on a Bare Mountain, which he wrote as a student, was a set of pieces describing a witches' sabbath. It was never performed in his lifetime, though he did try to incorporate the music into other compositions. Five years after his death a performing version was made by Rimsky-Korsakoff, and became an enduring concert favourite. It is filled with high drama and brilliant orchestral effects depicting supernatural horrors.

Tchaikovsky's second symphony was completed in October 1872. It was an immediate success and is still regularly performed particularly in Russia. It is a lively work filled with delightful melodies, and brilliant orchestral scoring. It makes extensive use of Ukrainian folk melodies which is the reason why it was given the nickname 'little Russian'.

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