*Ticket information below
Philip Hesketh makes a welcome return to conduct our first concert of 2024. Also Fenella Humphreys returns as our violin soloist after her amazing performance with us last year.
Dmitry Kabalevsky (1904 - 1987) - 'Colas Breugnon' Overture (1938)
Colas Breugnon is a Russian-language opera in three acts by Dmitry Kabalevsky, also known as The Master-Craftsman of Clamecy. The libretto by V. Bragin is based on Romain Rolland's novel about a fictional Burgundian optimist named Colas Breugnon set in 16th-century Clamecy, Nièvre. The opera premiered under the direction of Samosud in Leningrad in 1938. The opera is best known for its "rollicking" overture.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897 - 1957) - Violin Concerto (1945)
With the end of World War II, Korngold retired from films to concentrate on music for the concert hall. The Violin Concerto was the first such work that Korngold penned, following some initial persuasion from the violinist and fellow émigré Bronisław Huberman. Korngold had been hurt by the assumption that a successful film composer was one who had sold his integrity to Hollywood, just as earlier he had been hurt by many critics' assumptions that his works were performed only because he was the son of music critic Julius Korngold. He was thus determined to prove himself with a work that combined vitality and superb craftsmanship.
Korngold is unique in that he was both a classical composer and a highly successful Hollywood film composer. The Violin Concerto, like some of his other classical works, shows the influence of his film music compositions. His experience in film scoring is evident in the concerto's dramatic and cinematic qualities.
Mieczysław Weinberg (1919 - 1996) - Symphony No.3 (1949)
Weinberg was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1919. He was a prolific composer, known for his chamber music, symphonies, and operas. His family had deep ties to music, and he began composing at an early age. In 1939, as World War II broke out, Weinberg fled to the Soviet Union to escape the Nazi occupation of Poland.
Weinberg's Symphony No. 3 was composed in 1949, in the post-war period when the Soviet Union was under Joseph Stalin's regime. During this time, many artists and composers in the Soviet Union faced censorship and political pressure to conform to socialist realism, an artistic style that promoted positive depictions of Soviet life. Weinberg, who had experienced the horrors of war and the Holocaust, used his music to address themes that were deeply personal and at times critical of the Soviet system.
*Tickets (£22, £20 concessions) will be available online or by phone 020 7222 1061 (booking fees £3 per transaction) when booking opens.
You can book in person at St John’s Smith Square (no booking fee).