English Symphony Orchestra Explores Music That Tells a Story…


Sarah-Beth Briggs in Cheltenham
25th October 2021

Sawyers The Valley of Vision
Mozart Piano Concerto No.22 in E flat major, K482
Beethoven Symphony No.6 in F major, Op.68 ‘Pastoral’
Conductor: Kenneth Woods
Soloist: Sarah-Beth Briggs (Piano)

Inspired by the paintings of Samuel Palmer, Philip Sawyers’ lush tone poem The Valley of Vision is “a fine and imaginative composition” (MusicWeb International) that evokes the mystical charm of Palmer’s vision of the Shoreham countryside in Kent, where Sawyers himself has walked many times…

In 1785 Mozart completed his Piano Concerto No.22, just as he was approaching the height of his popularity in Vienna. Although opera was all the rage at the time, and to be fair he was working on The Marriage of Figaro simultaneously, Mozart’s piano concertos continued to be in demand and his livelihood heavily depended on them.

The English Symphony Orchestra are joined by pianist Sarah-Beth Briggs at Cheltenham Town Hall on 25th October 2021, who will bring Mozart’s colourful and almost operatic piano concerto to life. Away from the concert platform, Sarah loves the theatre, good food and wine and walking in the countryside, just like the next composer…

Beethoven described his Symphony No.6 as “more an expression of feeling than painting” and his affinity to nature and walking in the Viennese countryside is clearly evidenced through the intentional ‘Pastoral’ title. This work is one of the first known examples of what became ‘programme music’: music that tells a story, and it does exactly what it says on the tin.

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