Journeys of Discovery

26 Sep, 2022 | Press Releases


The ESO announces their first events as part of its 2022/23 Journeys of Discovery season with a deep dive into some of Bach’s finest works for violin and orchestra at the stunning Holy Trinity Church in Hereford, featuring ESO Leader and soloist, Zoë Beyers. Whether you’re a Bach lover or just curious, this concert aims to showcase Bach’s love for the violin and its versatility. The ESO then takes the audience on a voyage across the sea, as it explores a programme of works inspired by the ocean, the elements and nature: both calm and tempestuous.


Wednesday 12th October at 7.30pm
Discovering Bach in Hereford
Holy Trinity Church, Hereford
Event Link:

JS Bach Brandenburg Concerto No.4; Air on a G String; Violin Concerto in E major; Brandenburg Concerto No.5

ESO Chamber Ensemble
Zoë Beyers violin, director

Zoë Beyers is one of the finest violinists of her generation and for this programme Zoë will be joined by members of the orchestra she leads, the ESO, in the stunning acoustics of the Holy Trinity Church to illuminate some of Bach’s finest works for violin.

Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos were effectively written as an instrumental job application for the German aristocracy but unfortunately these iconic works were unlikely to have been performed during his lifetime. They were later discovered in the Brandenburg archives almost 100 years after Bach’s death and they remain some of the finest examples of instrumental music of the Baroque canon.

Bach was renowned as a virtuoso keyboard player, but he was also a highly skilled violinist and wrote a considerable number of masterpieces for the instrument, including eight sonatas for violin and harpsichord, six works for unaccompanied violin and it appears as a soloist in most of his Brandenburg Concertos, including Nos.4 and 5.

Bach’s love for both the harpsichord and violin is also evident in his Violin Concertos which he later transcribed into Harpsichord Concertos (self-plagiarism is commonplace in composer circles) and his Violin Concerto in E Major has remained one of his most popular and regularly performed to this day.

Tickets £20, under-18s Free
More information and tickets:

Saturday 15th October at 7.30pm
Across the Sea
Malvern Theatres, Worcester
Event Link:

Elcock Wreck
Elgar Sea Pictures
Mendelssohn Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage
Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes

English Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Woods conductor
Kathryn Rudge mezzo-soprano

For as long as classical music has been around, many composers have tried to capture the essence of the sea and the ocean within their work. They often try to embody the calm and tempestuous emotions of the waves and depict the undulating and unpredictability of the bodies of water they are trying to express. And so let the ESO transport you on a voyage across the Seven Seas for an evening of evocative seascapes.

In 1899, when Elgar composed Sea Pictures, the sea was still largely represented as the “Great Unknown”, navigated by frail ships and the desire for more exploration. Elgar’s choice of poems for this work embody both the fear and fascination of the sea: its beauty, its symbolism, and its dangers.

Inspired by Beethoven’s piece of the same name, Mendelssohn’s Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage is a concert overture depicting two contrasting poems by Goethe, not through the voice, but with instruments. Goethe did not always respond positively to composers who found themselves inspired by his work, but there was an affection between Goethe and Mendelssohn which led to him saying ‘Sail well in your music, and may your voyages ever be as prosperous’.

Britten’s Four Sea Interludes were originally part of six interludes found in his opera, Peter Grimes, and were used to facilitate scene changes which he later adapted to become an orchestral suite. Through his imaginative orchestration, Four Sea Interludes not only reinforces the opera’s coastal setting but also reminds the listener of the social commentaries and issues the opera explores and portrays the sea as a character in its own right.

Elcock’s Wreck brings to life a ship at sea, battered by the elements, but somehow struggling on. The inevitable “wreck” leads unexpectedly to an off-stage voice, singing a story of salvation beyond despair.

Tickets £25, Under-18s £5
More information and tickets: 


  • The theme for the ESO 2022/23 season is Journeys of Discovery.
  • Journeys of Discovery aims to uncover and celebrate the stories and creative output of musicians, composers and performers who have been on their own journey of discovery throughout the centuries; whether they were inspired through travel, exploration or personal growth and the impact it has made on their music.
  • Journeys of Discovery will bring diverse live music to communities in Worcestershire, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire, performing concerts in rural churches and care homes, inspiring hundreds of young people through courses and releasing unheard music on ESO Digital.


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