The English Symphony Orchestra’s highly-regarded exploration of the music of Sibelius continues with a programme of two late masterpieces which together highlight the Finnish composer’s breadth of vision and range of emotion.Read More
A new musical setting of Hans Christian Andersen’s masterpiece by Kenneth Woods is narrated by Hugh Bonneville, star of Downton Abbey, the Paddington films and W1A. Beautiful and evocative illustrations by Polish-American artist and musician, Wanda Sobieska, brings an additional level of emotion to this poignant melding of music, word and image.Read More
Tchaikovsky was a composer with a pragmatic outlook to arrangements . Tchaikovsky composed relatively little chamber music, but his First String Quartet yielded a huge hit, the Andante Cantabile, based on a folk song Tchaikovsky had heard while visiting his sister. Tchaikovsky quickly saw the commercial potential of this movement as a stand-alone item when Leo Tolstoy burst into tears at the work’s première: “Probably never in my life have I been so moved by the pride of authorship as when Lev Tolstoy, sitting by me and listening to the Andante of my Quartet, burst into tears.”Read More
Finnish composer Jean Sibelius composed his last symphony, the Seventh, in 1924. Though he would live another 33 years after its completion, he would never again complete a symphony. This remarkable work unfolds in a single, unbroken musical span of about twenty minutes, yet it depicts a musical drama of truly epic proportions. This May 2021 performance by the English Symphony Orchestra marked the first time the orchestra’s full symphonic forces were brought together since the outbreak of the covid pandemic, and the atmosphere of the sessions had a particular degree of intensity as a result. With this performance, the orchestra embarked on a multi-year project to explore, perform and record all the Sibelius symphonies, with No. 6 planned for spring 2022, alongside Sibelius’ final orchestral work, the symphonic poem Tapiola.Read More
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