Concert Season 2023 - 2024
With thanks to our Sponsors
Conductor - Neil Mantle MBE
Note: All evening concerts commence at 7:30pm
in St Cuthbert's Church, Lothian Road
Sunday 27th August 2023 at 7:30pm
Opening concert - Elgar Festival:
Concert Overture - In the South (Alassio)
Sea Pictures contralto: Jess Dandy
Symphony No. 1 in A♭
“The stunning young contralto Jess Dandy offered sumptuous tone and beautiful legato. She’s a name to watch!” [The Times—Neil Fisher]. Jess has performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall ,The Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Salzburg Festspielhaus and London’s Royal Albert Hall, amongst other international venues. We have the greatest pleasure in welcoming her to sing Elgar’s beautiful “Sea Pictures” in the opening concert of our 2023–2024 season.
When Elgar visited Italy in 1903, it rained for much of the time, but you will look in vain for any trace of the dismal weather he and his wife Alice encountered, for Mediterranean sunshine is never far away!
The closing and most substantial work in the programme is Elgar’s magnificent first symphony, which received over one hundred performances during its first year of existence: come and hear why!
Sunday Sunday 26th November 2023 at 7:30pm
Rachmaninoff 2nd Piano Concerto
Bruckner: Symphony No. 6 in A major
Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto no.2 in C minor
soloist: William Fu
Wagner: Overture to “Tannhauser”
As far as is known, Rachmaninoff’s celebrated second piano concerto is the only work to have been dedicated to a psychiatrist! This unique honour belongs to one Dr. Dahl, who unwittingly obtained immortality as the practitioner who hypnotised the composer out of a complete creative block after the disastrous failure of his first symphony. How Rachmaninoff would have regarded the inclusion of his most famous work into the soundtrack of the 1945 film “Brief Encounter” thankfully is not known, as he departed this life two years earlier!
Our soloist, Hong Kong pianist William Fu, is known for his deep understanding and maturity in his playing. He has won numerous prizes in international competitions, and has given performances in major venues throughout Europe and the Far East.
Bruckner’s most serene and untroubled symphony makes a splendid contrast to Wagner’s noble overture to “Tannhauser”.
Saturday 27th January 2024 at 7:30pm
Linlithgow Arts Guild - St. Michael's Parish Church
St Cuthbert's Parish Church, Edinburgh
A Scottish Symphony
Dvořák: Symphony No.7 in D minor
Mendelssohn: Symphony No.3 in A minor “Scottish”
Rossini: Overture to “William Tell”
“We went, in deep twilight, to the palace where Queen Mary lived and loved … Everything around is broken and mouldering and the bright sky shines in. I believe I found the beginning of my Scotch[sic] Symphony there today.” [July 30th 1829]. Mendelssohn loved Scotland and this symphony is surely one his most expressive and poetic works.
As if one well-loved symphony is not enough, we also offer Dvořák’s seventh – a dramatic work certainly, but brim full of those characteristically warm-hearted melodies that only he could pen.
We bring our concert to a rousing conclusion indeed with Rossini’s “William Tell” Overture – guaranteed to send you out into the January night with yet more themes buzzing around in the head – whatever the weather!
Sunday 5th May 2024 at 7:30pm
Vaughan Williams: Overture to “The Wasps”
Walton: Violin Concerto
soloist: Charles Mutter
Holst: The Planets
We close our season as we began it, with the music of our native composers, including Gustav Holst’s ever popular suite of seven movements for large orchestra, organ and female chorus. This virtuosic work especially cries out to be experienced live, as it happens!+
Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams were close friends, so it is entirely appropriate that we pair them together by including the latter’s brilliant overture to “The Wasps” – a splendid curtain raiser.
Charles Mutter, leader of the BBC Concert Orchestra, is a long standing friend of the orchestra, having collaborated with us in concertos of Brahms, Tchaikovsky, Shostakovich, and most recently Elgar in 2021, and we are always delighted to make music with him, while our loyal patrons will need no encouragement to come and hear him in Walton’s bittersweet Violin Concerto.