Talk 6:30pm Concert 7:30pm

Royal Northern Sinfonia
Saturday November 9th 2019

This is one of our 6 subscription series concerts, and is included within a member’s subscription ticket.

Overview: A pair of Prokofievs and a pair of Mozarts make up the programme for this concert. Prokofiev’s ‘Classical’ Symphony (1916) was his first and was written in an almost light-hearted style as he tried to imagine what Haydn might have written in 1916. A sturdy Gavotte replaces the usual Minuet. Mozart wrote his first symphony in London at the age of 8 and his last, the ‘Jupiter’ (41) some 24 years later in 1788. A chance to hear the ‘bookends’ of Mozart’s symphonies side by side.

A violin concerto with castanets? Prokofiev’s second has just that – some unusual colour in the finale of this graceful and melodic work.

Julian Rachlin our conductor for the evening……

……..and also our violin soloist.


PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 2, op. 63
PROKOFIEV: Classical Symphony op. 25
MOZART: Symphony No. 1, K.16
MOZART: Symphony No. 41, K.551, ‘Jupiter’

The Royal Northern Sinfonia return to perform our second concert in the season, this time directed from the violin by the multi-talented young Lithuanian maestro Julian Rachlin. This famous violinist, violist and conductor has performed as soloist with the world’s leading conductors and orchestras and is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. He also leads the ‘Julian Rachlin & Friends Festival’ in Palma de Mallorca.

Grieg hated school and would stand under leaking and dripping gutters and downspouts so that he arrived drenched and had to be sent home to change! Thank goodness he survived all this and went on to compose his Piano Concerto with its unmistakable thunderous opening. With Martin Roscoe as our soloist, we are sure that all of the right notes will be there and in the right order.

Another first Symphony, this time Tchaikovsky. Unlike Mozart who ‘composed as easily as sow’s piddle’, Tchaikovsky struggled with his first and at one stage was composing night and day, causing a doctor to warn his concerned family that the composer was ‘on the verge of insanity.’ It was eventually completed and although not heard as often as his later symphonies, has some delightful moments, especially the memorable folksong inspired slow movement.

This is all after the concert starts with a real buzz!


The Royal Northern Sinfonia return to perform our second concert in the season, this time directed from the violin by the multi-talented young Lithuanian maestro Julian Rachlin. This famous violinist, violist and conductor has performed as soloist with the world’s leading conductors and orchestras and is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra. He also leads the ‘Julian Rachlin & Friends Festival’ in Palma de Mallorca.

The ‘Ex-Liebig’ Stradivari Violin

Julian Rachlin sometimes plays one of the world’s finest musical instruments – the 1704 ‘Ex-Liebig’ violin by Antonio Stradivari. Cross your fingers and hope that he brings it with him!

We have two pieces by Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953). His graceful Violin Concerto No:2 (1938) has an international feel, with elements of Russian folk music and Spanish castanets. The short Classical Symphony was written in 1917 whilst he was on holiday in the countryside, to the background of the Russian Revolution.The concert continues with a celebration of Mozart’s genius. In his short life (1756-91) he composed a total of 41 symphonies, and we hear the first and last tonight. The Symphony No:1 was Mozart’s 16th published work, scored when he was still an 8 year old child. Symphony No:41 of 1788 was his last, composed 3 years before his premature death; it is thought to have been nicknamed ‘Jupiter’ after the Greek god, whose thunderbolts and lightning can perhaps be heard in the music.