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.

Please Note: The second half of this concert has been changed from the works previously advertised in our brochures. It’s still Mozart, however the soloist/conductor Julian Rachlin has decided to amend the programme due to a connected tour to the Musikverein in Vienna.

PROKOFIEV: Violin Concerto No. 2, op. 63
PROKOFIEV: Classical Symphony op. 25
MOZART: Divertimento in D Major, K136
MOZART: Symphony No. 36, K.425, ‘Linz’

Overview: A pair of Prokofievs and a second half of Mozart 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. 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.


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 tonight we hear number 36, the ‘Linz’. The Linz was composed by Mozart in just 4 days, whilst he and his wife were visiting the Austrian town of Linz in 1783. Allegedly the local count heard of Mozart’s arrival and announced that a concert would be held in 4 days – no pressure! Our orchestra tonight will have had longer to practice than the musicians at its premiere.

The Linz symphony is preceded by Mozart’s Divertimento in D Major K136, a charming early work from 1772 when he was just 16, and had recently returned from a triumphant tour of Italy, showing off his virtuosity as a keyboard player. It was his father who gave it the title ‘Divertimento’, but it has more the characteristics of his early string quartets, though it is now usually played, as here, by a string orchestra. There are three short movements.