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Exeter Symphony Orchestra play Mendelssohn, Bartok and Holst

Saturday March 30, 2019 at 19:30
Southernhay United Reformed Church, Exeter
£15 (unreserved; in advance/at the door); £1 under 18s
Phone for tickets: 01392 665700
Phone lines open: Monday to Saturday 0930-1630; Bank Holidays 1000-1600
Other Sources: £12 from Exeter Symphony Orchestra members in advance
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Tickets "at the door" - until sold out
  1. Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No 1 in G minor Op 25 - Felix Mendelssohn
  2. Concerto for Orchestra - Bela Bartók
  3. A Moorside Suite, for brass band H 173 - Gustav Holst, orchestrated by Gordon Jacob

Exeter Symphony Orchestra is proud to present its spring concert comprising classics of the 19th and 20th century, with soloist Brian Low Rhung Wei in Piano Concerto No 1 in G minor by Felix Mendelssohn. The remainder of the programme features Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and A Moorland Suite by Gustav Holst.

The highly talented young soloist, Brian Low Rhung Wei began piano lessons aged 7 and first played this tuneful work - the first of Mendelssohn's two piano concertos - to great acclaim with conductor Jac van Steen in 2016 while studying at Wells Cathedral School, where he also sang and played violin. Now a third-year undergraduate at the Royal Northern College of Music, his other public appearances to date include concerts at the Wigmore Hall and during the XXIV International Chopin Festival in Busko-Zdroj, Poland. Mendelssohn completed the concerto in Italy in 1831 and then travelled to Paris where Franz Liszt sight-read the solo part faultlessly from the new, barely legible score; the great virtuoso gave the piece his instant seal of approval, while the admiring composer could only describe the impromptu rendition as “a miracle, a miracle!”

Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra does, to coin a strapline, exactly what it says on the score: it offers a performance work-out for the entire orchestra. Composed in 1943 – three years after the Hungarian composer's emigration to the USA – and premiered in Boston, its five movements have been likened to a symphony, although Bartok maintained that its soloistic and virtuosic content made it a concerto. Whatever the label, the work exploits the range and colour of almost every instrument, and frequently juxtaposes dissimilar sections and sounds to produce a melodious whole. It really is like no other piece!

A Moorside Suite was commissioned by the BBC for the National Brass Band Championship of Great Britain in 1928. It was the first and only piece Holst ever wrote for brass band, but it was very well received; indeed, its merit was quickly recognised by none other than Gordon Jacob – the prolific Royal College of Music professor of National Anthem fanfare fame – who arranged the excellent orchestral version the Exeter Symphony Orchestra will play. It is unmistakable as Holst’s work, from the first movement’s jaunty, skipping theme, to the ‘Saturn-reminiscent’ second and the vigorous march of the finale.

Southernhay United Reformed Church
Dix's Field
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