16 March 2018

Mendelssohn Märchen von der schönen Melusine, Op.32 
Mozart Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major, K.216 
Mozart Andante in C for Flute and Orchestra, K. 315/285e 
Beethoven Symphony No. 1, Op. 21 in C major 
Friday 16 March 2018, 7:30pm
St James's Church, 197 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LL

Eamonn Dougan, conductor
Amarins Wierdsma, violin
Michael Copperwhite, flute


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Mendelssohn’s beautiful Overture to The Fair Melusina is sadly not among his most widely known works but it was one that he held in high regard.  The story behind the music tells of a water sprite who marries a mortal on the condition that he never ask her where she goes on Saturdays.  It is on that one day each week that she must revert to her mermaid form and though her husband promises to honour her request, his curiosity eventually ends the bliss.

Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3 in G major is arguably Mozart's most popular violin concerto.  It’s an intimate work and the sweetness and ingratiating simplicity of its melodies are surpassed by virtually nothing Mozart ever wrote.

For a composer who was said to have an aversion to the flute, much preferring the clarinet, Mozart produced flute music of amazing quality.  Not much is known for certain about the Andante for Flute and Orchestra (K. 315) in C major, but it may have been part of a commission in 1778.  You might notice a similarity between this and the melody played by Papageno (in Die Zauberflöte) to calm the beasts.

 

Beethoven's Symphony No. 1, seen from all points of view, is a classical one, strongly anchored in the Viennese musical life of the time, especially Mozart’s last symphonies.  Knowing their Mozart and Haydn well, his contemporaries referred to this symphony as “masterpiece" repeatedly and praised the work's "originality”.