What's On

  • 23 January 2018

    Stravinsky Dances concertantes
    Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major
    Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G minor, K550
    Tuesday 23 January 2018, 7:30pm
    St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 4JJ

    Michael Seal, conductor
    Richard Birchall, cello

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    Tickets: £22, £18, £14 (concessions £3 off)

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    Email: tickets@corinthianorchestra.org.uk

    Danses Concertantes looks and sounds like a ballet score; officially, however, it is a concert piece. It hails from Stravinsky’s neoclassical period when he worked to establish an artistic link with the formal and contrapuntal structures of eighteenth-century music. Written in Hollywood in the winter of 1941-1942, the work received its premiere in Los Angeles in the February.

    Haydn's Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major, composed around 1761-1765, was presumed lost for two hundred years until in 1961, a copy of the score was discovered at the Prague National Museum. The Concerto has since become a staple of the cello repertoire.

    We conclude this performance with Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, which needs no introduction. The summer of 1788, when this, along with his other last two symphonies, were composed, was not a good time for Mozart. He was beset with by financial troubles, declining popularity, illness of his wife, and the failure of his opera, Don Giovanni. Notwithstanding this, he completed all three symphonies in lightning speed over a ten-week period. For some time, it was believed that Mozart never heard a performance of No. 40, although today there is some evidence that there was at least one performance during his lifetime conducted by Salieri.

  • 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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    Phone: 020 7381 0441

    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”.

  • 19 May 2018

    Berlioz Béatrice et Bénédict Overture
    Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 25 in C major
    Brahms Symphony No. 4, Op. 98 in E minor 
    Saturday 19 May 2018, 7:00pm
    St James's Church, 197 Piccadilly, London, W1J 9LL

    Michael Seal, conductor
    Chris Hopkins, piano

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    Tickets: £17, £15, £10 (concessions £3 off)

    To reserve tickets
    Email: tickets@corinthianorchestra.org.uk
    Phone: 020 7381 0441

    Berlioz captures the essence of Shakespeare’s comedy, Much Ado About Nothing, in this delightful

    Overture, much of it in the playful introduction, where the silences are as witty as the dialogue between woodwind and strings.   It is a sparkling introduction to the tale of love gone wrong–and love gone right.

    The exuberant, brash Piano Concerto No. 3 drew thunderous applause from American audiences in 1921 but it received rather tepid reviews. Neither in Chicago nor in subsequent New York performances did the concerto arouse much enthusiasm.  Prokofiev said the American public "did not quite understand the work."  Nevertheless, it went on to become one of the half a dozen or so most popular piano concertos of the entire twentieth century.

    Similarly, the premiere in 1885 of Brahms’s Symphony No. 4 had a cool reception.  Audiences found the symphony’s strangeness difficult to deal with on first acquaintance.  Its strangeness lies in its combination of modern (for 1885) harmonies and suggestions of old music (in particular the passacaglia in the final movement).  Now the symphony is firmly a concert favourite.

  • 14 June 2018

    Berlioz Le carnaval romain
    Strauss Horn Concerto No. 1 in Eb major, Op. 11
    Mahler Symphony No. 10 (ed. Cooke 1910)
    Thursday 14 June 2018, 7:30pm
    Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre

    Michael Seal, conductor
    Martin Owen, horn

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    We open our return to the Queen Elizabeth Hall, with a performance of Berlioz's dashing Roman Carnival Overture, followed by Richard Strauss’s equally exuberant, and one of the most-demanding solo works for the horn, the Horn Concerto No. 1. The centerpiece of the concert is a performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 10. The symphony was written in the summer of 1910, and was Mahler’s final composition. At the time of his death, the work was substantially complete in the form of a continuous draft, but not fully elaborated or orchestrated. After Mahler's death there was no immediate attempt to complete the work for performance. The various realisations produced by Deryck Cooke have, since the mid-1960s, become the basis for most performances and recordings and it is the Cooke version of the complete Symphony you will hear.