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Saturday 24 March 2018
United Reformed Church,
Southernhay, Exeter


Toccata & Fugue in D minor - J.S.Bach arr. Leopold Stokowski

Sinfonia Concertante in E-flat for violin & viola. - W.A Mozart (soloists: Sarah Greinig and Adrian Lock)

Symphony No. 2 in D - J.Brahms

Fantasy Ouverture - Nielsen

Something for everyone again in this Spring concert, and also a chance to feature two very fine local players in the Mozart 'double concerto' - Sinfonia Concertante.

Many of us who are getting on a bit - and I include myself here - must remember that great Disney film Fantasia, and one of the pieces that featured so strongly in it was the grandiose, and at times totally over the top, orchestration of the celebrated Toccata and fugue by Bach. It is not quite the way an organist might play it in the baroque period but it is quite splendid in its scoring and use of the many orchestral instrumental sections. Toccata 

Once the orchestra have finished showing off in Stokovski's score, we shall play the Fantasy ouverture - Nielsen [see below] and the first half ends with two fine local soloists joining the orchestra for the Sinfonia Concertante in Eb for Violin/Viola by Mozart. 

The Sinfonia Concertante - a form somewhere between the old Concerto Grosso, the solo concert and the symphony - had become popular in Mannheim, and also in Paris, where Mozart visited in 1778. In that year Mozart was commisioned to write both a Sinfonia Concertante, and a concerto for flute and harp which could also be considered to be a Sinfonia Concertante, and a year later he also wrote this one for violin and viola - still at the young age of 23.

Sarah Greinig was last seen here with us with her young string ensemble - Da Capo - a couple of years ago, and tonight she will join the leader of our viola section - Adrian Lock - in this well-known and demanding double concerto

We have added a super example of the composer Nielsen's music to tonight's concert - Rhapsody ouverture - 'An imaginary trip to the Faroe Islands' which we last played in 2009.

Ideally for Spring the final work tonight is the 2nd Symphony by Johannes Brahms - it was about 10 years ago when we last played this one, - and from the outset we are aware of the warmth and excitement of the arrival of Spring. You can almost hear things moving underground in the opening bars and the whole mood is bright and strong. A fine 19th century conclusion to any concert.