Venue Details: The Great Hall
- Vaughan Williams : Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
- Delius : Cello Concerto
- Tchaikovsky : Symphony No.4
Vaughan Williams’ tribute to Tallis calls for a large string orchestra divided into three parts: the full string choir, a single desk from each section and a solo string quartet. The Tallis melody “Why fum'th in fight the Gentiles spite, in fury raging stout?” is one of nine included in the Psalter of 1567 for the first Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury. The theme is heard in its complete form three times and serves as the source for a wonderful miasma of variants and developments in this rich orchestral composition.
Delius's last essay in concerto form, for the cello, dates from 1921. As befits the instrument it is the most expansive of his four concertos in style and in duration and Delius regarded it as his personal favourite. It was the last work that he was able to complete in his own hand before experiencing the onset of the devastating effects of syphilis: paralysis and blindness. The whole work abounds in enchanting detail, especially in the woodwind, with myriad solos and delicate tunes which form a counterpoint to the main lyricism of the cello.
To find out more about Delius' Cello Concerto, you can Meet the Music
Of his first truly symphonic masterpiece, Tchaikovsky himself wrote, “The introduction is the seed of the whole symphony, undoubtedly the central theme. This is Fate - that fateful force which prevents the impulse towards happiness from entirely achieving its goal, forever on jealous guard lest peace and well-being should ever be attained in complete and unclouded form, hanging above us like the Sword of Damocles, constantly and unremittingly poisoning the soul. Its force is invisible, and can never be overcome. Our only choice is to surrender to it and to languish fruitlessly. . .”