Tuesday 19 November 2013

Britten Sinfonia's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings

On the evening of Sunday 17th November 2013 I attended the Britten Sinfonia Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings concert at Norwich Theatre Royal. Britten Sinfonia’s recent recording of Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Mark Padmore has been acclaimed worldwide and these artists performed the work in this fascinating concert.

Violinist Pekka Kuusisto directed the orchestra in an illuminating programme of works which also included a new work by Judith Weir, commissioned by the Britten Pears Foundation and Royal Philharmonic Society, to celebrate Britten’s centenary and the Bicentenary of the Royal Philharmonic Society. The programme was jointly devised by Pekka Kuusisto and Britten Sinfonia.

The programme consisted of Three Songs for Tenor and violin (and drone from orchestra) - Nico Muhly, Fourth movement from Quartet no. 4 - Bartok, Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal - Britten, Lighthouse - Tuur, I give you the end of a golden string (world premiere tour) - Judith Weir, Individualisierte Höhemessung der Lagen (from Partita fur Paul) - Arne Nordheim, Material in E flat for violin and drone from orchestra - Nico Muhly, Third movement from Quartet no. 4 - Bartok, Kanon - Berg arr Schnittke, Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten - Arvo Part, God Music from Black Angels - George Crumb, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings - Britten.

Britten Sinfonia were joined by Mark Padmore - tenor, Pekka Kuusisto - violin and Stephen Bell - horn on a wonderful night of classical music at Norwich Theatre Royal. They played twelve works by nine different composers which proved to be a varied and enjoyable concert. The performance took the audience to new and unfamiliar places.

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