Hindemith – Symphonic Metamorphosis of themes by Carl Maria von Weber
Shostakovich – ‘Cello Concerto
Prokofiev – Romeo and Juliet
Conductor – Marco Bellasi
Findlay Spence (Cello)
How better to close the Chester Philharmonic Orchestra’s Season of Life and Death in music than to hear these three very unusual, yet well known, pieces of (fairly) modern classical music. The Hindemith, with possibly the longest title in the musical repertoire, was composed in 1940 for piano, but then re-scored for orchestral performance in 1943. It is tuneful with toe tapping exuberance. Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto was composed in 1959 for Mstislav Rostropovich and is unusual in that the final three of the four movement work are played without a break. Folk tunes form some of the themes and there is even a reference to Mussorgsky’s Songs and Dances of Death. The Prokofiev is probably the best known of all the contributions to this evenings concert. It is surprisingly the oldest of the three pieces being composed as far back as 1935. The Ballet for which it was composed was however not performed until 1940. The music is of course programmatic and tells the story of Romeo and Juliet in musical form. The fight between the Montagues and Capulets is of course very well known as the introductory theme to the BBC Programme “The Apprentice”.
The soloist Findlay Spence is a young up and coming star from Scotland. He is currently Cellist and Composer studying at the Royal College of Music in London. Musician in Residence at St. Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge.