There is perhaps no more beloved violin concerto than Mendelssohn’s masterpiece. Journeying from darkness to light, it begins restless, mysterious and questioning, and ends in a blaze of colour, full of joy and exhilaration. The sheer quality of the music and lightness of touch, bursting with unbridled vitality that leaves audiences clamouring for more, makes it a favourite amongst performers and listeners alike. Brahms’ First Symphony, although inspired by those of his hero Beethoven, broke new ground for symphonic form. It is a symbolic journey from darkness to light, the themes developed from a handful of motivic nuggets, all smelted together into a shining edifice, with nothing wasted. A turbulent mood is established at the outset, by turns dark and meltingly warm, often infused with a rueful quality expressing a strain of sadness in his personality never lightened by artistic success. Schumann’s majestic and vivacious Overture, Scherzo & Finale is a joyous work. It opens in dramatic fashion, dark and challenging, until a lively major melody appears, lightening the mood.


Works and composers

Schumann Overture, Scherzo & Finale
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
Brahms Symphony No.1

Supported by

Janet Boyle