There is perhaps no more popular or beloved violin concerto than Mendelssohn’s masterpiece. Taking a journey from darkness to light, it begins restless, mysterious and questioning, and ends in a blaze of colour, full of joy and exhilaration. Like the sea itself, the surface of the music in La Mer hints at the brooding mystery of its depths. Meandering harmonies weave from one bar to another in a spontaneous, organic flow; a glimmering palette of sound which caresses the senses. Ina Boyle’s theme and variations is a more conventional depiction of the sea. The music recalls Elgar’s more famous set of variations, though its orchestral tints are darker, whilst Wagner’s Entrance of the Gods from Das Rheingold displays his usual gift of glorious triumphalism.

Works and composers

Boyle A Sea Poem
Mendelssohn Violin Concerto
Wagner Entry of the Gods from Das Rheingold
Debussy La Mer

Supported by

Gillian Emerson