Despite some initial criticism that it was unplayable, Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto lost little time in establishing itself as a concert favourite. One of the more demanding works for the violin virtuoso, it is more remarkable still for its unwavering melodic inspiration and passionate expression of human feeling. Tchaikovsky speaks to us from the heart, using the voice of the solo violin as his medium. Scheherazade is a landmark in the history of descriptive music which never fails to make an impression and to give delight. Consisting of “separate, unconnected episodes and pictures” from The Arabian Nights, the suite is bound together by a recurring motif, a bewitching melody sung by the solo violin: the voice of Scheherazade herself. Vaughan Williams’ tribute to Tallis calls for a large string orchestra divided into three parts. The theme is heard in its complete form three times, then serves as the source for a wonderful miasma of variants and developments. Although it is not specifically religious music, it seems to speak to the spirit.

Please note this concert is being livestreamed and some shots will include wide angle views of the audience.

Works and composers

Vaughan Williams Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto
Rimsky-Korsakov Scheherazade

Supported by

Annette D’Abreo & Edwin Bessant