Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker has charmed Christmas audiences over the years with its range of gorgeous music and romantic imagery. There is a wonderfully vivid, pictorial quality to his colourful music. From the elegant Waltz of the Flowers to the witty Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Dance of the Reed Flutes, the score is a feast of wonderful melodies. Then there is the Battle of the Mice and the lively dances – Spanish, Chinese, Arabian and Russian. The music tinkles in the memory like a lost music box – enchanting for young and old alike.
One of only two concertos Mozart wrote in a minor key, his Piano Concerto No. 24 possesses a much darker, stormier nature than his previous piano concertos. A kaleidoscope of angst and emotions is bundled up in a work of moody and turbulent character.
Naughty Limericks is among Shchedrin’s most performed works. The Russian title of this brilliantly orchestrated eight-minute piece, which fully lives up to its designation as a concerto for orchestra, is Ozorniye chastushki – a term that defies literal translation. A chastushka is a free-spirited, irreverent sort of folk song and the title certainly conveys the spirit of the music