The Violin Concerto marked a turning point in Barber’s output. It is a work which both reflects the ingratiating melodic-Romantic style of his earlier compositions and the first intimations of a new lean and austere approach. It is quite clearly divided between the first two lyrical movements and the explosively energetic finale which exploits the more brilliant and virtuoso characteristics of the violin in a torrent of racing triplets. Among his most popular works, Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony is a meticulously structured meditation on Fate in four movements, written at a time of great emotional turmoil; turbulent but finally triumphant. Puccini’s early orchestral fantasy is brief but passionate. With his distinct voice emerging, there are tantalizing foreshadowings of Manon Lescaut and the sensuous, bittersweet melodies of La Bohème.

Works and composers

Puccini Preludio Sinfonico
Barber Violin Concerto
Tchaikovsky Symphony No.4

Supported by

Roger Higgins