With its rich, vibrant culture, Russia has produced some of the most exciting music ever written. Among it are three of our favourite pieces: Khachaturian’s Spartacus and Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, both composed for the Russian ballet, and Tchaikovsky’s Little Russian Symphony. So we have brought them together in what promises to be a truly glorious concert, taking place on Saturday 28th April 2018.
Tchaikovsky used three Ukrainian folk tunes as the themes for his Symphony no 2. Ukraine was at the time known as Little Russia, so the symphony, which was an immediate success, rapidly became known as Little Russian.
Spartacus was made famous as the theme tune to The Onedin Line, but it was originally composed as a political ballet in which ordinary people rise up and overthrow their oppressors.
Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet has a rightful claim to be the world’s greatest ballet. Not only does it contain much of the composer’s finest and most appealing music, but it is also considered one of the most exceptional musical interpretations of Shakespeare.
One hundred years to the day after its first performance, Gustav Holst’s magnificent Planets Suite will ring out in Ely Cathedral, on Saturday 29th September 2018, when Ely Sinfonia takes to the stage under the baton of its conductor Steve Bingham. Right from the moment of its world première, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult in the Queen’s Hall, London, The Planets has been Holst’s most popular, influential, widely performed and frequently recorded of all his works, with Jupiter and Mars among some of the most recognised of all English music.
Also on the programme is Holst’s first major orchestral work, his Cotswolds Symphony, described by Classic fM’s Anne-Marie Minhall as “a superb joyful piece with hints of greatness to come.”
The concert starts, fittingly, with the world première of a piece by a modern, local composer. Phil Toms’ Great War Overture will paint a picture of life in the trenches that will echo down the past hundred years: fitting tribute in the wonderful surroundings of Ely Cathedral.
Tickets for this landmark concert will go on sale in the summer.