Thursday 23 February 2017

Korngold, Stravinsky, Stephenson and Rilke

Janus Ensemble
25 February 2017 sees a striking orchestral programme at St James's Church, Sussex Gardens, Paddington when Harry Ogg conducts the Janus Ensemble in Stravinsky's Firebird Suite, Korngold's Violin Concerto and Josephine Stephenson's Abend. The soloist in the Korngold is the young Latvian violinist Kristina Balanas, whose repertoire seems to include an interesting array of 20th century concertos.

Erich Korngold retired from writing film music at the end of World War Two, and devoted himself to concert music. The Violin Concerto was written at the urging of the great violinist Bronislaw Huberman. Dedicated to Alma Mahler, the widow of the composer, the concerto was premiered in 1947 by Jascha Heifetz. It is a richly romantic piece which requires the soloist to really wear their heart on their sleeve.

Composer Josephine Stephenson wrote Abend in 2013 when it was performed by Harry Ogg and his Sinfonia d'Amici. The work is inspired by the poem of the same name by Rainer Maria Rilke from Das Buch der Bilder(1902): 'Der Abend wechselt langsam die Gewänder, die ihm ein Rand von alten Bäumen hält' (The sky puts on the darkening blue coat held for it by a row of ancient trees; )

The Janus Ensemble was founded in January 2015 by Charlotte Amherst and its two resident conductors Michael Coleby and Davide Levi, with the aim of bringing together aspiring young professional musicians at the outset of their careers.

Further information from the Janus Ensemble website.

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