Conductor Carlos Kalmar
Violin Arabella Steinbacher
Mendelssohn Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Op.21
Bruch Concerto No.1 in G minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op.26
Walton Symphony No.1 in B flat minor
If every piece of music is like an act in a play, then together these three pieces of music create a work that is Shakespearean in its depth and scope.
It’s hard to believe that Mendelssohn wrote A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the tender age of 17, as incidental music to Shakespeare’s play. It boasts striking effects, with different instruments and passages used to conjure people and places – including a braying ass in the strings.
Bruch’s Concerto, meanwhile, is fiery and demanding; it scales the highest and lowest reaches and surprises the listener with sudden melodic leaps and pace changes. Which leaves us with Walton’s Symphony in finale – herculean in its grandeur and surging intensity, it screams, despairs and finally roars.