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London in the Summer

a bridge in London at sunset

Image by Uzakbek from Pixabay

Saturday 22 June 2024, 7:30pm
Sheldonian Theatre

Sarah Frances Jenkins - new work, to be confirmed
Elgar - Cello Concerto in E minor
Vaughan Williams - Symphony no.2 in G "A London Symphony"

Robert Max conductor

We are looking forward to starting this concert with a new work especially composed for us by Sarah Frances Jenkins. More details to follow.

Elgar's popular 'Cello Concerto was composed during 1919 in the aftermath of the Great War, and reflects sadness and contemplation. Unusually for a concerto, it contains four movements, starting with an assertive but sad 'cello solo presaging the thoughtful nature of the first movement. This leads onto a brisk scherzo. The third movement is meditative and almost requiem-like, before flowing into the final movement which brings more motion and purpose, ending with a flash of optimism.

In contrast, Vaughan Williams' second Symphony was written before the Great War, and it evokes different scenes and moods from around London at that time. The first movement paints a picture the chimes of Big Ben and the busy London rush hour. The second movement is more peaceful and recalls Bloomsbury Square on a November afternoon. The third movement depicts Westminster Embankment with distant sounds from the Strand, hotels, crowded streets and flaring lights. The final movement marches to a climax before the chimes are heard once more, and London sleeps.