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Next Concert

Saturday 8th December 2018


St Botolph's Church, Colchester


Haydn: Symphony No 22 ‘The Philosopher’

Mozart: Violin Concerto No 5 in A major

Soloist: Philippa Barton

Handel: Concerto Grosso Op3, No 1

Mozart: Symphony No 29

Philippa Barton, our soloist and leader has given many solo performances, including the Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Bruch, Bach, Mozart and Vivaldi concerti, Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending, Chausson’s Poème and Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello.  This year she has already been very busy with solo performances including Chausson’s Poème, a recital in Ipswich, and Richard Strauss’s epic leader’s solo part in Ein Heldenleben.

Philippa leads a number of ensembles such as the Kings Chamber Orchestra, the Cornerstone Chamber Orchestra in Milton Keynes and the Essex, Colchester and Norfolk Symphony Orchestras.

Mozart’s ‘Turkish’ violin concerto was composed in 1775, before Mozart turned twenty, and is generally regarded as the most accomplished of his early works for the violin. The slow movement has a beautiful melody for the solo violin, whilst, in contrast, the final movement has some pounding ‘Turkish’ rhythms and col legno effects  (where the player strikes the strings with the wood of the bow).

Mozart’s Symphony no 29 was written in the year before the violin concerto we are playing.  It is one of his more well-known early symphonies. It is the last of only three symphonies in A major, a key that lent a sense of occasion for an eighteenth-century audience and so is a fitting finale to our concert.

The nickname of ‘The Philosopher’ for Haydn’s Symphony no 22 is thought to arise from the melody and counterpoint in the first movement (listen to the horns and cor anglais) that reflect a question and answer as in a ‘disputatio’ system of debate.  There is also a muted ‘tick-tock’ effect which may suggest a philosopher deep in thought as time goes by.