Haydn Symphony No 99 in E-flat (25’)
Tchaikovsky trans Primrose Variations on a Rococo Theme (18’)
Mozart Symphony No 39 in E-flat (29’)
Peter Whelan: Conductor
Timothy Ridout: Viola
Haydn’s Symphony No 99 – the seventh of the twelve ‘London symphonies’ – was composed in 1793 in Vienna. Musically, it was something of a landmark for him, being the first of his symphonies to include clarinets whose presence is immediately felt in the slow introduction’s majestically sonorous opening chord. Listen out too for the irresistibly captivating finale.
Variations on a Rococo Theme may have been inspired by Mozart, whom Tchaikovsky greatly admired, but its unrestrained flights of imagination and romanticism are all Tchaikovsky’s own. This beautiful work, originally written for cello, is performed here in a transcription for viola by rising star Timothy Ridout.
There has been considerable debate over the years as to whether Symphony No 39 was ever performed in Mozart’s lifetime. One of his final three symphonies, it is among the composer’s longest and features a level of complexity and experimentation uncommon in music of the time. Mozart’s frequent use of the clarinet also gives the work a sound distinct from that of his other symphonies. By turns majestic, playful and blazingly energetic, the piece is a testament to his genius for beguiling melodies that will live on in your head long after the concert has ended.
Venue: Holy Trinity Church, South Street, St Andrews