Dukas suggested that his La Péri should evoke ‘translucent, dazzling enamel’ with hints of Persia. Debussy’s Spanish-inspired Rhapsody for saxophone and orchestra is followed by Brahms’ radiantly sunny, transcendently lyrical Second Symphony. See you there!
Here are some programmes, recordings and videos of our performances. In addition, a complete list of every piece we have performed since 1960 is on the repertoire page in a sortable table.
Many of the sound recordings in the archive were recorded at the Institute of Sound Recording at the University of Surrey by a student on the Tonmeister course.
Some more pictures were taken at a rehearsal in 2014 by Anatol Bologan.
Schumann’s affirmatory Second Symphony precedes Mahler’s orient-inspired masterpiece, in which international artists Janice Watson and John Upperton take us on a journey from heroic energy through autumnal lament to a gloriously existential farewell.
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3, Op. 30
Soloist Masa Tayama
Ireland’s vibrant London Overture is coupled with Rachmaninov’s rhapsodic and virtuosic Third Piano Concerto, starring Masa Tayama. Arthur Bliss’ exuberantly dashing ‘Colour’ symphony - one of the great British masterpieces of the 20th century - spins its magic in the second half.
Debussy: Danse sacrée et Danse profane
Harp soloist Elizabeth Scorah
Our French first concert opens with Berlioz’ mercurial and richly programmatic King Lear. Harpist Elizabeth Scorah features in Debussy’s dreamily evocative Danse sacrée et Danse profane, followed by Ravel’s masterpiece of which he wrote: ‘Sumptuous and subtle, I have created the Greece of my dreams.’
Soloist Martin Bunce
The final concert of this season features four short classics. In the first half, Prokofiev’s seventh symphony is teamed with Arutiunian’s dashing trumpet concerto - featuring our own trumpet principal, Martin Bunce. Afterwards, Borodin’s pint-sized tone poem ‘In the Steppes of Central Asia’ is followed by the careering fire, stirring drums and wild cannon of Tchaikovsky’s ‘1812’ Overture. See you there!
Our third concert of the season features another clever piece of programming: Schubert's delightfully winning Symphony No 5 is followed by Bruckner's shortest symphony: his seismic, turbulent and (finally) transcendent Ninth Symphony.
Soloist Mathieu van Bellen
Beethoven takes pride of place in our second concert: his powerful ‘Prometheus’ Overture and his fabulous violin concerto frame Sibelius' moodily brilliant Symphony No 4. We are delighted to once again feature rising star Mathieu van Bellen and his Guadagnini violin, this time in one of Beethoven's most iconic works.
Soloist Alexander Soares
We open the season with two ‘takes’ on the romantic period pin-up, Manfred: Schumann's broodingly magnificent ‘Manfred’ overture and Tchaikovsky's rich and dramatic ‘Manfred’ symphony. In between we feature serial international prizewinner Alexander Soares in Grieg's endlessly tuneful piano concerto. Not to be missed!
Here are some pictures taken at this concert:
Glazunov Violin concerto in A minor
Soloist Callum Smart
This concert consists of four brief and delightfully contrasting works. Humperdinck's tuneful overture to Hansel and Gretel gives way to Richard Strauss' charming chamber serenade for thirteen wind instruments and Glazunov's scintillating violin concerto (starring previous Young Musician of the Year violin winner Callum Smart). Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances (a very late work) winds up the evening in sardonic, sensual style.
Not to be missed is our third concert, comprising Mahler's stunning Seventh Symphony, written at the height of his success as conductor and composer, and exemplifying his famous quotation: ‘A symphony must be like the world; it must contain everything.’ The seventh is rightly reckoned rather enigmatic, but contains, after a funeral march, the exquisite 'night music' movements and a demented waltz of a scherzo, an exultant climax.