These pages contain programmes and recordings of most of our recent performances. In addition, a list of every piece we have performed since 1960 is on the repertoire page and a history of the orchestra is on the about page.
Many of the sound recordings in this archive were recorded by students on the Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey, for which we are very grateful. Note that explicit approval is required for any photography or recordings, since we must have the consent of everyone involved and pay any extra fees incurred.
Click the programme covers to download the complete programme in PDF format. You can use a browser plugin such as Video & Audio Downloader to download audio and video recordings (start playing the recording to make it appear in the list).
Khachaturian Violin concerto
The final concert of our season opens with the brilliant Festive Overture, a vivacious musical firework. Khachaturian’s concerto is a magnificent whirlwind of powerful emotions and unbridled energy. The Pathétique is a complex mixture of emotions – sorrow, hope, and happiness tinged with a foreboding of despair – a mixture that has ensured its enduring popular appeal.
The Eighth Symphony is a monumental work, full of the composer’s characteristic ‘trade marks’ but taking them further than ever before: a mysterious opening, dramatic climaxes and contrasts, a lively dancing scherzo, a heartfelt slow movement – he believed it was his best one – and finally a very powerful finale which brings it all together in a glorious blaze of triumph.
Scherzo. Allegro moderato – Trio, langsam
Adagio. Feierlich langsam, doch nicht schleppend
Finale. Fierlich, nicht schnell
Mahler Rückert Lieder
Dvořák Symphony No. 7
Suk’s Fairy Tale is a colourful suite of four movements drawn from music he wrote for a theatre piece. Mahler’s set of five songs, based on poems by Friedrich Rückert, share a mood of intimacy and quiet withdrawal. The Seventh Symphony, dramatic and darkly passionate and expressing the defiance of the underdog, is perhaps Dvořák’s greatest.
Concert dedicated to the memory of Malcolm Smith
Sir Edward Elgar
Elgar Cello concerto
Bax’s best known work paints a vivid picture of the Cornish castle of Tintagel, battered by the Atlantic on a sunny day. Elgar’s wonderful concerto, contemplative and elegiac, has become a much loved cornerstone of the cello repertoire. The symphony depicts various London scenes, including the Westminster chimes, hansom cabs, street sellers’ cries, and the moods and tempos of our capital city.
Bax: Tintagel (Note: Closed captions are available by clicking “CC”)
Elgar – Cello Concerto
Our Summer Workshop is an occasion when the orchestra spends a day rehearsing an interesting work then gives an early evening informal performance which audiences may attend at no charge, although a collection is made to help cover our costs. The rehearsal is open to non-member players (who should apply beforehand) and spectators, including (silent) children.
The work to be studied this year is the Symphony in E by Hans Rott, a composer few people have encountered. He was a brilliant fellow student with Mahler, but sadly went mad and died at the age of 25. Mahler greatly admired this symphony, and his own symphonies, the first of which was written 8 years after Rott’s, show very strong influences. Anyone who appreciates Mahler’s music will enjoy this.
11:00 – 12.00 Strings only rehearsal
12:00 – 13:00 Full orchestra rehearsal
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch (Please bring your own picnic lunch – weather permitting, lunch can be eaten outside)
14.00 – 15.30 Rehearsal
15.30 – 16.00 Break
16.00 – 17.30 Rehearsal
17.30 – 18:00 Break
18:00 – 18.15 Introductory talk to audience with possible extracts
18.15 – 19.15 Performance
Strauss Horn Concerto No. 2
Massenet Méditation from Thaïs
Rossini’s overture is very well known, not least for its galloping finale which became the ‘Lone Ranger’ theme music. Music for strings from Walton’s ‘Henry V’ film music calms things down. Strauss’s love for the horn shines though all his orchestral works, and particularly in this late concerto which needs a real virtuoso soloist. We conclude our season with this wonderful symphony, which has been a mainstay of the orchestral repertoire ever since it was written.
Rossini: Overture ‘William Tell’
Walton: Two pieces from ‘Henry V’
Henry V Suite 2 – Passacaglia: The Death of Falstaff
Henry V Suite 4 – Touch her soft lips and part
Richard Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 2
Andante con moto
Rondo (Allegro molto)
Massenet: Méditation from Thaïs
Bernard Brook tribute
Brahms: Symphony No. 4
Allegro Non Troppo
Allegro Giocoso – Poco Meno Presto
Allegro Energico e Passionato – Più Allegro
Ludwig van Beethoven
Beethoven Piano Concerto No 5 ‘The Emperor’
Borodin’s wonderful music is very widely known, much of it having been adapted for use in lighter and popular genres, notably in the musical ‘Kismet’. For Beethoven’s most well loved piano concerto, we are delighted to welcome back Masa, whose previous appearances with us met with such enormous acclaim. Bartók certainly puts the various sections of the orchestra through their paces in his showpiece concerto, a true 20th Century classic.
Arnold Clarinet Concerto No. 2
Berlioz ‘Symphonie Fantastique’
For 2012, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year, we open with Walton’s 1937 coronation march. The poignant ‘Sospiri’ (sighs) cools the mood, ready to be revived by Arnold’s jazzy concerto, originally written for Benny Goodman. In 1830 Berlioz took the musical world into new realms with his vivid picture of passionate but unrequited love that eventually turns into a wild nightmare.