Saturday 18 January 2003

Copland Clarinet Concerto

Kodály Háry János

Rachmaninov Symphony No. 1

Sergei Rachmaninov 1873-1943

Aaron Copland wrote his Clarinet Concerto for Benny Goodman and so it contains hot jazzy elements. We welcome as soloist the brilliant young Sarah Williamson, fresh from her recent successes at prestigious young musicians competitions.

Sarah Williamson

Sarah came to the attention of the British musical public very recently, in the 2002 BBC TV ‘Young Musician of the Year’ competition in which she won the woodwind prize. In the concerto final, she gave a highly memorable performance of the Copland Clarinet Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. Then, representing Britain and competing against twenty other ‘Young Musicians’ from around Europe, Sarah was awarded second prize in the Eurovision ‘Young Musician’ competition in Berlin. She is now studying at the Paris Conservatoire.

An orchestral sneeze, signifying that what follows is of doubtful veracity, introduces Háry János’ far-fetched tales which make the most outrageous claims for his gallantry.

The 24-year-old Rachmaninov was so upset by the poor first performance of his First Symphony that he destroyed the manuscript score. Some 50 years later the orchestral parts were discovered and the importance of the work was then recognized. 2003 is the 60th anniversary of his death (and the 130th anniversary of his birth).

Programme Jan 2003