Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra join Festival of Chichester

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Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra returns to this summer’s Festival of Chichester, with conductor Michael Seal and Classical Brit Award-winning cellist Guy Johnston, who will perform one of the best known works of British classical music, Elgar’s Cello Concerto.

The concert is on Thursday, July 6 at 7.30pm in Chichester Cathedral.

Spokeswoman Kerry-Ann Bronner said: “Elgar’s Cello Concerto was the composer’s last major work, perhaps enhancing the sense of poignancy that already pervades the piece. The drawn-out opening chords performed by the solo cello are some of the most memorable in music and for many, the recording by the great cellist Jaqueline du Pré in 1965 has immortalised the piece as a staple of the repertoire. Written in the summer of 1919, the Cello Concerto represented, for Elgar, the angst, despair and disillusionment he felt after the Great War, yet it is one of his most beautiful works, richly lyrical and deeply moving in its intensity of emotions.

“Opening the programme will be Beethoven’s Egmont Overture, a strikingly-original work depicting the life of the Count of Egmont. Beethoven was commissioned by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1809 to write the incidental music for his tragedy about the eponymous 16th-century Dutch leader of the rebellion against Spanish rule in the Netherlands.

“The Overture sets the tragic tone of the play in its opening bars, with its slow, solemn tempo and F minor tonality, and the whole piece acts as a compact tone poem, portraying the course of the drama. Beethoven’s music captures the emotions of a man facing execution, the struggles of the repressed people and the call to revolution and hope of triumph over tragedy in the powerful finale.

“Sibelius’ Symphony No.2 will bring the programme to a close, a bold and unconventional work which the composer labelled as a ‘confession of the soul’.

“It is the most popular and most frequently recorded of Sibelius’ symphonies, with its skilful orchestration and Romantic writing. Despite being composed mainly in the sunny climes of Italy, the piece was adopted by Finland as a national theme for liberation, earning the name of Symphony of Independence. However, the composer denied any programmatic interpretations, maintaining that the piece was a work of pure absolute music.”

Tickets from the Chichester Box Office, The Novium.

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