City of London Sinfonia to launch South Norfolk arts festival

Tony CooperRalph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, composed in 1914, can be enjoyed in a concert by the City of London Sinfonia at Dunston Hall, south of Norwich, launching the inaugural South Norfolk Council's Festival of the Arts on Friday May 22.Tony Cooper

Ralph Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending, composed in 1914, can be enjoyed in a concert by the City of London Sinfonia at Dunston Hall, south of Norwich, launching the inaugural South Norfolk Council's Festival of the Arts on Friday May 22.

A single-movement romance for solo violin and orchestra, the piece - conjuring up the delicate flight of a lark as described in a poem of the same title by George Meredith - will feature Nicholas Ward (CLS' leader/conductor) as soloist. The delicate flourishes and melodies played on the violin are sensitively accompanied by strings and winds immediately evocative of Vaughan Williams' distinct music voice.

A packed programme also comprises the second suite of Handel's Water Music, written for King George I, Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings and Haydn's Trumpet Concerto, written towards the end of the composer's life at the request of a Viennese player who had developed a new trumpet with keys and holes, making the instrument capable of playing all the notes in the chromatic scale rather than just the notes of a simple fanfare. The modern trumpet evolves from this.

Shostakovich is also included in this amazing and varied programme by the CLS with the short movement from his second jazz suite demonstrating his interest in music from other parts of the world. It was written for the USSR State Jazz Band, an ensemble created by Stalin to control the public's taste in popular music.

The programme continues with two pieces composed by William Walton for Laurence Olivier's groundbreaking film, Henry V, while Dvo?�k's E minor Slavonic Dance will create a festive air about the concert that also includes Krein's Gypsy Carnival, a short piece for solo violin and orchestra coloured with a distinctive Bohemian flavour and written by the violin-playing composer to show off his extraordinary technical skills. It was made popular by a recording in the 1960s by the famous Mantovani Orchestra.

The programme concludes with a waltz by none other than the Waltz King of Vienna, Johann Strauss II. Composed in 1889, the Emperor Waltz is one of the most famous waltzes of all time and sums up the glittering society concerts of late 19th-century imperial Vienna.

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t Tickets �22, concs �18; box office - 01603 630000 (Norwich Theatre Royal);

t www.south-norfolk.gov.uk/festival