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Saturday 5th July 2014  7.30
Guest conductor:  Tom Hammond

Overture Le Carnaval Romain Berlioz

Marche Slave Tchaikovsky

Piano Concerto No 1 – Chopin
Soloist: Karen Kingsley

Variations on an Original Theme, Enigma Elgar

HSO end their 52nd season with a bang, or quite of bit of noise at least!  The Overture ‘Le Carnaval Romain’ by Berlioz is full of high spirits and is followed by Tchaikovsky’s stirring ‘Marche Slave’ – a rallying cry composed in 1876 in support of Serbians wounded during their war of independence against the Ottoman Empire.  Both pieces make great use of our brass and percussion sections.

In a much gentler vein, renowned local pianist Karen Kingsley joins us for the 1st Piano Concerto by Chopin.  Karen will delight us with the beautiful melodies and decorative pianistic touches which are so typical of Chopin’s music.  Chopin himself gave the first performance of it in 1830 before leaving Poland to settle in Paris.

Elgar’s Variations on an Original Theme – ‘Enigma’ – has inspired much discussion and speculation since its publication in 1899.  The ‘Enigma’ of the title is the theme itself which, according to Elgar, is only alluded to, not actually played.  It is not known exactly what the theme is to which he refers or even whether it is a musical theme or something else entirely.  All the variations are musical portraits of Elgar’s family and friends, the most famous being the one entitled ‘Nimrod’, now frequently used at solemn occasions, which is a portrait of Elgar’s publisher friend Augustus Jaeger.  The other variations depict everyone from Elgar’s wife to a friend’s bulldog! 

Karen Kingsley

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