RH & Boho Strings | David Ramael | RULE BRITTANIA
In spite of the stereotypical British reticence, English music has always been open-minded, unrestrainedly expressive, and nostalgic for a past that no longer exists (and perhaps never existed); however idyllic English music may sound, there is always something dark and deep under the notes. When in a few years’ time the ghost of the Brexit will have cleared up, and England has regained the "splendid isolation" it has been craving since the early Middle Ages, the melancholy and nostalgia that has always permeated British music will become a living pain. Until that time, and for a long time afterwards, this programme will treat you to music that is carefree and glowingly melancholic, whether it concerns the earliest works by Edward Elgar, or the most mature output by Gerald Finzi. The Serenade for Strings op. 20 (1892) is the first work Edward Elgar found acceptable after deciding to devote himself full-time to composition; the central Larghetto is anchored in British collective memory. Gerald Finzi looked down on the Bagatelles he wrote for the war years (1941-1943) as an afternoon entertainment, but this modesty does not alter the fact that it is wonderfully intimate music. Gustav Holst could only compose in his spare time, but he did have the orchestra of St. Paul's girls' school at his disposal to try out his pen fruits. The St. Paul's Suite (1912) is British to the bone: melodic, melancholic, veined with folk melodies, and even a short cameo of the well-known Greensleeves. Finzi's genius clarinet concerto is no less sensuous than the other works on the programme, but it already contains sparks of modernism. Roeland Hendrikx has privileged access to it through his teacher Thea King: King is the widow of Frederick Thurston who created the concerto in 1949, and she has successfully inoculated his and her love for Finzi on Roeland.
E. Elgar - Serenade voor Strijkers Op. 20
C. Stanford - Fantasy n° 1
G. Holst - St. Paul’s Suite
G. Finzi - Concerto voor klarinet en strijkers