Despite having been written in around 1880, English-Czech composer Agnes Tyrrell’s Overture in C minor ‘The King in Israel’ only received its world premiere in 2018. Much about this woman in a man’s world remains a mystery but what is clear is that this piece, with its luscious Romantic harmonies and rich textures, can rightfully take its place alongside any Beethoven, Mendelssohn or Brahms overture.
Dvořák wrote his charming Czech Suite just as he was on the cusp of fame, perfectly capturing the zeitgeist for incorporating exuberant folk melodies and the bucolic sounds of countryside into classical music. It is followed by the gorgeous little encore Songs my Mother Taught Me.
Composed early in his career while he was studying with Haydn, Beethoven wrote these 12 contrasting dances for the hugely popular Viennese public dances.They may appear frivolous but listen carefully to No 7 and you may just hear a tune familiar from the ‘Eroica’ symphony. And that segues nicely into tonight’s final piece, the ‘Emperor’ concerto; the grand, heroic pinnacle of Beethoven’s piano concerti that never fails to please the crowd.
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