|Thea Musgrave||Light at the End of the Tunnel|
|Ravel||Introduction and Allegro|
|Meredith||Music for Ravens|
|Vaughan williams||The Lark Ascending|
|Mendelssohn||Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20|
|Principal Players of Aurora Orchestra|
Out of the darkest winter, birdsong, light and new beginnings.
Aurora opens its 2021 season of London Unwrapped performances with a programme marking the centenary of the first performance of The Lark Ascending at the Queen’s Hall in London in 1921. In celebration of its anniversary, Elena Urioste joins Principal Players of Aurora for an intimate chamber arrangement of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ shimmering, idyllic ode to nature.
Maurice Ravel first visited London in 1909 as guest of Vaughan Williams, having taught him for three months in Paris the previous year. Vaughan Williams’ own work shows a clear influence from his French Impressionist friend and teacher. Ravel’s delicate and luminous instrumental textures are showcased in the Introduction and Allegro, which was commissioned by a harp manufacturer to display the expressive range of the instrument.
Two miniatures by living British composers offer radically contrasting musical colours: the angular, frantic energy of Anna Meredith’s Music for Ravens and the consolation offered by Thea Musgrave’s Light at the End of the Tunnel for solo viola, written at the height of the 2020 pandemic. The programme concludes with Mendelssohn’s Octet, the scherzo from which the composer brought with him to London for his first visit in 1829. An instant hit with audiences, the piece sparked a 15-year love affair between the city and the young composer, leading not only to his Italian Symphony (commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society) but also the introduction to London of a host of masterpieces by the likes of Schubert, Mozart, Bach, Bellini and Schumann.