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Principal Players of Aurora Orchestra with Elena Urioste

The Lark Ascending

Thea Musgrave Light at the End of the Tunnel
Ravel Introduction and Allegro
Anna Meredith Music for Ravens
Vaughan Williams arr. Farrington The Lark Ascending
Mendelssohn Octet in E-flat, Op. 20
Elena Urioste violin
Sally Pryce harp
Tom Service presenter
Principal Players of Aurora Orchestra

Live streaming from Hall One at Kings Place. Available on demand until 23:59 Sun 7 Mar.


The digital programme for this evening’s performance is available here.

Out of the darkest winter, birdsong, light and new beginnings.

Our Resident Orchestra 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 Orchestra for an intimate chamber arrangement of this shimmering, idyllic ode to nature by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

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.

Principal Players of Aurora Orchestra with Elena Urioste

The Lark Ascending