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Ulster Orchestra - Nielsen, Walton, Vaughan Williams

2 hours
First broadcast:
Sunday 08 May 2011

Recorded at the Ulster Hall, Belfast

Presented by John Toal

Paul Watkins conducts the Ulster Orchestra in a programme which has lyricism at its heart. The concert begins with Nielsen's Helios Overture, written during a holiday with his wife to Athens in January 1903. The music poetically depicts the sun over the Aegean Sea, described in the score as "Tranquillity and darkness - then the sun comes out with a joyous, exultant song. It traces its golden arc and sings peacefully back into the sea". This showpiece is followed by Walton's Viola Concerto - a work which marked a new phase in his career, where lyricism and melancholy played greatly increased roles. Hindemith premiered the work to warm reviews in October 1929, under the baton of the composer himself. In this performance the exceptional Ukrainian viola player Maxim Rysanov takes the solo role in this performance.

The concert concludes with Vaughan Williams's Symphony No. 5. He started to write it in 1938, just before the outbreak of the Second World War, and completed in 1943. While the work's serenity was set against the horrific backdrop of violence taking place throughout Europe at the time, Vaughan Williams conjures up an ever beautiful soundscape, ending in peace and tranquillity.

Nielsen: Helios Overture, Op.17
Walton: Viola Concerto
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.5 in D

Maxim Rysanov (viola)
Ulster Orchestra
conductor Paul Watkins.


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