Ulster Orchestra - Britten, Haydn, Moeran
Concert featuring the Ulster Orchestra. Britten: Suite on English Folk Tunes: A Time There Was, Op 90. Haydn: Arianna a Naxos. Britten: Phaedra. Moeran: Sinfonietta.
Live from the Ulster Hall in Belfast, John Toal introduces the Ulster Orchestra, conductor Rumon Gamba and Radio 3 New Generation Artist, the mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnston performing music by Britten, Haydn and Moeran.
Britten composed his Suite on English Folk Tunes: A Time There Was, Op. 90, for the Aldeburgh Festival a year before his death. The work's subtitle is a quotation from Thomas Hardy's poem, "Before Life and After". Britten dedicated the work "lovingly and reverently" to Percy Grainger.
Haydn composed the emotionally fraught but vocally brilliant solo cantata "Arianna a Naxos" in 1789. Arianna is a princess of Crete - she awakens, pining for her absent lover Theseus, but soon discovers she has been betrayed.
"Phaedra," Op. 93 by Benjamin Britten is a majestic cantata for mezzo-soprano, and one of very last works written by the composer before his death in 1976. Phaedra is suffering from unrequited love for Hippolytus, the son of her husband and his former wife. Phaedra causes Hippolytus's death and then, filled with remorse, she takes her own life.
The concert comes full circle with Moeran's Sinfonietta. In this piece, the Celtic twist and folk-like character of Moeran's musical personality are never too far away.
Britten: Suite on English Folk Tunes: A Time There Was, Op 90
Haydn: Arianna a Naxos, Hob.XXVIb/2 *
Britten: Phaedra, Op. 93 *
Jennifer Johnston, mezzo soprano*
Rumon Gamba, conductor.