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The Lark Ascending

Thea Musgrave Light at the End of the Tunnel
Ravel Introduction and Allegro
Anna Meredith Music for Ravens
Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending
Mendelssohn Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20

Elena Urioste violin
Principal players of Aurora Orchestra

Fri 26 February, 7.00pm & 9.00pm
Hall One, Kings Place

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. While Vaughan Williams’s music is often hailed as quintessentially British, much of his 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 previously-unheard masterpieces by the likes of Schubert, Mozart, Bach, Bellini and Schumann.

Please note, this will be a short concert with no interval. There will be two showings, at 7.00pm and 9.00pm.

Photo © Daniel Cavazos