Aurora Orchestra welcomes soloists Allan Clayton and Pip Eastop for a performance of one of the greatest achievements of 20th-century British music: Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. Composed at the height of World War II and premiered at London’s Wigmore Hall in 1943, Britten’s masterly setting of six poems on the subject of night is immediately recognisable for its haunting, uncanny soundworld, and astonishing marriage of text and music.
Alongside the Serenade, Nicholas Collon conducts Aurora’s string players in works spanning a century of London music-making, from Elgar’s Introduction to Allegro, composed for the London Symphony Orchestra in 1905, to Kate Whitley’s Autumn Songs for 12 solo strings, premiered in 2018. Walton’s exuberant Sonata for String Orchestra was transcribed in 1971 from an earlier String Quartet, with help from fellow British composer Malcolm Arnold; the result is an energetic and charismatic showcase, making full use of the colours and textures the string orchestra has to offer.
Photo © Sim Canetty-Clarke