European Classics: The English Landscape

Tuesday 19 September 7.30pm 
St George’s Hanover Square, London

Edward Elgar Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85
Ralph Vaughan Williams Symphony no. 5 in D

Conductor George Jackson
Cello Maciej Kułakoswki 

Music by Elgar and Vaughan Williams – two of the greatest British composers – give a distinctive ‘Englishness’ to the next Firebird concert…

When you imagine the quintessential English landscape park or garden the works of Capability Brown probably spring to mind with places such as Stourhead in Wiltshire. 

But this was not just an English phenomenon – it was part of a European-wide movement which was sweeping away the formal symmetry of the gardens of the earlier centuries.

The inspiration for this new wave of landscape was inspired by the idealistic paintings of the likes of Nicolas Poussin and Claude Lorrain (pictured).

It took until the 20th century before the spirit of Englishness was truly captured in a musical sense, and the two works in this concert demonstrate this with real beauty and passion.

Elgar’s iconic Cello Concerto is a cornerstone of the solo cello repertoire. Composed in the aftermath of the First World War its contemplative and elegiac mood captures the sprit of a lost age.

Vaughan Williams

As the perfect foil to this we have a great symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams. An immediate success since its 1943 premiere, many of the musical themes stem from his then-unfinished opera, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

Cover photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash