Preview: Delius's relative, cellist Thomas Carroll conducts Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra
27 Jan 2017
Peter Back previews the next BPO concert:
The Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra brings the light, colour and vibrancy of the Mediterranean to the Dome on Sunday afternoon with a performance of Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony. Written in a sunny room on the Piazza di Spagna in Rome, and completed in Naples, the work is a hymn of praise to the warm south, celebrating Goethe’s ‘land where the lemon-trees bloom’. Such sun-drenched music makes for a perfect antidote to winter blues. Still in his early twenties, Mendelssohn conducted the first performance in London in 1833. Rarely satisfied with his first thoughts, he carried on tinkering with the piece until the day he died, fourteen years later.
Youthful joie de vivre also radiates from the teenage Mozart’s Symphony No. 29, one of the few from his early Salzburg years to have entered the regular repertoire of major symphony orchestras. On becoming a freelance composer in Vienna at the age of twenty-five, the canny composer delved into the already large body of works he had composed years earlier, carefully obliterating the original dates on the autograph scores. The volume containing this symphony was sold at Sotheby’s in 1987 for a record price of nearly four million pounds, a record price for any collection of music sold at auction.
The orchestra will be conducted by Thomas Carroll, rapidly establishing himself in this role alongside that as one the country’s leading cellists. The great great great great nephew of Frederick Delius, Thomas will appear both as soloist and conductor on Sunday in a performance of Haydn’s First Cello Concerto, a work in which lyricism, humour and virtuosity are evenly balanced.