In spite of the stereotypical British reserve, English music has been open-minded, rampantly expressive and nostalgic for a past that no longer exists; however idyllic, there is always something dark and deep between the notes. When the ghost of the Brexit has disappeared, the melancholy and nostalgia that traditionally run through British music will become a living thing.
The central Larghetto from Elgar’s Serenade for Strings is anchored in British collective memory. Although Gerald Finzi wrote the Bagatelles as an afternoon entertainment during the war years, it is wonderfully intimate music. Gustav Holst’s
St. Paul’s Suite is British to the bone: melodic, melancholic, mixed with folk melodies and even a short cameo of the well-known English traditional Greensleeves. Finzi’s brilliant clarinet concerto is no less sensitive than the other works on the program, but it already contains sparks of modernism.
A special, festive New Year’s concert!