Lamb & Hayward Curator's Series

Mozart, Pärt, Delius, Stravinsky [SOLD OUT]

Benjamin Northey – Chief Conductor

Mozart – Overture to Don Giovanni

Pärt – Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten

Delius arr. Emil Richards – On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring

Stravinsky – Pulcinella Suite

Mozart needs little introduction – his overture to the 1787 opera Don Giovanni is one of the most hard-hitting openings in opera, setting the scene for one of the art form’s most powerfully elusive protagonists to take the stage.

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was deeply affected by the news of Benjamin Britten’s death in 1976, and dedicated this work to him, with Pärt’s famous minimalist style bringing a depth of emotion to the surface that is mesmerising. Our percussion section features in a setting of Delius’ charming On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring for two marimbas and vibraphone.

Stravinsky wrote the music for Les Ballet Russes’ production of Pulcinella alongside fellow artistic heavyweights of the time choreographer Sergei Diaghilev and set/ costume designer Pablo Picasso. Stravinsky was asked to take inspiration from 18th century Italian musical styles – in a way that makes this music sound rather ‘familiar’ to classical music audiences. Pulcinella is a character who originated in 17th century commedia dell’arte, and this chamber orchestra-sized suite version of Pulcinella was premiered in 1922; several years after the full ballet.