Britten Sinfonia: Musical Everests

Norwich Lanes

Arcangelo Corelli Concerto Grosso No 2, Op 6
Michael Tippett Fantasia Concertante on a theme of Corelli
Elizabeth Maconchy Symphony for Double String Orchestra
Joseph Phibbs New work (world premiere)
William Walton Finale from Variations on an Elizabethan Theme

Britten Sinfonia reveals music written by British composers in 1953 which scaled dizzying artistic heights – perhaps their crowning achievements – and yet is rarely heard today.

70 years ago, in May 1953, the UK was breathlessly awaiting news of Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s attempt to scale Earth’s highest point and eagerly anticipating The Queen’s coronation.

Tippett’s wonderful fantasia transforms musical materials from the Corelli Concerto Grosso which precedes it, using the original theme as its points of departure and ultimate return. Elizabeth Maconchy’s Symphony is an underexposed masterpiece, influenced by Baroque counterpoint but compellingly written in a highly personal style. Walton’s finale goes back to music from the court of Elizabeth I, and in this coronation anniversary year, Britten Sinfonia also play a substantial new piece by Joseph Phibbs.