Saint-Saëns jokingly told his publisher that his Violin Sonata should be called “the hippogriffsonata”, insinuating that only a mythical creature could play the violin part. Written in the year between his widely-known masterpiece Carnival of the Animals and his “Organ” Symphony, Saint-Saëns treats the listener to an abundance of glistening colours that are distinctly French.
Echoes of Beethoven’s violin works surface occasionally in the Saint-Saëns Sonata, so it is fitting that the former’s “Spring” Sonata opens this concert – a piece with its own celebrity-status, even featuring in the stage show Fame and being a staple of violin exams across the world. Beethoven’s 5th sonata is a true conversation between instruments and will envelop you with its remarkably hushed serenity.
The entire programme, which includes Mozart, Gershwin and Gao Ping, evokes an unabashed sense of joy and playfulness. And with the hugely talented duo that is Amalia Hall and Stephen De Pledge bringing it to life, you’ll be in for an evening of soaring, expansive and heroic music, and thrilling virtuosity.
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