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Performance details

Saturday 23 July 2022 at 7.30pm
Melbourne Recital Centre

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Melbourne Symphony Orchestra
Dale Barltrop director & violin
Stephen Newton tenor


Purcell The Fairy Queen (selections)
Britten Les Illuminations
Ravel (arr. Aitken) String Quartet in F, arranged for string orchestra

About this performance

Join the MSO’s glorious string section for a concert showcasing the beauty and personality of this treasured family of instruments, led by MSO Concertmaster Dale Barltrop.

  • Selections from Purcell’s The Fairy Queen, a semi-opera based on Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream open this charming program.
  • Benjamin Britten, a giant of English composition, composed his song cycle Les Illuminations with text taken from a collection by French poet Arthur Rimbaud. Multi-musically-skilled MSO Double Bassist Stephen Newton performs this cycle as tenor soloist.
  • Ravel’s beloved String Quartet in F has been arranged for string orchestra by Queensland Symphony Orchestra violinist Gail Aitken. This playful piece of French impressionism is the musical equivalent of a Renoir or Monet – shimmering brightness, refreshing spontaneity, and joyful musical colour – making this one of the most adored works in the classical repertoire.

Duration: approx. 100 minutes including interval

Please note: due to a change in repertoire for this program, Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony and Vasks' Cantabile for Strings will no longer be performed.

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