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Sounds of Autumn
Saturday 26 November

Deddington Church

Grieg: 'In Autumn' Overture
Rachmaninov: Variations on a Theme of Paganini
Soloist: Madalina Rusu

Kalinnikov: Symphony No. 1

Programme notes

Banbury Symphony Orchestra’s autumn concert programme brings you a wonderful mix of romantic favourites and lesser-known gems.

We start our concert with Edvard Grieg’s early concert overture, ‘In Autumn’, written in 1865 while Grieg was still in his 20s. Using characterful Norwegian folk themes Grieg creates a vivid impression of the autumn landscapes that he loved, meanwhile displaying his skill at orchestral writing.


To end the first half of our programme, the orchestra is delighted to welcome back Madalina Rusu our fantastic piano soloist. She will perform a well-known concert-hall favourite - Sergei Rachmaninov’s exciting and hugely colourful Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini Op 43 for piano and orchestra.


Although not strictly titled as a piano concerto, the Rhapsody adopts a single-movement form in which Paganini’s original theme is forged into a masterful set of 24 variations, broadly grouped into three main sections. The romantic 18th variation, which ends the ‘second group’ of variations, is often played on its own, and has been used as a soundtrack for numerous films.


Our second half consists of a single piece, the Symphony No 1 in G minor by Vasily Kalinnikov. The Russian Kalinnikov was only 34 when he died from tuberculosis in early 1901. To make ends meet, he often resorted to playing bassoon, timpani or violin in theatre orchestras.


Kalinnikov’s musical output includes two symphonies and a variety of orchestral pieces, piano works and songs, but it is his Symphony No 1 on which his musical reputation now principally rests. The symphony is full of delightful Russian folk tunes and is excellently crafted throughout. Although the work starts in a minor key, the last movement ends triumphantly in G major after re-visiting and adapting themes from earlier movements.


Tickets are £10 and 18s and under remain FREE!

Advance booking strongly recommended.


Please do not attend if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 or if you feel unwell.