top of page
BSO banner Spring.jpg

Spring concert
Saturday 25 March

Church of St Peter and St Paul, Deddington

Halvorsen: Norwegian Rhapsody No. 1
Dvorak: A Hero's Song
Amy Beach: Gaelic Symphony

Programme notes

For our first concert of 2023 Banbury Symphony Orchestra's programme features music that paints glorious pictures from late 19th and early 20th century composers from around the world.

  • Halvorsen: Norwegian Rhapsody No. 1

  • Dvorak: symphonic poem A Hero's Song

  • Amy Beach: Gaelic Symphony

Johan Halvorsen (1864-1935), one of the pillars of Norwegian music in the early 1900s, was a composer, conductor and violinist. His compositions were a development of the national romantic tradition exemplified by Edvard Grieg, though written in a distinctive style marked by innovative orchestration.

The rhapsody form had become popular through the Hungarian rhapsodies Franz Liszt composed in the 1840s and following decades. Halvorsen’s Norwegian Rhapsody No. 1 was written in 1919 and consists of three sections, all based on Norwegian folk tunes, orchestrated creatively and effectively.


A Hero's Song was Antonín Dvořák’s final symphonic poem and last orchestral work, composed in 1897. It was premiered in Vienna  in 1898, with Gustav Mahler (a friend and supporter of Dvořák) conducting the Vienna Philharmonic.


Amy Beach’s Gaelic Symphony (or Symphony in E minor), Op. 32, was written in 1894 when Beach was barely 30 years old and in the throes of forming her own compositional style. It was the first symphony composed and published by a female American composer and was premiered in Boston on 30 October 1896 to public and journalistic acclaim. Beach drew inspiration for the large orchestral work from simple old English, Irish and Scottish melodies, and subtitled the work 'Gaelic'.

The symphony is divided into four contrasting movements. With a full romantic harmonic structure and rich orchestration, together with a glimpse of the horizons of modern music, Beach's Gaelic Symphony set her apart as a prominent female composer at the turn of the twentieth century.

We are delighted to be returning to the church of St Peter and St Paul in Deddington and we look forward to welcoming you there.


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

Advance booking strongly recommended.

bottom of page