Grace Williams Concert Overture
Mozart Symphony No. 39
R. Strauss Don Quixote
Ryan Bancroft conductor, Alice Neary cello, Rebecca Jones viola.
Born in Barry, Welsh composer Grace Williams had a particular love of writing for orchestra, and her Concert Overture, which we hear today under the baton of Principal Conductor Ryan Bancroft, is a relatively early display of her gift in this genre. We hear this alongside one of Mozart’s final symphonies, his 39th, which is shrouded in mystery. Uncharacteristically Mozart in style, its slow and grand opening leads to an energetic allegro; a drifting andante bounds into the energetic Minuet, with its unforgettable tunes and bubbly arpeggiated features before jumping into the mischievous monothematic finale.
Strauss often used a story to stimulate his musical imagination, and Don Quixote, with his fantasies filled of the stories he read; of enchantments, quarrels, battles, challenges, wooings, loves and storms, provides more than adequate food for thought. Featuring Alice Neary on solo cello as Don Quixote, and Rebecca Williams on solo viola as his servant, Sancho, Strauss tells of the Don’s many escapades in this slightly barmy 10 movement tone poem.