Ripon’s St Cecilia Orchestra returns to Holy Trinity church with a programme of Essential Classics on Saturday 10th June 2023. An opportunity to explore some of the very best repertoire of the Classical period, the evening pairs Mozart’s beautiful Sinfonia Concertante for violin and viola with Beethoven’s energetic and optimistic Symphony no 2.
The concert opener is Rossini’s overture to the opera The Silken Ladder, one of the 6 Opera Farse (one-act comic operas) he composed between 1810 and 1813. At just over 6 minutes in length, and described as ‘one of Rossini’s most sparkling creations’, the overture was an immediate hit with concert-goers at its premier in 1812 and continues to be enjoyed today, though the opera itself has rather fallen by the wayside.
Next, the orchestra is joined by soloists Danny McCann-Williams (violin) and Katie Jarvis (viola) in Mozart’s Sinfonia Concertante. In the words of Gramophone magazine, the Sinfonia is ‘an iconic work for many Mozart lovers and arguably the greatest music he wrote in Salzburg’. Somewhere between a concerto and symphony, the work gives equal billing to the violin and viola soloists and is notable for its rich string sound.
Danny and Katie are well known to St Cecilia, having played with the orchestra on many occasions, both as members of the string section and as soloists. Danny, who currently plays with the Ulster Orchestra, comments ‘I have very fond memories of my time in Ripon and the solo opportunities afforded to me by St Cecilia Orchestra. I’m very much looking forward to performing again with old friends!’
After the interval comes Beethoven’s Symphony No 2. Written at a time of great depression for Beethoven, as his hearing loss was worsening and he began to realise that there may be no cure, this is nevertheless a joyful and exuberant work. An Eastman music school article notes that ‘the bold, inspired and adventurous spirit of this work foreshadows Beethoven’s heroic style and new symphonic vision that would take full flight in the monumental Eroica Symphony soon to follow’. The energetic finale, full of Beethovian jokes, makes a fitting end to this celebration of Classical music.
Tickets for the performance, priced at £20 for adults and free for under 18s, can be bought online from Ticketsource (www.ticketsource.co.uk/st-cecilia), from the Little Ripon Bookshop and on the door from 7pm on concert day.