"Just occasionally we have the great good fortune to be involved in a truly special musical event. So it was when Nadine Benjamin joined me and the Norfolk Symphony Orchestra in Strauss’s Four Last Songs. She is, of course, an artist of rare quality whom we shall all be seeing much more of before long. However, something just went right, soloist and orchestra breathed as one, and St Nicholas Chapel in King’s Lynn was, for a short while, a very magical place to be. I can’t remember the last time I saw an audience so deeply moved – quiet applause, tears, yet a standing ovation!"




The two mighty works in this programme are both referred to as “cinematic”, although in neither case was this intended by the composer. Rachmaninov’s gorgeous Piano Concerto No.2 brought the composer great success at its premiere in 1901 but, to many people, it will always be best known in its guise as soundtrack to David Lean’s 1945 film Brief Encounter.

Another brief encounter, a much darker one, took place on 22nd January 1905 in St Petersburg when unarmed protesters were fired on and massacred by members of the Imperial Guard. This “Bloody Sunday” led to the 1905 Revolution and it is the subject of Shostakovich’s titanic 11th Symphony. This has been described as “a film score without a film” as it depicts the events of the day in one huge sweep of narrative sound. As with so many of this composer’s major works, it is many-layered and holds coded references to more contemporary events - Shostakovich’s own son is said to have asked him “Papa, what if they hang you for this…”. 


The Norfolk Symphony Orchestra works hard to provide the best symphonic music around. With an exceptional Music Director and Leader we attract many international soloists to play with us. Our friendly and approachable membership comes from Norfolk, and surrounding counties. 

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