Saturday 27th February 2016

Concert Details

Tonight's concert starts with Estancia by Alberto Ginastera. "Estancia" means "ranch" in Argentine Spanish and this particular Estancia is an orchestral suite extracted from a one-act ballet by Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera. The ballet was commissioned in 1941 by the American dance impresario Lincoln Kirstein, however his dance company was disbanded in 1942, and the work wasn't premiered until after World War 2. The ballet tells the story of a city boy in love with a rancher's daughter. The girl finds the boy a bit of a wimp in comparison with the macho gauchos on the ranch, but by the final scene the boy has won her heart by outdancing the gauchos in the ranch dance contest. Before the ballet's premiere, Ginastera extracted four dances from the score for use as a concert suite, and they tell the story over the course of a day. The first dance "Los trabajadores agricolas" (The Farm Workers) introduces the gauchos with rapid, energetic music. "Danza del trigo" (Wheat Dance) is a quieter movement that builds gradually, leading into "Los peones de hacienda" (The Cattlemen) which is another fast dance where the gauchos come together for the competition. The concluding movement "Danza final - Malambo", is the competative dance where the gauchos strive to outdo one another. This movement has gone on to become one of Ginastera's most popular works.

Our second piece tonight is Rapsodie Espagnole by Maurice Ravel. In this work, Ravel draws on his maternal Basque heritage to bring us a four-part dance suite with a heavy Spanish influence that depicts different times of the day. The opening movement "Prélude à la Nuit" (Prelude to Night) paints an image of a star-filled summer night with a gentle breeze blowing. A flamenco-style dance, the "Malagueña" follows next, bringing the dawn of a new day. The third movement, "Habanera" (an Afro-Cuban dance) evokes the feeling of a hot, hazy mid-day drawing the audience into an afternoon siesta with it's tempo heading "Rather slow and with a weary rhythm". The tension built up in the previous three movements is finally released in the final movement "Feria". This is the longest, and most spectacular of the four movements. It is a boisterous depiction of a folk fair, a busy gathering where songs, dances and the carnival atmosphere compete for our attention.

Our final work is Symphony No. 2 by Serge Rachmaninov. At the time he wrote this, Rachmaninov had been through years of deep depression following the harsh criticism of his disasterous Symphony No. 1. Finally, after four months of psychological help and hypnosis from Dr Nickolai Dahl, Rachmaninov suddenly overcame his writer's block and produced his Second Piano Concerto (one of his most popular works) followed swiftly by the Second Symphony (which he dedicated to Dr Dahl). Both serve as proof that he had left his difficulties behind. The Symphony has four movements - the first being quite long, starting quietly with a low string theme that pervades the whole Symphony. The second movement is a lively, brilliantly orchestrated scherzo leading into the third movement - the adagio. This opens with a lovely, sighing violin theme which gives way to a beautiful clarinet melody, both of which come together at the end to exchange roles. The finale begins with festive dancing which introduces the movement's big theme. The melody from the slow movement is re-considered before an astonishing passage of descending scales cascades down like the pealing of bells. The big theme heard earlier then returns in octaves, sweeping in the final cadences.

Date: Saturday 27 February, 2016
Time: 7.30pm

Venue: Victoria Rooms, Clifton, Bristol. Click here for a map


  • Ginastera - Estancia
  • Ravel - Rapsodie Espagnole
  • Rachmaninov - Symphony No. 2

Conductor: Jonathan Lo
Leader: Mark Bunker

Tickets are available online here
Buy tickets

Alternatively telephone the Ticketsource Box Office on 0844 8700 887 (calls cost 5p/min). Please note there is an additional fee for using the telephone service.

Tickets will also be available on the door.

The ticket prices are:

  • £15 (£13 concessions) balcony
  • £11 adults (£9 concessions) stalls
  • £5 students
  • £2 children/school parties

Pre-concert talk:
Jonathan will be presenting a free pre-concert talk at 6.45pm.

Saturday 27 February, 2016 - Victoria Rooms

  • Ginastera - Estancia
  • Ravel - Rapsodie Espagnole
  • Rachmaninov - Symphony No. 2

Conductor: Jonathan Lo

Saturday 9 April, 2016, 7pm - Royal West of England Academy of Art

  • Vaughan Williams - Oboe concerto
  • Finzi - Romance in E Flat major
  • Vaughan Williams - Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis
  • Vaughan Williams - The Lark Ascending

Oboe: Lavinia Redman
Violin: Harriet Murray
Conductor: Robert Weaver

Saturday 11 June, 2016 - Victoria Rooms

Programme to include:

  • Rossini - William Tell Overture
  • Geoffrey Poole - Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra

Violin: Madeline Mitchell
Conductor: Jonathan Lo

Saturday 15 October, 2016 - Victoria Rooms

Programme to be confirmed.

Conductor: Jonathan Lo

Saturday 19 November, 2016 - Victoria Rooms

Programme to be confirmed.

Conductor: Jonathan Lo

Musical Director
Jonathan Lo

Mark Bunker

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