Saturday 11th June 2016

Tonight's concert starts with Rossini's thrilling William Tell Overture. William Tell was the last of Rossini's three operas, and the overture is arguably the most famous part of the work. The first section uses the rich tone of the cellos, their quiet yearning shattered by a violent storm. This gives way to an idyllic episode featuring cor anglais and flute. The last section, heralded by a trumpet fanfare contains music of a vigour that Rossini rarely matched again. The overture is perhaps most famously known as the theme music for The Lone Ranger and as a duet performed by Daffy Duck and Porky Pig!

Our second piece tonight is Romance for Violin and Orchestra by Dvorak. Written in 1873, shortly after his marriage, this short and lyrical work is adapted from the slow movement of his F minor string quartet, described as being "infused with the warm air of summer and Bohemian woodlands". The violin melody rides high over gentle chords, with colour added by the warm tones of winds and horns. It is a small-scale work, but it's without doubt one of his most glorious melodic creations.

Geoffrey Poole's new work Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra follows. Written in 2015 especially for Madeleine Mitchell and the Stroud Symphony Orchestra it was premiered in June 2015 as part of a programme focused on Film Music. Poole writes "That presented a challenge but also an opportunity to dispense with many of the more obscure things one might sometimes do as a contemporary composer...writing with the immediacy of a film composer taking the music through a journey of changing moods and scenes. The score bears a very personal dedication to my dear wife Celia who has brought so much D-majorness into my life."

We are delighted to welcome tonight's soloist Madeleine Mitchell. "The dynamically talented Madeleine Mitchell" (Barry Millington, Evening Standard) is one of Britain's most celebrated violinists, performing as a soloist and chamber musician in over 40 countries. Her recitals have frequently been broadcast by BBC Radio 3, including "Live from the Wigmore Hall", St David's Hall Cardiff, BBC Millennium Series and many festivals. She has been a Professor at the Royal College of Music since 1994 and played at the premiere of Geoffrey Poole's Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra in 2015.

Our final work is Symphony No. 7 by Prokofiev. In 1945, not long after the successful premiere of the Fifth Symphony, Prokofiev suffered a serious fall. The death of his close friend Eisenstein and the harsh criticism received after the premiere of his Sixth Symphony also took their toll. His Seventh Symphony was completed in 1952, just one year before his death and was commissioned by the Children's Division of Moscow Radio who asked for a "simple symphony for young listeners". In the event, the Symphony clearly outgrew this intention. The first movement begins with a brooding string melody in C sharp minor, followed by a "song of aspiration" in F major. The second movement introduces a waltz Prokofiev had written in 1950 with fragments of Glinka-esque ferocious interludes. The soft third movement recalls an idea that he had used in 1936 in his incidental music for a production of Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin". A rondo-sonata finale follows full of Haydn-esque high spirits, with a reappearance of the first theme from the first movement with the music eventually fading away to nothing. This quiet reflective ending wasn't deemed to be very conclusive, so Prokofiev added a short alternative ending which returns to the brighter main subject rounded off with brisk tutti chords.

Concert Details

Date: Saturday 11th June, 2016
Time: 7.30pm

Venue: The Forum, 1a Forum Buildings, St James's Parade, Bath BA1 1UG. Click here for a map and travel information.


  • Rossini - William Tell Overture
  • Dvorak - Romance for Violin and Orchestra
  • Geoffrey Poole - Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra
  • Prokofiev - Symphony No 7

Conductor: Jonathan Lo
Violin: Madeleine Mitchell
Leader: Mark Bunker


For tickets, please see The Forum's website here.

Tickets will also be available on the door.

The ticket prices (including booking fee) are:

  • £13.75
  • £11 Concessions (OAPs)
  • £5.50 students
  • £2.50 children/school parties

PLUS £2.25 (Delivery by Standard Post) or £1.75 (E-ticket delivery) per order.

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

Saturday 11 June, 2016 - The Forum, Bath

  • Rossini - William Tell Overture
  • Dvorak - Romance for Violin and Orchestra
  • Geoffrey Poole - Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra
  • Prokofiev - Symphony No 7

Violin: Madeleine Mitchell
Conductor: Jonathan Lo

Saturday 8 October, 2016 - St Mary Redcliffe

Programme to include:

  • Gjeilo - The Sunrise Mass

With The Harlequin Singers, as part of their 25th Anniversary Concert.

Saturday 15 October, 2016 - Victoria Rooms

  • Reger - Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Mozart
  • Mozart - Clarinet Concerto
  • Brahms - Symphony No 4

Clarinet: Mandy Burvill
Conductor: Jonathan Lo

Saturday 19 November, 2016 - Victoria Rooms

Family Concert - programme to include:

  • John Williams - Star Wars
  • Holst - Planets Suite
  • Bernstein - Symphonic Dances from West Side Story

Conductor: Jonathan Lo

Musical Director
Jonathan Lo

Mark Bunker

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