Almost-Symphonies

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Johann Christian Bach settled in London in the early 1760’s. Eventually called John Bach, the son of Johann Sebastian dominated the English music scene for the next 20 years. During the 1770’s the Symphonie Concertante was a popular musical form. Not quite a symphony, the form gave prominent roles to 2 or more instruments. Bach’s Sinfonia Concertante in C had solo parts for flute, oboe, violin and cello.

The Sinfonietta by E J Moeran (photo) was commissioned by the BBC in 1944. It was written for a Mozart-sized orchestra. The work was also laid out in a classical form. It became a favorite of conductor Sir Thomas Beecham who gave it several performances. Many consider the Sinfonietta to be Moeran’s masterpiece.

If people know Bruce Montgomery’s music, it’s probably from his work for the “Carry On” films in Great Britain. His Concertino for String Orchestra has echoes of the English tradition of the previous fifty years, but is also tinged with a new modernism. The work was written in 1950.

We’ll hear these works on An English Pastorale Sunday morning at 9.

JC Bach – Symphonie concertante in C Major
E J Moeran – Sinfonietta
Bruce Montgomery – Concertino for String Orchestra

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