Hauntingly beautiful and compellingly emotional, Britten’s Serenade is an insightful and imaginative setting of poems which span five centuries of English verse, united under a loosely connecting theme of evening, the night-time and sleep. The music is immediately gripping, the tenor's penetrating vocal lines matched in spades by the wonderful horn calls. It is without question a genuine masterwork of the 20th century.
Mozart’s Symphony No.39 opens grandly, with a darkly dramatic introduction in which orchestral texture and harmonic dissonance increase to near breaking point. This gives way to superlatively crafted work of contrasting melodic invention and rhythmic and contrapuntal exploration. Bach’s orchestral suite in the French style opens with a majestic overture, a curtain raiser to a series of exquisite dances which include the famous ‘Air on a G string’ as well as a jubilant gavotte and final festive gigue.