Every day is a school day and Thursday is no exception! Learn a little and listen a lot, as University of Southampton student and Concert Promotions Intern Rosie Sewell takes us through her Classical playlist piece by piece – or just listen to the whole playlist at once for perfect work/study from home atmosphere…

1. Beethoven Symphony Op 55, No 3 in E-flat Major Eroica 
Recording: Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt

This year is Beethoven’s 250th birthday, and there’s no better way to celebrate it than with his Eroica symphony. This is a symphony about heroism and humanism, as it was dedicated to Napoleon. Its grandeur, comedy, tragedy and lyrical melodies throughout make it a vast and enjoyable listening experience.


2. Dvořák String Quartet Op 96, No 12 in F Major The American I. Allegro ma non troppo
Recording: Škampa Quartet

Dvořák wrote this piece while he was in the United States, and it incorporates American folk and hymn tunes throughout. This energetic, vivacious quartet will transport you to the American plains while you have to stay inside!


3. Charles Villiers Stanford Beati quorum via
Recording: The Sixteen, Harry Christophers

Beati quorum via is a staple in the repertoire of Cantores Michaelis, who are the choral scholars of the University of Southampton. Cantores have frequented Turner Sims before, performing Gregorian chant in the autumn of 2019. Stanford’s piece is tranquil and full of beautiful harmonies, sung here by The Sixteen.


4. Schubert Piano Sonata in B Major, D 575: 1. Allegro ma non troppo 
Recording: Paul Lewis

Paul Lewis is one of our most popular and regular visitors to Turner Sims, and is well known for his interpretations of Schubert. Lewis opened the Spring 2016 season at Turner Sims with this sonata, and it is from his most recent album ‘Weber & Schubert.’ Lewis describes the sonata as ‘Haydnesque in the way he pokes fun at the listener’, and is ‘rare’ and ‘untroubled’ – perfect escapism material!


5. Elgar Cello Concerto in E Minor, Op 85:1. Adagio – Moderato
Recording: Sheku Kanneh-Mason, London Symphony Orchestra

This cello concerto is a staple in the cello repertoire, and its opening few minutes are famously dramatic and beautiful. This recording is played by Sheku Kanneh-Mason, winner of the Young Musician of the Year 2016, and a new household name thanks to his performance at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.


6. Massenet Méditation from Thaïs
Recording: Nicola Benedetti, London Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Hardin

This intermezzo from the opera Thaïs is poignant, hypnotic and peaceful. The music is indulgent and full of amazing harmonies, so just sit back and relax for this one!


7. Mozart Piano Concerto No 17 in G Major, K 53
Recording: Mitsuko Uchida, Cleveland Orchestra

Mitsuko Uchida visited Turner Sims in Autumn 2016, and performed Mozart’s Sonata in C major. Her fantastic interpretation of Mozart’s music continues in this recording of his seventeenth Piano Concerto, which she recorded with the Cleveland Orchestra. This recording is exciting and full of colour – well worth a listen.


8. Haydn String Quartet in G minor, Op 20, No 3, Hob III: 33: 1: I. Allegro con spirit
Recording: Dudok Quartet Amsterdam

The Dudok Quartet are well known for their interpretations of Haydn, and were set to perform this piece at Turner Sims on 21st April. This quartet is simultaneously jovial and intensely expressive, leaving us with a feeling of awe and excitement at the end.


9. Bruch Kol Nidrei, Op 47
Recording: Jacqueline du Pré, Daniel Barenboim, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

This beautiful concerto is elegant and eloquent, and none play it better than Jacqueline du Pré. Full of stunning melodies and emotion, this piece works perfectly for the cello. A firm favourite and deserving of a place on all classical playlists!


10. Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet, Op 64, Act 1: No 13, Dance of the Knights
Recording: André Previn, London Symphony Orchestra

This well-known orchestral suite from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet is sure to prompt some singing along and foot tapping. At this section of the ballet, the Montagues and Capulets have a violent encounter, and then go to the Capulet’s masquerade ball, where Romeo and Juliet first meet. This grandiose suite matches the high dramatic levels of the ballet, and is a rousing and exciting piece of music.


11. Piazzolla arr. MacGregor Libertango – Arr. by Joanna MacGregor for Piano Solo
Recording: Joanna MacGregor Live in Buenos Aires

Joanna MacGregor recently visited Turner Sims (January 2020), and performed an exciting combination of Ligeti, Liszt, Wagner and Schubert. MacGregor’s bold programmes are always full of beauty, flair and passion, and there is no better showcase of this than her Libertango arrangement. This powerful recording is full of stylistic attitude, and holds your attention from beginning to end.


12. Holst The Planets, Op 32: 4. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity
Recording: Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

Our Orchestra in Association, SÓN, presented this fantastic work at Turner Sims over their SÓN weekend this March. Alongside artist James Mayhew, SÓN took us on a journey through this rousing work, and reminded us how much we loved it! Full to the brim with memorable melodies and exciting instrumentation, this piece is nothing short of sensational.

Listen to Rosie’s Classical Thursday Playlist

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