Aaron Copland – Four Dance Episodes from Rodeo
Benjamin Britten – The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra
Sergei Prokofiev – Symphony No. 7 in C sharp minor
27 June 2020, 7.30pm
St John’s Smith Square
Copland’s toe-tapping ‘cowboy ballet’ Rodeo uses folk tunes to evoke quintessentially American ideas of adventure, open spaces and pioneering spirit.
You don’t have to be a young person to love Britten’s thrilling orchestral tour composed for an educational film in 1946. The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra shows off each instrument in turn – as well as the composer’s talents as a master orchestrator – before bringing them all together in a triumphant fugue.
Prokofiev’s final symphony was also officially written with the young in mind, having been commissioned by Soviet children’s radio. Shostakovich described the piece as ‘joyful, lyrical and delightful’, but there is also a persistent undertone of wistfulness, perhaps nostalgia for the composer’s own childhood before the Russian Revolution.