From time to time, I try to get into Elgar, but I’ve never really got very far, but I am very fond of the Serenade for strings. I first heard it at a concert in Lugano, in the Italian part of Switzerland, where I had a summer job one year. The concert was outdoors in a colonnaded courtyard, on a sultry August evening and most of the programme was music to match – all scorching Italian baroque things. Suddenly hearing this was as if a cool damp breeze had wafted through the courtyard, bringing a scent of fresh grass. It was refreshing and delightfully incongruous.
A tightly constructed programme of music by Graźyna Bacewicz. Paul HIndemith and Dmitri Shostokovich reflects both the musical and political moods of the 1930s and 40s.