Robert Matthew Walker: Concertante on a Theme of Paganini for piano and double string orchestra Opus 168 (2020)


On Wednesday October 21st at St John’s Smith Square at 1.00pm Mark Bebbington with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jan Latham- Koenig will give the world premiere of a new work of mine:

I completed this work in May of this year.  It is based on Paganini’s 24th Caprice and is a substantial piece (about 26-28 minutes) in one movement; It is largely intended as a divertimento-like work in four continuous sections. The piano writing is quite brilliant and virtuosic at times as well as containing light and popular elements alongside more serious an  contemplative sections.

The Concertante is to be recorded very soon by these forces for the SOMM label, and although the Government’s distancing regulations require the string strength to be reduced, I am convinced that the fine acoustics of St Johns, plus the excellence of the RPO players will do the work justice. Mark Bebbington is of course a superb pianist; he commissioned the Concertante which is dedicated to him. I am flattered that the admirable musician Jan Latham-Koenig will be conducting.

The programme is the British part of a French-UK pair of concerts – the first all-French is this coming Friday, October 2, mainly Poulenc, including the Aubade with the RPO  under Jan Latham-Koenig. The programme on the 21st also contains  Finzi’s profound Eclogue for piano and string orchestra and Doreen Carwithen’s admirable 1948 Concerto for the same forces of course. My new work comes in the middle.


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