Thursday 2 Nov 2017, 6pmRoyal Festival Hall, London

Zsolt-Tihamér Visontay violin

Fabrizio Falasca violin

Adrián Varela violin

Jan Regulski violin

Gijs Kramers viola

Ella Rundle cello

Gareth Sheppard bass

Julian Rowlands bandoneon

Prokofiev Sonata for two violins, Op. 56

Piazzolla Estaciones Porteñas

In a programme spanning two continents, classical influences inspire works by two giants of music.

Prokofiev, remarked in his biography that once, after hearing an ‘unsuccessful’ piece for two violins, ‘it struck me that in spite of the apparent limitations of such a duet one could make it interesting enough to listen to for ten or fifteen minutes’. Built from a Baroque form popularised by Corelli, his response unites virtuosic violin writing with moments of exquisite sweetness.

Rhythmically charged and inventive, Piazzolla composed the movements of his Four Seasons of Buenos Aires between 1965 and 1970. They epitomise his distinct style: a fusion of his beloved traditional tango with classical techniques learned studying in Paris with Nadia Boulanger. But alongside the fiery dances lies surprising tenderness – Winter recedes with a gentle melody fading to silence.

In the evening programme at 7.30pm, the Philharmonia performs works from a century earlier in a programme of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Brahms.

This concert is part of the Philharmonia Chamber Players series