New version of Benjamin Britten's Double Concerto for String Orchestra

New version of Benjamin Britten's Double Concerto for String Orchestra
© Snape Maltings

On June 6, the Royal Academy of Music Strings conducted by John Wilson will perform the world premiere of Colin Matthews' new arrangement of Benjamin Britten's Double Concerto for Violin and Viola and String Orchestra from Snape Maltings Concert Hall, UK.

Britten wrote his ambitious and confident large-scale concerto for violin and viola when he was only 18 and still a student, and the piece remained unperformed until it was premiered at the 50th Aldeburgh Festival in 1997. This new string orchestra arrangement, played by soloists Charlie Lovell-Jones and Julie Park, will be a wonderful addition to the string orchestra repertoire.

The version for chamber orchestra is also available from Chester Music.

To explore further, browse our catalogues of Works for String Orchestra and Soloist and String Orchestra, or sample the selection below.

Ten Works for String Orchestra

Param Vir Before Krishna (1987)
Winner of the Britten Composition Prize, Indian-born Param Vir’s early essay for strings was inspired by myths surrounding the birth of the Hindu deity.

Britta Byström Two Walks (A Walk to Biber / A Walk to Britten) (2016)
Byström’s promenades succinctly capture the hallmarks of their subject’s musical personality; a snapshot preserved in the composer’s own musical world.

Julius Eastman The Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc (1981, arr. 2021)
Originally scored for 10 cellos, Eastman’s propulsive 20-minute work is now available in an arrangement for string orchestra.

Gabriela Lena Frank Leyendas: An Andean Walkabout (2001)
Lena Frank draws on her Peruvian heritage in a celebration of the multiple coexisting cultures of the Andes.

Aaron Jay Kernis Elegy - for those we lost (2020)
Kernis composed this personal response to the global pandemic as an act of solidarity in the hope that listeners “can find a space of solace to reflect, remember and mourn”.

Thea Musgrave Green (2014)
A short work about conflict expressed through the clash of opposing musical forces, but also a celebration of nature and of youth.

Kaija Saariaho Nymphea Reflection (2001)
This six-movement work has its roots in Saariaho's earlier Nymphea for quartet and electronics. In its final movement the performers are instructed to whisper lines from a poem by Arseny Tarkovsky. “The text is not heard as such,” writes the composer, “but its spirit is present in the whole work”.

Pierre Boulez Livre pour Cordes (1968)
Boulez’s radical re-composition of a pair of movements from his Livres pour Quatuor resulted in a richly polyphonic work quite different in tone from the work on which it is based.

Witold Lutosławski Musique funèbre (1958)
A modern classic of the string orchestra repertoire dedicated to the memory of Bela Bartók. The single-movement work opens and closes with a series of canons, which dominate the piece to haunting effect.

John Tavener The Lamb (1982, arr. 2006)
Tavener’s much-loved four-part carol has an equally beguiling effect in this arrangement for strings.

Listen to our Music for Strings playlist

For more information, please contact your local Wise Music Promotion Team. See Contact Us.

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