Norfolk Symphony Orchestra Concert – Impressionist France


Norfolk Symphony Orchestra is bringing the vivid colours and sounds of French Impressionist music to St. Nicholas Chapel in King’s Lynn on Sunday 25th March. This fabulous era of music focuses on mood and atmosphere and breaks many of the traditional rules of counterpoint and harmony; it generates strong feelings and thoughts that make it some of the most powerful, emotional and stunning music ever written.

Works by Debussy, Ravel and Chausson will provide contrasting but equally beautiful expressive styles in a programme conducted by Musical Director Phillips Hesketh.

Debussy’s Prélude à l’après midi d’un faune, is most famous for its melodic lines on the flute which are intoxicating to hear and has such wonderful seductively floating melodic phrases. Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloe (Suite 2), brings one of the finest and most powerful ever depiction of daybreak. With opulent orchestration, yearning melodies and sumptuous harmonic colouring, it combines with great rhythmic drive in the finale to create one of the composer’s most masterful pieces. Then his Tombeau De Couperin, 6 pieces written originally for the piano, of which 4 are set for orchestra, are very sweet and poignant due to their connections with World War One. In its orchestral setting the work gives the woodwind, in particular, some wonderful yet challenging melodies.

Chausson’s Poeme for violin and orchestra is an intense piece for soloist and orchestra alike. Originally named “The Song of Love Triumphant”, this work reflects the melancholy and introspection in Chausson’s character. Philippa Barton, the orchestra’s leader will be the soloist.

Philippa began playing the violin at the age of six. She studied at the Royal College of Music with Trevor Williams and Dona Lee Croft, during which time she led both the RCM Chamber Orchestra and the Young Musicians’ Symphony Orchestra. Philippa was a member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra for 3 years before she decided to return to London to freelance with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the London Mozart Players and the City of London Sinfonia. Her solo performances have included Tchaikovsky, Bruch, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi concerti, Vaughan Williams’ Lark Ascending, and Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Cello

Philippa is delighted to be performing Chausson’s Poeme with the NSO and said of the piece, ‘it presents plenty of challenges, as some of my pupils can testify, as their eyes pop, looking at the density of the notes! Emotionally, I have to distance myself from my normally (hopefully) sunny disposition, finding the depths of despair, but happily returning to a sunnier mood at the end. I am really looking forward to leading the orchestra and audience through this musical journey’

Philippa has worked with Philip Hesketh over many years and they form a powerful and talented musical team.

This concert will be a wonder of beauty and passion, done the French way, surely a truly exciting day to look forward to.

Norfolk Symphony Orchestra is committed to producing music of the highest quality, performing varied and exciting programmes and the orchestra will once again be giving away 100 free tickets to under 18’s throughout this season. It is hugely encouraging for the orchestra to find that there are so many enthusiastic supporters of classical music amongst the young people of the county and we hope families will come along and enjoy this concert in the beautiful acoustics of the Chapel.

Tickets are £16 and the concert starts at 3.30pm.Tickets are available from the box office on: 01553 764864 or on line at