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In Paris - music by Chevalier de Saint-Georges, Mozart and Haydn

Saturday October 1, 2022 at 19:45
St Lawrence Church, Chobham, Woking
£20, £15. £5 for young people up to 18
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  1. Symphony in G major Op 11 No 1 - Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges
  2. Symphonie concertante in G major Op 13 No 2 - Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges
  3. Symphony No 85 in B flat, 'La reine' - (Franz) Joseph Haydn
  4. Symphony No 31 in D, 'Paris' K 297 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  5. 3rd movement: Presto, from Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola and orchestra in E flat K 364 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Paris in the 1770s and 1780s. Louis XVl and Marie Antoinette are on the throne but a whiff of revolution is already in the air. The cosmpolitan, culturally-vibrant, teeming, restless French capital inspires three musicians of genius: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn and Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-Georges.

Of these three contemporaries, Saint-Georges, born in Guadeloupe, the illegitimate son of an aristocratic French plantation owner and an African slave woman, was probably the most dazzling star, yet his music faded into obscurity. In 18th century Paris, he was fêted as a composer, conductor, virtuoso violinist and soldier and the finest swordsman in Europe, and was music teacher to the Queen at the Royal Court.

Today the work of this Frenchman is enjoying a revival. Saint-Georges has been described as the “Black Mozart”, but his music stands on its own merits without the need for association with other masters and his own name is again finding widespread fame. The lives and music of Saint-Georges, Mozart and Haydn, were intertwined – Saint-Georges commissioned Haydn’s Paris symphonies, for example – and therein lies the inspiration for this concert.

St Lawrence Church
High Street
Chobham, Woking
GU24 8AA

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