The Metropolitan Orchestra Presents Three 19th Century Greats

Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams with the Metropolitan Orchestra



In its July 2012 concerts, The Metropolitan Orchestra (TMO) with Chief Conductor Sarah-Grace Williams presents a programme of music by three greats of the 19th century.

There’s a fiery start to the music with Camille Saint-Saëns’ Tarantella opus 6 in A minor for flute, clarinet and orchestra. Taking centre stage with The Tarantella has a fascinating history. It’s originally a dance from the southern Italian seaport of Taranto. The surrounding countryside was a haven for tarantula spiders and it was believed that a spider bite was fatal unless the victim performed a lively dance, as an antidote. According to another belief, that the bite itself caused ‘tarantism’ or dancing mania.

Science has since proven however that the spider’s bite is comparatively harmless.

Flautist Svetlana Yaroslavskaya

A complex orchestral work is next with Ralph Vaughan Williams’  Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis for double string orchestra and string quartet.  The hauntingly modal theme is taken from the third of nine psalm tunes that Tallis composed in 1567. For this TMO concert, the orchestras will be separated creating a very specil acoustic effect – the second orchestra will be placed far from the main orchestra – behind (and, at North Sydney, above!) the audience so that the listeners will be enveloped by the reverbation, the imitation and the echo  of this glorious and quintessentially English music.

Finally the rarely performed  Serenade no 1 in D opus 11 from the earliset of the three composers, Johannes Brahms. Considered to be neo-classical in style, the first movement of was written after much indecision. Completed in 1857, this Serenade precedes Brahms’ first Symphony by nearly 20 years. Brahms was struggling with the dubious honour of  having to follow the last great symphony that had been written- Beethoven’s 9th! Though Brahms laid down the drafts for his first symphony in 1854, he worked with smaller forms, like this Serenade until his first symphony was performance ready. The Serenade includes two scherzos and two charming minuets.


SAINT-SAËNS Tarantella in A minor opus 6
Flute: Svetlana Yaroslavskaya, Clarinet: David Rowden
VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis
BRAHMS Serenade no 1 in D opus 11

Tickets: $35 / $30 concession / $15 children under 12
Bookings:  or call 1300 150 465



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