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APO Winter Concert

Saturday 11th February, 2023, 7.30pm

Reading’s Aldworth Philharmonic will return to the Great Hall on the University of Reading’s London Road Campus for a concert of music inspired by Greek mythology and the subject of fate, on Saturday 11th February, 2023, 7.30pm.


  • Liszt – Prometheus
  • Ross – Echo (clarinet soloist – Caroline Owen)
  • Tchaikovsky – Symphony No. 4

The first half is framed around the struggles and fate of two characters from Greek mythology. Liszt’s Prometheus chronicles his harsh punishment from Zeus and sorrow at his fall as a Titan, but ultimately ends in triumph. Alas, a tragic fate awaits the mountain nymph Echo. APO commissioned British composer Graham Ross in 2008 to tell her story, which ends with her punished for her indiscretions by having her voice reduced to a foolish repetition of another’s words. Her talkative character is brought to life by clarinet soloist Caroline Owen, with the music ending with her lamenting repetitively over a beautiful orchestral realisation of Orlando Gibbon’s melancholic song, The Silver Swan.

The fates of Prometheus and Echo lay the ground for Tchaikovsky’s dramatic Fourth Symphony, which opens with its famous theme about which Tchaikovsky wrote: ‘This is fate: that fateful force which prevents the impulse to happiness from attaining its goal, which jealously ensures that peace and happiness shall not be complete and unclouded.’ Although this dark and threatening theme dominates the symphony, batting back delightful dancing, rampantly romantic and playful pizzicato in turn, it cannot overcome the ecstatic music of the finale, ending with a display of celebratory musical fireworks.