Please note: This concert is in the past and has already taken place.


Phoenix Concert Hall - Fairfield Halls
Park Lane



Richard StraussFestliches Präludium, Op.61
Jean SibeliusScènes historiques I, Op.25
Jean SibeliusFinlandia, Op.26
~ Interval ~
William WaltonBelshazzar's Feast


Paul Sheehan – baritone
Russell Keable – Conductor

Kensington Symphony Orchestra
Epiphoni Consort

Programme Note

Kensington Symphony Orchestra, “one of the very best amateur groups in the country” (Classical Music magazine), is performing at this world-class venue for the first time. 

The highlight will be Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast – a spectacular cantata for large orchestra, two brass bands, organ, chorus and baritone solo.  It tells the tale of the Jews’ exile in Babylon, King Belshazzar’s great feast, the sinister “writing on the wall” and Belshazzar’s assassination, and the Jews’ rejoicing at their freedom.  Walton was a rising young star when he wrote this “earthy portrayal of pagan revels, violent retribution and triumphant jubilation” in 1931; it is considered one of the finest pieces of English 20th century music.

Also in the programme are Sibelius’s ever-popular tone poem Finlandia (a patriotic protest against Russian domination and censorship) and his suite Scènes historiques.   The programme opens with Richard Strauss’s Festliches Präludium - a fabulously rich work composed for the opening of the Vienna Konzerthaus in 1913.

Belshazzar's Feast - Rembrandt

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