Many composers have written music for children, or about childhood. Very few however have been as successful in understanding the world of children and music as Benjamin Britten. His ‘Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra’ quickly became one of his most popular works internationally. It is a brilliant showpiece for orchestra based on a theme from ‘The Moor’s Revenge’ or ‘Abdelazar’ by Purcell. Variations for each section of the orchestra are followed by a brilliant fugue for the full orchestra.
The RLPO has a long history with this piece and gave the first performance under Sir Malcolm Sargent in 1946, and the recording that followed that year won the ‘Orchestral Record of the Year’ award at the 1948 annual conference on Gramophone Critics in New York.