Come and enjoy la dolce vita with Giordano Bellincampi! ‘Blue sky in A major’ was how Mendelssohn described his sun-drenched symphony, an affectionate sketch of a country he knew well.
Berlioz, likewise, drew upon ‘poetic memories formed from my wanderings in the Abruzzi’. His piece is a unique hybrid of symphony and viola concerto. The orchestra’s own Robert Ashworth represents Byron’s wandering hero, Childe Harold, ‘a kind of melancholy dreamer’.
Schubert is the odd one out here: he never visited Italy, although you’d never know it from his cheerful homage to Italian music.