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The Last Rose of Summer
Ludwig van Beethoven - Richard Strauss - Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst

The Last Rose of Summer

Benjamin Baker

Label: Champs Hill
Format: CD
Barcode: 5060212590992
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Catalog number: CHRCD 096
Releasedate: 06-10-17
- Benjamin Baker describes the works included on this disc as all linked by the themes of youth, love and loss

- A consummate musician, Robert Thompson is equally at home as soloist and chamber musician
Richard Strauss wrote his famous Violin Sonata in his early twenties, inspired by a summer in the Italian countryside, and by falling in love with Pauline de Ahna in the same year, who was later to become his wife. 

Beethoven was just starting to realise the horror of losing his hearing by the time he wrote his Violin Sonata No.2 in his late twenties. 

Kreislers Alt-Wiener Tanzweisen (Old Viennese Dances) are salon pieces which describe aspects of love including joy, sorrow and eternal love, the last of which he dedicated to his wife. 

The hauntingly beautiful poem by Thomas Moore upon which Ernst based his The Last Rose of Summer variations captures the intensity of love, of loss and of the youthful questioning of the future. The title of the Irish air the poem is set to is The Young Mans Dream, originally Aislean an Oigfear. 

Born in New Zealand in 1990, Benjamin Baker first picked up a violin at the age of three. Four years later he had notched up seven television appearances in New Zealand and played with the celebrated violinist Nigel Kennedy, who recommended he apply to The Yehudi Menuhin School in London. In 2007 Benjamin's debut at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra was described by The Daily Telegraph as hugely impressive. 

A consummate musician, Robert Thompson is equally at home as soloist and chamber musician. He has performed as soloist at Wigmore Hall, Bridgewater Hall, the Leeds and Nottingham International Piano Series, and chamber music performances at Wigmore Hall and The Sage Gateshead. 

Born in New Zealand in 1990, Benjamin Baker first picked up a violin at the age of three. Four years later he had notched up seven television appearances in New Zealand and played with the celebrated violinist Nigel Kennedy, who recommended he apply to The Yehudi Menuhin School in London. Benjamin was given a scholarship, and in 1998 moved with his family from Wellington to London. He went on to complete his studies at the Royal College of Music with Natasha Boyarsky and Felix Andrievsky, graduating in 2014 with a Masters and was

awarded the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Rose Bowl. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) in 2013.

During his studies Benjamin won numerous prizes and awards including 1st Prize and the Audience Prize in the 2013 Windsor Festival International String Competition, 1st Prize in the 2012 Royal Over-Seas League Competition, 2nd Prize at the 2011 Postacchini International Violin Competition in Italy and the 2013 Development Prize from the Michael Hill Violin Competition in New Zealand.

In 2007 Benjamin’s debut at the Royal Albert Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra was described by The Daily Telegraph as ‘hugely impressive’. He went on to appear as

soloist with the Philharmonia Orchestra (conducted by Nicholas Collon), the Orchestra Wellington, London Mozart Players, Joven Orquesta de Salamanca, Orpheus Sinfonia, Haydn Chamber Orchestra, Bath Philharmonia, the Romanian State Radio Orchestra and New English Concert Orchestra.