July 23rd 2019 : ” The Natural World interpreted in music “
Many composers have attempted to picture in music the wonders and mysteries of the Natural World. Alma and Roger Abel played some of their favourite examples . These covered the sea and mountains , the weather and the seasons not forgetting two of the planets living creatures at different ends of the size scale – the lark and elephants !
A good turn-out of group members enjoyed an afternoon of glorious music on a very hot day. Perhaps Alma and Roger could have included ” We’re having a heat wave , a tropical heatwave ! .
” Utopia” by George Fenton ( from ” The Blue Planet” series)
” Dawn Chorus” from John Barry’s ” The Beyondness of Things ” – English chamber Orchestra
“Land of the Mountain and the Flood ” by Hamish McCunn – Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson
“The Wave” composed and played by Ludovico Einaudi
Beethoven Symphony No 6 (Pastoral”) – Storm scene – London Symphony Orch c Wyn Morris
“Winter” and “Spring ” from Glazunov’s ” The Seasons” Scottish National Orch c. Neemi Jarvi
“Summertime” from Gershwin’s ” Porgy and Bess ” sung by Rene Fleming
” Autumn” from Glazunov’s ” The Seasons” Scottish National Orch c. Neemi Jarvi
” Elephants” from Saint-Saens ” Carnival of the Animals ”
” The Lark Ascending” by Vaughan- Williams – Nicola Benedetti (violin) with the LSO conducted by Andrew Litton
“Nocturne” from the ” Durham Concerto” by Jon Lord – RLPO conducted by Mischa Damev
“Judex” from ” Mors et vita” by Charles Gounod – RLPO c by Libor Pesek
June 25th 2019 : ” The versatile Piano”
Marjorie and Stan Bryan reminded us of the various roles that can be taken by the piano ; as solo instrument , to accompany another instrument in concerti , in chamber music groups and to accompany a vocalist . The presentation was illustrated with well chosen examples (see playlist below ) which were obviously enjoyed by the group members . A good afternoon’s listening for piano fans !
(Notes on this presentation can be provided on request )
Solo instrument :
Liszt – Lieberstraum ( Daydream) No 2 played by Kun Woo Paik
Beethoven – Piano Sonata No 23 in F minor Op57 -III Played by Vladimir Ashkenazy
Schubert : Moments musicaux D780 – No 4 – played by Andras Schiff
Scott Joplin : “The Entertainer ” and ” Pineapple Rag” – played by Joshua Rifkin
Two Pianos :
Rachmaninov : Suite No 1 for 2 pianos – ” Easter” played by Peter Donohoe and Martin Roscoe
With another instrument :
Rachmaninov : Cello sonata in G minor Op 19 – 3rd movement – played by Benedick Kloeckner (cello) and Anna Fedorova ( piano)
Puccini : “Storiells d’amore” and “Sole e amore” arranged for trumpet by Tine Thing Helseth with Kathryn Stott on piano
Accompanying a singer :
Schubert : ” An Die Music ” D 547 and ” Auf dem wasser zu singen” – Felicity Lott ( soprano) with Graham Johnson on piano
In Chamber music :
Schubert : Piano Quintet D667 ” The trout quintet” Played by The Hagen Quartet plus Andras Schiff on piano
In piano concerto with full orchestra :
Shostakovich : Piano Concerto No 2 in f major Op 102 – 2nd movement played by Boris Giltburg with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic conducted by Vasily Petrenko
Beethoven : Piano Concerto No 4 in G Op 58 – 3rd movement –played by John Lill with the Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Sir Alexander Gibson
May 28th 2019 : ” The Best of British “
Nick Williams presented a selection of music that represented the best in several genres of British music . There were familiar works by British classical composers – Elgar , Delius and Britten plus Richard Addinsell. The world of popular music was represented by performances by British singers , Elton John , Phil Collins and Matt Monro with Katherine Jenkins singing ” I vow to thee my country ” based on a theme from Holst’s “Planet suite Two numbers from the success of British musical “Billy Elliot ” brought in the world of musical theatre .
This was a varied programme which deserved a larger audience but was appreciated by those attending .
Play list :
Edward Elgar – Cello concerto (1st movement ) played by Felix Schmitt with The London Symphony Orchestra conduced by Rafael Frubeck de Burgos
Ralph Vaughan-Williams – Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis Played by the LSO as above
Frederick Delius – “The Walk to the Paradise Garden “ Played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Meredith Davies
Benjamin Britten : “Dawn” from ” Four Sea Interludes” ( from his opera ” Peter Grimes” ) played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra c, Andrew Davies
Richard Addinsell : ” The Warsaw Concerto ” ( written for the 1941 film ” Dangerous Moonlight” ) played by Cristina Ortiz (piano) with the Royal Philharmonic c. Moshe Atmon
Elton John : “Crocodile Rock”
Phil Collins : ” Two Hearts ”
Matt Monro : Wednesday’s Child
” Deep in the ground” Sung by Tim Healy (Billy)and “Electricity” sung by Haydn Gwynne (as his father) from the musical “Billy Elliot” Music by Elton John / lyrics by Lu Hall
Katherine Jenkins singing “ I vow to thee my Country” Words by A. Patrick to music from Gustav Holst’s ” Planet Suite “
April 23rd 2019 : Open forum / BYO
As usual a wide selection of music was presented by the group members . Two members independently chose duets by a duo comprising an opera singer and a “pop” singer ( see below) . There were connections between two other items , Ferde Grofe’s ” Grand canyon Suite ” and George Gershwin’s ” Rhapsody in blue” ” ( Grofe orchestrated Gershwin’s piece composed for piano solo ) . With the demise of the Jazz Appreciation Group , a former member of that group used this opportunity to add to our members jazz education via Stephane Grappelli and the Diz Disley Trio. Two operatic sopranos were given an airing in works by Mascagni and Villa-Lobos and the harp had two items . A Varied and enjoyable selection .
Andrea Bocelli Duet with Dua Lipa singing “If only ”
Easter Hymn from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni – sung by Maria Callas
” Come fly with me” sung by the inimitable Frank Sinatra
“Claire de Lune” from “Suite Bergamasque” by Debussy played by Dame Moura Lympany (1988 recording) (piano)
” Lover come back to me” played by Stephane Grappelli (guitar) and the Diz Disley Trio (1975)
“Sunrise ” from ” The grand Canyon Suite” by Ferde Grofe played by the New York Philharmonic conducted by Leonard Bernstein
Bachiana Brasilieros No 5 by Villa-Lobos for soprano and cellos
Sung by Kiri Te Kanawa and the Lyn Hanrill Ensemble (1983)
Pachelbel’s Canon – a version for solo Harp played by Sarah Hill
” Poeme for violin and Orchestra ” by Ernest Chausson
Played by Maurice Hasson (v) and the BBC Concert Orchestra c, Barry Wordsworth
” Perhaps Love” -a duet version sung by Placido Domingo and John Denver (1981)
” The Eternal Dream” by Carl Jenkins – played by Catrin Finch (harp)
The andante from ” Rhapsody in Blue ” by George Gershwin
Played by Boyan Vodenichenko (piano) with the Balkan state Orchestra c, Jo Alfidi
March 26th 2019 : ” Water ”
Rae Martin drew on his technical knowledge of the properties of water to introduce music related to the vapour , liquid and solid phases of this substance vital to life on Earth.
We went from the grey clouds of Liszt’s ” Nuages Gris ” through Chopin’s ” Raindrops prelude ” to the “Lonely waters ” of E.J. Moeran , Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake ” , Thea Musgrave’s ” Loch Ness” ( complete with monster) and Smetana’s ” Die Moldau” . and the pace ( and volume level) increasd with the thunder of Grofe’s ” Niagara Falls suite “.
The temperature then dropped with Georgy Svirdov’s ” Snowstorm Waltz ” to the eerie chill of Vaughan Williams ” Antarctic Symphony ” . We returned to warmer climes with Debussy’s ” La Mer ” and ended on an optimistic note with Judy Garland singing ” Over the Rainbow ” .
An interesting theme illustrated with good music choices – much appreciated by the group members present .
February 26th 2019 : Selections from the Classic FM list of the top-selling classical Album of the last 25 years.
It may have surprised some of our members that, according to this Classic FM survey , 7 out of the top 20 albums are by Welsh artists and the best selling living composers are Howard Shore, Ludovico Einaudi . John Williams and Karl Jenkins . However Vaughan Wall managed to find a wider selection of music that made for an afternoon of pleasant listening . It was a shame that so many of our regular attendees were not present to enjoy it !
Shostakovich – Jazz Suite No 2 – Waltz 2 from the ” Shostakovich Jazz album”
Holst – Uranus from the Planet Suite played by the CBSO c Simon Rattle
Andrew Lloyd-Weber : ” Music of the Night ” from “Phantom of the Opera” sung by Katherine Jenkins on her album “One fine day”
Luciano Pavarotti singing ” Caruso” from his album ” Love Songs
Blake singing ” Swing low , sweet chariot” from their album “Blake”
Ludovico Einaudi playing ” Primavera ” from his album “Islands”
Michael Nyman : ” The heart asks pleasure first” from the album of the soundtrack of “The Piano ”
Nigel Kennedy playing ” Unknown Soldier ” from the album ” Classic FM album 2005 ”
Andrea Rieu playing “Love theme from the film Romeo and Juliet ” from the album ” Music of the Movies”
Andrea Bocelli singing “Canto della terra ” from his album ” Sogno”
Hayley Westenra singing ” River of Dreams ” from her album “Pure”
Russell Watson singing “Nella fantasia” from his album ” The Voice”
January 22nd 2019 : Howard Hanson – American neo-romantic composer “par excellence” and educator
Howard Hanson was among the first 2oth C American composers to achieve widespread prominence .He was described as “the American counterpart of Rachnaninov , though with a Scandinavian-American accent” . Yet , outside the USA his works now are rarely heard . To remedy this David Sunderland gave an introduction to the life and music of this composer who wrote over 40 works including 7 symphonies , an opera plus music for chamber orchestra , choir and Band . In addition as conductor of the Eastman- Rochester Orchestra he premiered hundreds of works by other American Composers .
Track 1 – “The Interlochen theme ” – used in the film “Alien”
( From Symphony No 2 )
Track 2 Symphony No 2 —- first Movement
Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz
Track 3 “Fantasy Variations on a Theme of Youth ”
The pianist was Carol Rosenberger with the New York Chamber Orchestra ,
conducted by Gerald Schwartz .
Track 4 Symphony No 1 – first movement
Nashville Symphony Orchestra c, Kenneth Schermerhorn
Track 5 Merry Mount Suite – IV Prelude to Act II and Maypole Dances
Nashville Symphony Orchestra c, Kenneth Schermerhorn
Track 6 Symphony No 4 Requiem -IV Lux aeterna
Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz
Track 7 piano concerto in G Op 36 II , III & IV
The pianist was Carol Rosenberger with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz
Track 8 “Pastorale for Oboe , strings and harp ”
.Track 9 ” Mosaics” ( 1957 )
Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz
Track 10 Symphony No 7 – 3rd movement
Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gerald Schwartz
December 2018 : No meeting (too near to Christmas)
November 27th 2018 : Open forum / BYO
A low attendance for our last meeting of the year – some unavoidable absences but also perhaps not unrelated to the fact that it was not preceded this year by our customary famous BYO Christmas lunch !
” Song to the Moon” from the opera “Rusalka” by Dvorak – sung by Rene Fleming
Chopin – Grande Valse Brilliante in E flat opus 18 played by Ingrid Flitter (p)
Ballad N0 1 in G minor Op 23 played by Vladimir Horowitz
Ravel ” Daphnis & Chloe Suite – Dawn London S.O. c Pierre Manteux
Neil Diamond ” Brother Love’s travelling Salvation Show”
Robert Schumann : Carnival Op 9 played by Jeno Jando (p)
” Unchained Melody” suung by the Fron Male voice Choir
Tom Lehrer : ! A Christmas Carol ” ( with a difference ! )
Mozart Horn Concerto No 4
Eric Fenby ” Rossini on Ilkla Moor ”
October 23rd 2018 : Disney’s ” Fantasia”
As a change from the usual format , we showed the 1940 Disney masterpiece which contains animated interpretations of 7 well-known classical music works . It starts with Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor , followed by selections from Tchaikovsky’s ballet suite from ” Nutcracker” .Then comes ” The Sorcerer’s Apprentice ” By Dukas with Mickey Mouse – probably the best loved section . After this come Stravinsky’s ” Rite of spring ” , Beethoven’s ” Pastoral Symphony ” , Ponchielli’s ” Dance of the Hours” with a dramatic finale in Mussorgsky’s ” Night on a Bare Mountain” – the version orchestrated by Ravel . All played by the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Leopold Stokowski .One reviewer said ” I doubt that so much genuine creative work has gone into a film before or since ”.
The film appeared to be enjoyed by all present – so much so that the much later sequel ” Fantasia 2000″ will be considered for presentation next year .
September 25th 2018 : ” Music inspired by folk themes “
Colin and Barbara Redwood treated their audience to music and background information on the title theme . The admitted that they had found so much information on the subject that they had had to restrict the presentation to Eastern Europe and to close to home .
Music included traditional folk dances , arrangements ot them or works influenced by them from Hungary , Romania and Russia ; composed by Brahms ,Bartok , Enescu , Monti and Mussorgsky .
This was followed by a well-known work by that extensive collector of folksongs Vaughan Williams and one by George Butterworth .loosely based on one of those collected English folk songs . The influence was less obvious in the lovely “Romance ” by Gerald Finzi
Scottish / Gaelic influence was illustrated by a work by the American composer Amy Beach and music by James Horner for the film “Titanic” .
The final item was a moving folk song from the abandoned Island of St Kilda . Thought to have been lost , one survivor from the island was found who remembered the songs from his childhood and agreed to record them .
1 Bela Bartok Dunantuli Ugroset Hungary
2 Bela Bartok Dunantuli Friss Csardasok Hungary
3 Bela Bartok Rhapsody for Violin and Piano No 1 Hungary
4 Johannes Brahms Hungarian Dances No 4 & No 7 Hungary
5 Johannes Brahms 21 Hungarian Dances – No 7 in A minor Hungary
6 Vittorio Monti Csardas – played by Nicola Bernadette (violin) Hungary
7 Trad Hora de Clejeni – Romanian Folk Ensemble Romania
8 Georges Enescu Romanian Rhapsody No 1 Romania
9 Modest Mussorgsky – Khovanshchina – Prelude Dawn over the Moscow River Russia
10 Vaughan Williams – The Lark Ascending England
11 Gerald Finzi Romance Op 11 England
12 George Butterworth The Banks of Green Willow England
13 James Horner – My heart will go on from Titanic – arranged for 2 Cellos Celtic
14 Amy Beach – Symphony in A Minor, Op 32; “The Gaelic Symphony” Gaelic
15 Trevor Morrison – Lost songs of St Kilda – Soay & Boreray Scotland
August 28th 2018 : “A European Tour”
As promised , a tour with no airport queues, no baggage limits, comfortable seating and refreshments but also without transport or accommodation !
The tour guides were Alma and Roger Abel who introduced musical works relating to several European countries including comments on the rise of nationalism in 19th century Scandinavia and the aftermath of the German invasion of Poland at the start of WWII.
The wide selection of music was played was much enjoyed by their audience .
England : Percy Grainger’s arrangement of ” In an English Country Garden ”
Sung by Mary O’Hara
Norway : From Edvard Griegs’s ” Peer Gynt Suite” 2 pieces
” Morning ” and ” In the Hall of the Mountain King ”
Played by the Berlin Philharmonic c, Herbert von Karajan
Finland : Jean Sibelius – Symphony No 2 – opening movement
Played by the London Symphony Orchestra c, Sir Charles Mackerras
Czech Republic ( formerly Bohemia)
– Bedrich Smetana – Overture to ” The Bartered Bride
Played by the Cleveland Orchestra c Christoph von Dohnanyi
Poland : Henryk Goreki
– Symphony No 2 -( “The Symphony of sorrowful songs ” second movement .
Sung by Dawn Upshaw with the London Sinfonietta c David Zinman
Austria : Eric Korngold :
Marietta’s Lied (song) from the opera ” Die Tote Stadt”
Sung by Rene Fleming with the English Chamber Orchestra c. Jeffrey Tate
Italy : From the 1990 Three Tenors concert in Rome :
” O Sole Mio” a Neapolitan song written in 1898. Its lyrics were written by Giovanni Capurro and the music was composed by Eduardo di Capua and Alfredo Mazzucchi .
“Nessan Dorma” from Puccini’s opera ” Turandot ”
Sung by Placido Domingo, Luciano Pavarotti, and Jose Carreras. in medley with the Orchestra del Opera di Roma
Germany : Gustav Mahler – Symphony No 1 – second movement
Played by the RLPO c Gerald Swarz
France : Camille Saint-Saens – ”
The Baccanale” from the opera ” samson and Delihah”
Played by The Paris Opera Orchestra c. George Pretre
Approaching home : Nat Burton & Walter Kent – ” White Cliffs of Dover”
Sung by Vera Lynn with the Tony Osborne Orchestra
24th July 2018 : OPEN FORUM / BYO
Members enjoyed another varied selection of music introduced by themselves.
Orchestral , Chamber , instrumental and vocal items from the realms of classical , light music , Opera and popular music genres .
1) The Duet from ” The Pearl fishers ” by Bizet
Sung by Andrea Bocelli and Bryn Terfel
2) Mozart : Serenade No 10 in B flat major ” Gran Partita” – Opening 6 min
Written for 13 woodwind and brass instruments
Played by the Amadeus winds and Christopher Hogwood
3) Paganini ( arranged Kreisler for violin ) ” La Campanella”
PLaed by Chloe Hanslip with the LSO c, Paul Mann
4) The aria “Che gelida manina “( Your tiny hand is frozen ”
from Pucini’s ” La Boheme ” sung by Mario Lanza
5) ” Eleanor Rigby ” by the Beatles
6) Haydn : String Quartet in B flat op 76 No 4 ” Sunrise” -Adagio
Played by the Jerusalem Quartet
7) ” O Danny Boy” sung by Aled Jones as a duet with his treble self
8) ” Secret Love ” from ” Calamity Jane ” sung by Connie Fisher
9) Mozart : Overture to the opera ” Cosi fan tutte”
played by Sinfonia Varsovia c. Yehudi Menuhin
10) ” Lady be Good” by George Gershwin – played by Nigel Kennedy
11) Pachelbel’s Canon – unusual arrangement including bagpipes played
by the Band of the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards
12) John Field : Variations on ” Fa-Lal-La ” -Played by Pietro Spada ( piano)
13) Victor Young ” White ” from “Tones Poems of Colour” played by
a Capital Records Studio orchestra conducted by Frank Sinatra .
14) Grieg : Piano Concerto – first movement
Played by Grant Johannesen (piano) and the Utah Symphony orchestra
26th June 2018 : The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber
This was a presentation by Nick Williams on the life and career of someone who ,in 2001, the New York Times referred to as “the most commercially successful composer in history”. He was ranked the “fifth most powerful person in British culture by The Daily Telegraph in 2008 and the lyricist Don Black stated “Andrew more or less single-handedly reinvented the musical.”
Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway . He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle , a set of variations , two film scores and a Latin Requiem Mass. Several of his songs have been widely recorded and were hits outside of their parent musicals and some of these were played to the group members . He also reminded us that not all the musicals were a success with the critics with numbers from ” The Beautiful Game ” ( Football based) and “The Woman in White” based on the Wilkie Collins novel ) . There were 3 numbers from his ” School of Rock” which was a departure from Lloyd Webber’s usual musical style . Nick also included four of his songs in arrangements for cello and played by “the other Lloyd Webber ” , Andrew’s brother Julian , the acclaimed cellist .
It was a shame that a combination of hot weather ,holidays and a clash with a U3A excursion had led to a poor attendance since those members present enjoyed the presentation.
The Phantom of the Opera 🙁 Film ) “Music of the Night” sung by Gerald Butler
“All I ask of you ” – Patrick Wilson & Emmy Rossum
” The Phantom of the Opera” Gerald Butler & Emmy Rossum
Sunset Boulevard : “With one look” sung by Patti Lupone
The Beautiful Game : ” Our kind of love ” – Hannah Waddington ( Original cast )
The Woman in White : ” I believe my heart”
Martin Crewes & Jill Paice (Original cast)
Love Never Dies : ( Sequel to Phantom of the Opera )
“Till I hear you Sing ” Ramin Kariloo ( Eric / Phantom)
” Beneath a Moomless Sky” Ramin Kariloo ( Eric) Sierra Boggess ( Christine)
School of Rock” : ” If only you would listen ” ( Chorus of kids)
” Stick it to the man” sung by Alex Brightman ( Davey)
Where did the Rock go ?” Sierra Boddess ( Rosalie)
From the album ” Lloyd Webber plays Lloyd Webber”
Julian Lloyd Webber with the royal Philharmonic c. Barry Wordsworth
” Memory ” from CATS
“I don’t know how to love him” from “Jesus Christ – Superstar”
“Close every door ” from * Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat”
22nd May 2018 : ” The life and music of Hector Berlioz “
Vaughan Wall gave a comprehensive introduction to this French Romantic composer, with excerpts from his best known works : Symphonie fantastique, Grande messe des morts, Les Troyens, Harold in Italy and La damnation de Faust. He also treated us to some lesser-known pieces -” Rob Roy overture” and” Serenade of a mountaineer “.
Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra with his Treatise on Instrumentation. He specified huge orchestral forces for some of his works, and conducted several concerts with more than 1,000 musicians.
He also composed around 50 compositions for voice, accompanied by piano or orchestra. His influence was critical for the further development of Romanticism, especially in composers like Richard Wagner, Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Franz Liszt, Richard Strauss, and Gustav Mahler.
Rob Roy Overture – San Diego Symphony Orchestra c, Youv Talmi
Symphony Fantastique : 2nd , 4th and 5th movements CSR Symphony orchestra Bratislava c Pinchas Steinberg
The Damnation of Faust : Hungarian March , Royal Philharmonic c Adam Fischer
Dance of the sylphs , Minuet of Will o’ the Wisp Hungarian State Orchestra c. Enrique Batiz
The Trojans : Four tracks : Choral – Choir of Montreal Symphony orchestra c, Charles Dutoit 2 Aria – Gary Lakes and Deborah Voigt Orchestral
Harold in Italy : Serenade for Mountaineer – arr for viola , played by Rivka Golani with the San Diego S.O. c Youav Talmi
March 27th 2018 : “Spring”
This presentation by Rae Martin brought a ray of sunshine that was welcomed and enjoyed by our members as a counter to recent bad weather It featured many pieces of music familiar to the ear if not always known by name such as ” Rustle of spring” by Christian Sinding and some less familiar works on the same theme.
Playlist for March:
No 1 Beethoven – Violin Sonata No 5 Op 24 “Spring” – 1st movement . Takako Nishzaki (v) Jeno Jando (p)
No 2 Christian Sinding “Rustle of Spring” – Jeno Jando (p)
No 3 Vivaldi ” Four Seasons –Spring” – Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
No 4 Johann Strauss II -“Voices of Spring” – The Strauss Festival Orchestra c, Andre Lenard
No 5 Grieg’s “Last Spring” — Capella Istropolitana c. Adrian Leaper
No 6 Robert Schumann’s “Spring” – BRT Orchestra of Bratislava c, Alexander Rahbari
No 7 Delius – “On Hearing the First Cuckoo in Spring”. – The Britten Sinfonia c. Jeremy Summerly
No 8 Ethelbert Nevin – “O that we two were Maying” – arr for 2 cellos Julian & Jiaxin Lloyd Webber
No 9 Tchaikovsky – “Les Saisons – Spring” Pianist : Artur Rubinstein
No 10 Gershwin – ” Summertime” from his opera ” Porgy and Bess” Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong
February 27th 2018: ” ” The Spice of Life “
This was ascribed by Alma and Roger Abel as ” Variety” and certainly applied the same philosophy to their presentation with composers ranging from Handel to Morriscone via Paderewski and Stuart Mitchell . Solo instruments were also varied , harp , piano .violin , voice and organ .
The presentation was very well received by those members who managed to brave the bad weather to get to the meeting .
Playlist for February :
Handel : The Entry of the Queen of Sheba “ from the oratorio ” Solomon” in an unusual arrangement by Catrin Finch for Harp and ” ethnic percussion” .
Ignacy Paderewski : Piano Concerto in A minor – 2nd movement ” Romance ” with the composer as soloist
Gershwin : ” Summertime” from ” Porgy and Bess” sung by Renee Fleming with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Sibelius : Violin Concerto – third movement . Played by Nigel Kennedy with the City of Birmingham SymphonyOrchestra conducted by Simon Rattle .
Morton Laurenson : Magnus Misterium Sung by the Elora Festival Singers c, Noel Eddison
Vaughan-Williams : English folksongs Suite – ” My Bonny Boy ” & The March from ” Folksongs of Somerset” Played by The Academy of St Martin -in- the- Fields c. Sir Neville Mariner .
The 3 tenors : A medley from the 1990 concert Mattinata , Wien , Wien nur du allein ,Ampola & O Sole Mio
J.S.Bach : Prelude to Partita No 3 – Played by Catrin Finch (harp)
Stuart Mitchell : ” The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus” from his ” Seven Wonders Suite ”
Ennio Morriscone : ” The Good , the Bad and the Ugly” and ” Cinema Paradiso” from the films of the same name .
Saint- Saens : Symphony No 3 ( “Organ Symphony”) – final movement . Played by City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with organist Christopher Robinson .
January 23rd 2018 : ” Some lesser-known American composers ”
This presentation by David Sunderland was an introduction to the lives and music of Anthony Heinrich (1781 – 1861) , Edward MacDowell ( 1860 – 1908 ) and Charles T Griffes ( (1894 – 1920) .
Anthony Philip Heinrich ca be considered as the first full-time American composer of classical music , certainly the first to write for a full symphony orchestra .
Sheet music of piano works by Edward MacDowell were to be found in drawing rooms all over America 100 or so years ago when he was the most famous Americal composer and his work was favourably compared with that of Brahms and Grieg .
Charles Tomlinson Griffes is considered as the most famous American representative of musical impressionism . He was much influenced by the French impressionist composers especially Debussy but later also by Orientalism . His music had a dreamy , misty feeling and seemed to go down well with the members .
Track 1 ” The ornithological combat of Kings
or The Condor of the Andes . ” part 1 ( 7.36)
Syracuse Symphony Orchestra c, Christopher Keene . ( radio broadcast )
Track 2 ” The war of the elements and the thundering of Niagara falls ” (4.56)
Track 3 : Wildwood Spirits Chant or Scintillations on Yankeedoodle ( 4.51)
Played by the Staatsphilharmonie of Rheineland Pfalz conducted by Howard Griffith
.( radio Broadcast)
Track 4: To a Wild rose (2.26)
The cellist was Julian Lloyd Weber with John Lenehan on piano .
Track 5 : Suite No 2 ” Indian” part 1 “Legend” ( 6.33)
Played there by the Ulster Orchestra conducted by Takuo Yuasa
. Track 6 Piano Concerto No 1 – 3rd movement (7.37)
Played by Stephen Prutsman with the National Orchestra of Ireland conducted by Arthur Fagen
Track 7 : Hexantanz ( Withes Dance) (3.02)
Played by Stephen Prutsman with the National Orchestra of Ireland conducted by Arthur Fagen
Charles T Griffes
Track :8 – Roman Sketches part I – The white peacock (5.58)
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by JoAnn Faletta
Track 9: Symphonische Phantasie ( end – 8.31 min )
The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy in a 1952 recording.
Track 10 : The Pleasure Dome of Kubla Khan ( 6.42)
Played there by The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of JoAnn Falletta
Track 11 : Poem for flute and Orchestra ( 4.45)
The flotist here was Carol Wincenc with the Buffalo Philharmonic .
November 28th 2017 : BYO / Open forum
This was preceded by an early Christmas buffet lunch provided by the members themselves and thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Our thanks to those many members who helped to set up tables , set out the food , do the washing up and the clearing up so making the day such a success .
After the lunch 10 members were able to introduce and play a piece of music of their choice . The wide selection went down well .
Shostakovich : Jazz Suite No 2 – Waltz and Polka
Rossini : ” Una poco fa” aria from “The Barber of Seville” – sung by Maria Callas
Bach: Christmas Oratorio – part 1 ” For the first day of Christmas”
Mussorgsky ( orch. Ravel) : ” The Great Gate of Kiev ” from ” Pictures at an Exhibition”
The Carpenters : ” Rainbow Connection”
Faure : “Requiem ” – Santus & Piet Jesu
Canteloupe: ” Bailero” from ” Songs of the Auvergne” sung by Veronique Gens
A.M. Goodhart: ” Variations on Tipparary” played by David Owen (piano)
Charles Williams : ” The Devil’s Galop” ( bring back memories of ” Dick Barton – Special Agent” !)
October 24th 2017 : ” A Mozart Sandwich “ by Gordon Dalgarno
The first slice of bread was Mozart’s Quintet for wind instruments and piano which we learned so impressed Beethoven that 15 years he wrote one himself , closely modelled on Mozart’s – with the same instruments and in the same key . Parts of both works were played to contrast the styles of the two composers.
The second slice was part of the Mozart Requiem and the myths and controversy about its completion after the death of Mozart . This included the skulduggery carried out by Mozart’s wife to conceal from the work’s commissioner and the publisher that much of the work had been written by Franz Xaver Sussmeyer.
Many other composers have attempted to complete the Requiem from notes left by Mozart but Gordon favoured that by the British composer Duncan Druce and part of this version was played as well as the two parts known to have been completed by Mozart.
The “filling ” in the sandwich was certainly a surprise – 2 tracks from the “Brothers in arms ” Album by the group Dire Straits . Some members struggled to relate this to the 2 Mozart works until Gordon told them that there was no connection and it was included because he likes it and to remind us that good music and musicianship is not confined to the classical music scene.
September 28th 2017 : ” Antonin Dvorak – his life and music ”
Norma Wardle gave an entertaining and informative presentation on this Czech composer , illustrated by pieces of music , familiar (eg The New World Symphony and the Slavonic Dances and Humoresque) and unfamiliar ( eg. Cypresses , the Czech Suite and the 8th Symphony ) A full play list is shown below. An enjoyable way to spend an afternoon .
Dvorak presentation – Playlist
1 Humoresque – Orchestral version played by the Czech Philharmonic
2 Songs my Mother taught me – ” The strings are tuned – Join in the dance”
Genia Kuhmeier (sop) Christopher Berner (piano)
3 Cypresses – No 2 – New Helsinki Quartet
4aSlavonic Dances – piano version played by Duo Klacny
4b ” ” – orchestrated version – Vienna Philharmonic c. Andre Previn
5 Czech Suite ( finale) – Scottish Symphony Orchestra c. Jose Serebrier
6 Violin concerto – opening played by Kyung-Wha Chung with the Philadelphia Orchestra c. by Riccardo Mutti
7 Symphony no 7 – opening – Czech Philharmonic c. by Vaclav Neumann
8 Symphony No 9 ( ” From the New World”) – opening ” ” ” ”
9 “American ” quartet – Keller Quartet
10 Cello Concerto – finale – Jacqueline Du Pre with the LSO under Barbirolli
11 “Hymn to the Moon” from the Opera “Rusalka” sung by Anna Netrebko with the Vienna Philharmonic under Giandrea Noseda
12 Symphony No 8 – finale Czech Philharmonic c. by Vaclav Neumann
August 22nd 2017 : Open Forum / BYO
There was enough time for 12 of the group members to introduce and play a piece of music of their choice . A wide selection with some familiar pieces , others a first for some – all enjoyable .
Chopin – Etude in E major played by Herbert du Plessis (p)
Bruch – Violin Concerto No 1 finale – played by a young Nigel Kennedy in 1988
Oscar Nedbal – Valse triste from “”Der Faule Hans” played by the RLPO conducted by Libor Pesek (at his farewell performance as principal conductor) )
Puccini – The aria ” One fine day” from the opera “Madame Butterfly ”
Michael O’Sulleabhain – “Woodbrook”” played by the composer (p)
Richard Strauss – ” The Quiet before the storm ” and ” The storm and descent” from his “Alpine Symphony ” – played by the BBC Welsh S.O. conducted by Mariss Jansons
Jeff Buckley singing ” Hallelujah”
Elgar – Cello Concerto (adagio) played by Jaqueline Du Pre
John Barry – ” Flying over Africa” from the film score to ” Out of Africa”
Grieg – Piano concerto in A – played by the Utah S.O. conducted by Grant Johannesen
A.M. Goodhart – Variations on “Tipperary” played by David Owen (p)
Charles Williams : ” The Devil’s Galop” ( bringing memories as the theme music to ” Dick Barton” on the Radio
July 25th 2017 : ” Time and Time again “
This was a follow-up to Rae Martin’s March presentation of music related to time of day , time of year etc . Items included Chopin’s “Minute Waltz” , Poncelli’s “Dance of the hours” ( Not the Hello Mother , hello father version ! ) , part of Vivaldi’s ” Four Seasons” and Griegs ” Wedding at Troldhausen” . Of course we had to have Arthur Dooley Wilson’s ” As time goes by” which will always be associated with the film ” Casablanca” .
The members seemed to enjoy the antics of the presenter and CD operator’s confusion over whether the items being played were as programmed ! The resulting musical quiz went down well. ( An example of the perils of preparing one’s own compilation CDs )
June 27th 2017 : Music from the Golden Age of Hollywood
Sound came to the movies only in 1927 and music was initially limited to a few minutes at the start of the film during the showing of the main titles and during the running of the credits at the end . The use of music during the film to set mood and atmosphere came later , thanks to the work of composers like Max Steiner , Franz Waxman , Dmitri Tiomkin and Erich Korngold .
In his presentation David Sunderland showed how these founders of modern film music showed that the addition of a music score could be highly beneficial to the dramatic impact of a film , creating atmosphere and tension , illustrated by examples from scores by Steiner and Korngold . Both composers had achieved recognition in the classical music or theatre worlds before being invited to Hollywood .
A printed copy of the presentation can be obtained from David Sunderland on request
Korngold: Suite ” The Adventures of Robin Hood ”
Korngold : Main Title and ” Meeting on the Ocean ” from ” Captain Blood”
Korngold : Start if the Cello concerto from the film ” Deception”
Steiner : Suite from ” King Kong ”
Steiner : Tata’s theme from ” Gone with the Wind ”
Steiner : Suite from ” Casablanca”
May 23rd 2017 : The Life and Music of Felix Medelssohn
Another comprehensive presentation by Vaughan Wall with a good selection of music , mostly of familiar works but a few surprises .
Full notes on the presentation are available
Piano Concerto in A minor – 1st movement
Violin Concerto in D minor – 1st movement
Octet for Strings – Scherzo
Piano Concerto No 1 1st movement
Hebrides Overture – Fingal’s cave
Italian Symphony – 3rd movement
Ruy Blas Overture
Songs without Words – Spring Song arr Flute and Piano
Midsummer Night’s Dream – Wedding March
Violin Concerto in E minor – 2nd movement
April 25th 2017 : Open Forum / BYO
A smaller than usual attendance enabled all those who wanted to play tracks the chance to do so and the 6 min rule was waved ! Piano music was popular with some old favourites from Chopin , Schubert and Grieg but also a version of one of ” The lost songs of St Kilda” . Some of next month’s speaker’s thunder was stolen by the choice of Fingal’s Cave and there were lively performances of two Russian works plus chamber music by Beethoven .
Schubert -Impromptu No 2 in E flat – played by Alfred Brendel
Chopin – Etude played by Yo Kasuga
A Karl Jenkins arrangement of ” Mountain dance ” played by harpist Catrin Finch
Beethoven – Quintet in E flat major for 3 horns , oboe and bassoon – Allegro
Mendelssohn – Fingal’s Cave from the Hebrides overture OP 26 –
played by the Royal Philharmonic
Tchaikovsky – Symphony No 5 – final movement – Vienna Philharmonic
Grieg – Piano Concerto in a minor – Royal Philharmonic
“Soay” from ” The lost songs of St Kilda”
Chopin – Nocturne in G major – played by Valentin Schiedermair
” Beauty and the Beast” from the Disney film soundtrack – vocals Josh Groban
Rismsky-Korsakov ” The Flight of the bumble bee” From the opera ” The Tsar’s Bride”
March 28th 2017 – ” Time” presented by Rae Martin
In his notes Rae comments ” Time is ephemeral, constant, yet never still: senseless in that one cannot taste it, touch it, see it, smell it or feel it. And yet our lives are controlled by Time. Our lives can be recorded by music related to Time; we are born to term, Happy Birthday songs, Wedding marches and finally, funeral marches. Great events such Coronations and Victories are often recorded in music. The pulse and beat of music itself is dictated by it’s timing. This extensive range of Time connections with music gives great scope for a programme of varied interest to connect with many in the audience. “
He illustrated this with pieces of music associated with the time of day and season of the year as well as specific dates plus old favourites and provided comprehensive notes on the pieces .( Copies available on request)
Play list :
1812 Overture – Tchaikovsky
Eine Kleine Nachtmusic – Mozart
Night on the Bare Mountain – Mussorgsky
Traumerei ( dreaming) from Kindersehen (children’s songs) OP 15 by Robert Schumann
Morning from Peer Gynt Suite by Grieg
” De l’Aube a midi sur la mer” ( From dawn to midday on the sea) by Debussy
Grandfather’s Clock by Henry Clay Work – a standard piece for brass band competition ( played here by the Black Dyke Mills brass band )
Summer from ” the Four Seasons” by Vivaldi
The opening (“sunrise”) from “Also Sprach Zarathrustra” by Richard Strauss – used as theme music for Stanley Kubrick’s film “2001: a Space Odyssey” .
“Summertime” from Gerswin’s opera “Porgy and Bess” – version sung by Ella Fitzgerald with Louis Armstrong on trumpet
February 28th 2017: “Richard Rogers and his music ”
There was a good reception for this presentation by Nick Williams with some members getting quite nostalgic and singing along to many of the songs with which most of us were familiar . Some of the music was taken off the original soundtracks to the films of the musicals .There were also some orchestral pieces including “Slaughter on 10th Avenue ” from the less well known musical ” On your Toes ” as well as the “Grand Waltz” from ” The Sound of Music” . With the exception of 2 items from the Rogers and Hart musical ” On your toes” , the other music played was from collaborations with Oscar Hammerstein .
February Playlist :
Rogers and Hart : From ” On your toes”
“There’s a small hotel” and ” Slaughter on 10th Avenue “
Rogers and Hammerstein :
From ” Oklahoma” : “People will say we’re in love ” from ( National Theatre production)
From ” Carousel” :”Waltz and ” If I loved you” (Gordon Macrae & Shirley Jones)
& “You’ll never walk alone”
( With an apology given to any Everton or Man U supporters !)
From ” South Pacific” : ” Some enchanted evening ” ( Mitzi Gaynor & Giorgio Tozzi)
Rogers : From ” The King and I” the overture
From ” The Sound of Music” : “Grand Waltz ”
& with Hammerstein “Climb every mountain ”
January 24th 2017 : ” Alexander Borodin – Chemist & Composer” a presentation by David Sunderland .
This world-renowned Russian Professor of Chemistry with a hectic professional life somehow managed to find time to compose original music with wonderful and evocative melodies . Extracts were played of his well-known pieces such as the Polovtsian dances from the opera ” Prince Igor” and his second String Quartet . Some of these were ” borrowed” to provide the familiar melodies of the 1950’s musical ” Kismet”.
Examples of lesser-known works from his early years were also introduced .
String quartet No 2 – Performers The Borodin Quartet
2nd movement (Scherzo)
3rd Movement ( Andante)
Polka Helene Marco Rapetti & Daniela di Santis (pianos)
Trio in G ( 1855) for 2 violins and cello
Piano quintet in C minor IV
Symphony No 1 in e flat II Scherzo
Symphonic Orchestra of the Bolshoi Ballet – c Mark Ermler
String Quartet in A II Andante
Moscow String Quartet
Symphony No 2 in B minor – first movement
London Symphony orchestra c. Jean Martinon
In the steppes of Central Asia –
L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande c. Ernest Ansermet
Petite Suite III Mazurka 1 Marco Rapetti ( piano)
Galitzky’s aria from Prince Igor Act 1
Nicolai Ghiaurov (bass) London Symphony chorus & orchestra c. Edward Downes
Prince Igor – Polovtsian Dances (
London Symphony Orchestra & Chorus c Sir George Solti
November 22nd 2016 : ( Our last meeting of the year) Christmas lunch + BYO / Open forum
A most enjoyable lunch provided by the members themselves of hot soup and cold buffet plus desserts was enjoyed by an almost “full-house” . Apologies were received from 4 members for unavoidable absence . After this overran as expected, there was only time for 11 tracks from a wide selection of music provided by the members. Some carols of course but also jazz , classical , popular old standards and more recent pieces . Neil Diamond’s ” Sweet Caroline” sent everyone home happy .
Adam’s ” O holy night ” sung by Leontyne Price with the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan ( from Mike Lomax)
John Rutter’s ” Still, still, still, Christ is the morning star ” The Cambridge Singers & the Oxford Choir ( from Marjorie Bryan )
“Someone to watch over me ” – Stephane Grapelli & Oscar Peterson ( from Alan Morton)
Haydn -string quartet in B flat “Sunrise” – final movement Played by the Jerusalem Quartet ( from Steve Talbot)
“April in Paris” – sung by Frank Sinatra ( from Stella Potter )
Northumbrian songs ( Dance t’thee Daddy , Billy Boy , Blaydon Races ) sung by Thomas Allen with the Northern Sinfonia ( from Pat Sampson)
Paganini – Violin concerto No 2 – 3rd movement played by Alexander Dubaq with La Camparella ( from Vaughan Wall)
Somei Satoh’s ” Listen to the fragrance of the dusk” ( from Bernie Handford)
Leonard Cohen’s ” Hallelujah” sung by Kathleen Jenkins ( from Nick Williams)
” The Easter Hymn ” from Mascagni’s ” Cavalleria Rusticana” ( from Pat Morton)
” Sweet Caroline ” sung by Neil Diamond ( from Rhian Griffiths )
October 25th 2016 : ” Shostakovich – hard times ” a presentation by Steve Talbot.
This was another interesting talk by Steve , this time covering the period when the composer fell foul of the Kremlin Aparatchniks and Jo Stalin himself with his music banned as not traditional i.e. too modern . The story of how he regained favour with his “Leningrad “Symphony (No 7 ) was fascinating . While apparently bowing to the Kremlin wishes he inserted subversive elements into his works too subtle to be recognized by Stalin and his cronies .
Festive Overture – New Zealand Symphony orchestra
Symphony No 1 – 1st movement Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra
Symphony No 7 – Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
String Quartet No 4 – Andantino Eder Quartet
Symphony No 9 – Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra
Music from the film ” The Gadfly” – Galop & Romance Ukranian National Symphony Orchestra
Piano Concerto No 2 in f major OP 102 – Michael Hoosten with the New Zealand symphony Orchestra
Symphony No 10 – Czech Radio Symphony Orchestra
September 27th 2016 : ” Strings without bows ” by Barbara and Colin Redwood .
This was an informative and interesting presentation of music played by plucked instruments. The guitar was well represented by music written for the instrument by Albeniz , Simon Mayor and John Brunning and also by pieces arranged for the guitar composed by Einaudi , Stanley Myers and Craig Ogden. Guitar duets followed arranged from works by Faure and Lenon & McCartney.
Members were also treated to works by Warlock ,Vivaldi and Offenbach written for or arranged for the mandolin as solo ,duet or unusually , a whole orchestra of mandolins in all shapes and sizes with the Madeira Mandolin Orchestra . A new appreciation of the instrument was generated. There were also brief appearances for lute, in duet with the guitar, and for harp and harpsichord .
|Simon Mayor – The English Mandolin
||Bass Danse – from Capriol Suite – Trad arr by Warlock, adapted by Mayor
||Pavane – from Capriol Suite as above
|The Second Mandolin Album
||Vivaldi arr Mayor – I Allegro frpm Concerto for Two Mandolins
||Vivaldi arr Mayor – III Allegro
|La Danza – Spanish Guitar Classics – Neil Smith
||Sevilla ( Sevillinas) by Isaac Albiniz (1860-1909)
|Music of Europe Vol 2 – The Hill & Wiltschinsky Guitar Duo
||Romance Op 17/3 Gabrriel Faure (1845-1924)
||Eleanor Rigby – Lennon & McCartney arr by Wiltschinsky
|Guitar & Lute
||Falla – Spanish Dance – Guitar & Lute
|Classical Harp – Sarah Hill harpist
||Meditating from Thais – Jules Massenet
|Greatest Hits Harpsichord
||The Harmonious Blacksmith – Handel (1685 – 1759) (Air and variations in E Major from Harpsichord Suite in D minor).
|Madeira Mandolin Orchestra — Established 1913; 2nd oldest in Europe.
||Offenbach – Melodies
|Craig Ogden – The Guitarist
||Le Onde – Ludovico Einaudi arr by Ogden
||Romance No 1 by John Brunning
|The Best of John Williams
||Cavatina – Myers
|The Second Mandolin Album
||Mayor – Pipped at the Post
Copies of notes on the presentation are available on request .
August 23rd 2016 : Open forum / BYO
A smaller than usual attendance allowed everybody a chance to play a track of their own choice . These included many popular works like the Grieg Piano Concerto and Vaughan-Williams ” The Lark ascending “, however here were however a few less well known works or arrangements of works e.g. part of Elgar’s ” The Music Makers” and a lovely arrangement for flute and strings of part of Mozart’s “Magic Flute” . Eardrums and audio equipment were tested by Bonjovi’s ” Living on a prayer” and Mussorgsky’s ” Great Gate of Kiev” from his ” Pictures from a Exhibition” .
Elgar – The Music Makers
Bizet – Duet from ” The Pearl Fishers”
Mozart – Magic flute arr flute & strings
Grieg – Piano Concerto – opening
Schubert – Impromptu No 3 played by Mitsuko Ushida
Chopin – Waltz from ” Les Sylphides ” Rotterdam Philharmonic
Donizetti – The aria ” Una furtiva lachrima” fron ” L’elisir d’amore”
Bonjovi – Living on a prayer
Profofiev – Symphony No 1 ( “Classical”) fist movement National SO of Ukraine
Vaughan-Williams – ” The Lark ascending ”
Mussorgsky : ” The Great Gate of Kiev” from ” Pictures from an Exhibition
June 28th 2016: ” Chamber music” presented by Norma Wardle
Norma began by asking how many group members regularly listed to chamber music . There proved to be very few but by the end of her interesting and informative presentation she had evidently made several converts .
Enjoyable music from Mozart to Janacek mostly for quartet or quintet . Some were well known like the Schubert’s “Trout” quintet . Others less so like Beethoven’s ” Grosse Fuge” , which had formed the final movement of a quartet and was dark and emotionally charged . A good contrast of styles and moods and much appreciated .
1) Schubert – Octet
2) Mozart – Horn Quintet (1782) Horn – David Pyatt
3) Mozart – Clarinet Quintet Nicolas Cox on Basset clarinet with RLPO members
4) Schubert – Trout Quintet – with Clifford Curzon
5) Beethoven – Grosse Fuge (1826)
6) Dvorak : ” American ” Quartet ( No 12)
7) Janacek – Kreutzer Sonata (No 1) – New Helsinki Quartet
8) Schubert – ” Death & the Maiden ” quartet in D minor
May 24th 2016 : ” A music bucket list” – pieces considered a essential listening by the presenter Barrie Mitchell
These items ranged from the 16th century to the 20th starting with a Motet “Paternoster” by Nicolas Gombert , a composer not known to most of the members present . Part of concertos for violins by JS Bach and Vivaldi were included and a Ballade for piano by Chopin . Symphonic works included parts of Cesar Franck’s Symphonic variations , Bruckner’s Symphony no 8 , “Seville” from Albeniz ” Suite Iberia” and the opening of Richard Strauss’s “Alpine Symphony which started the presentation . The final item was the 1st movement of Phillip Glass’s Violin Concerto No 1 but from the members reaction this minimalist composer would not be on their bucket list !
April 26th 2016 : Open Forum / BYO
11 members of the group presented short items of their choice covering a wide range of periods and styles . Vocal numbers from Elton John , Alud Jones and The Dubliners (not together !) plus the Flower duet from Delibes “Lakme”, instrumental items including works by Tartini , John Field and Korngold , orchestral works by Dvorak and Szymanowski . Much enjoyed by the audience.
March 22nd 2016 : ” The early music of Irving Berlin !
This was a comprehensive introduction to to the early life and music of this prolific American composer , illustrated by 15 examples of familiar tunes sung by some familiar names from the Andrews Sisters to Robbie Williams and some less known ones like Ruth Etting and Ethel Waters . An enjoyable journey down nostalgia lane .
February 23rd 2016 : ” A musical tea-party” with Pearl Webster
This was an entertaining meeting with a selection of music and personal anecdotes . The music ranged from classical ballet , Liszt piano music and Rimsky-Korsakov’s ” Scheherazade” to Mack the knife and the title music from the film ” Ladies in lavender” . On the way we were treated to jazz humour with George Chisholm , big band with Sid Philips and vocal contributions from Hutch , Edmond Hockridge and others . Because she had unavoidably missed the BYO Christmas lunch meeting Pearl had provided cakes and sandwiches for all at the interval which were much enjoyed . Members please note that this was a one-off ! We will be back to Tea/coffee and biscuits for future meetings !
January 26th 2016 : “Lord Berners – an English Eccentric” was an introduction to the life and music of a 20th century composer , well known between the wars but then largely forgotten until a revival of interest in his music 20 years ago . At the end of WWI he was regarded as a very avant-garde composer but his later works are more accessible – mostly written for the ballet . Examples of both were played. His musical output was small but he was also a successful painter and author so nicknamed ” the versatile peer “. To his home in London and his country house came many of the glitterati of his time . There are many amusing anecdotes about his eccentric behaviour and these were enjoyed by the listeners – more than some of the music perhaps !
Music Appreciation 2015
Tuesday November 24th : Since this was our last meeting of the year. The Open forum / BYO meeting was preceded by our Christmas luncheon provided by all those attending . The food , atmosphere and company were all excellent as was the organisation of the event so all those involved should be congratulated . After the meal , the music could have proved to be an anticlimax but instead the wide variety of music played was enjoyed by all . Eleven members , selected by lottery , had the chance to play a piece which included a John Rutter carol , a traditional spiritual , works by Mozart ,Haydn , Chopin & Borodin and there was of course a seasonal excerpt from Handel’s “Messiah”. On a less serious note , we ended with a parody , ” The Barber of Seville goes to the devil ” by Gordon Jacobs, an ingenious parody that Rossini himself would surely have enjoyed .
Tuesday October 27th: With the title ” 20th century British composers” , this presentation by Alma & Roger Abel might have been another hearing of some very familiar pieces. Instead they came up with an interesting an entertaining selection of music – mainly from the second half of the century . The exception was the overture to Vaughan-Williams music for a Cambridge University performance of Aristophanes play ” The Wasps” – shame that nobody could remember the plot !
From a work from the start of the 20th C to one from the end with part John Lord’s ” Durham Concerto ” , an excerpt representing a noisy confrontation between town & gown in rag week . This was followed by a change to quiet mood with the opening of Patrick Hawes ” Highgrove Suite ” entitled ” The Goddess of the woods” .
Howard Goodall is probably best known as a TV presenter and composer of TV themes but we were treated to part of his choral work based on the beatitudes of St Matthew ” Enchanted Voices” .
The next piece was unknown to most of the members , part of the “Seven Wonders Suite ” by Stuart Mitchell and brought to us via an i-pad and sound box .
The presentation ended with another Royal family connection – Two movements of Nigel Hess’s Piano concerto , commissioned by Prince Charles in memory of his The Queen mother , his beloved grandmother .
Tuesday September 22nd : “Composer / Performers” Bernie Handford presented 17 pieces of music wherein the composer was the actual musician playing the piece we were listening to. With composers ranging from 19th century stalwarts such as Mahler playing the 4th movement from his symphony No.4 ( where the original recording had been made on old wax surface equipment, subsequently re-mastered by modern technology), via Andre Previn playing his “Sunset in Blue”, to popular recent music such as “Eleanor Rigby”, written by and played on CD for us today by local heroes, The Beatles, Bernie gave the appreciative audience of 28 members a varied and enjoyable performance before finishing on a humorous note with Flanders and Swann singing and playing “Have a Madeira M’dear” to send us on our way home with a smile on our faces.
Tuesday August 25th : ” Strings and things” was the intriguingly titled presentation by Marjorie and Stan Bryan . We were treated to music played on a wide variety of stringed instruments, both plucked and bowed . A version for harp of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”, beautifully played by Catrin Finch was followed by her delightful version of “Chicken Pickin’ Rag”. A contrast in size and range of instrument was shown with excerpts from Vivaldi’s mandolin concerto and Koussevitzky’s double bass concerto .
Traditional music was represented by Zither and Bouzouki pieces ( Zorba’s theme of course) and this was followed by a return to the classical repertoire with pieces for piano . violin , guitar and string section by Chopin , Bruch , Rodrigo and Vivaldi.
A program obviously enjoyed by the listeners .
Tuesday July 28th: This was an Open Forum / BYO meeting and 13 members had the opportunity to introduce a short piece of their choice. As usual a wide selection of music was played with vocals from Lesley Garret and Dames Shirley Bassey and Joan Sutherland. Not to be outdone by the ladies, the men included Neil Diamond, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin. Solo instrumentals on Guitar came from John Williams and the piano was represented by Peter Maxwell Davies’s ” Farewell to Stromness”. The full orchestra had it’s chance with Massenet’s “Meditation from Thais”, George Butterworth’s ” The Banks of Green Willow” and George Lloyd ‘s Symphony No 9 with an oriental touch given by the bells of the Processional from John Fould’s “Three Mantras’. The final item Dudley Moore’s ” Beethoven Parody”, ensured that the members left with a smile!
Tuesday June 23rd: ‘The challenge of the composer Bohuslav Martinu’ was a typically interesting presentation by Alan Morton, this time introducing most of the members for the first time to this relatively unknown Czech composer’s life and music. As suggested by the title of the presentation, some of this composers works do not make for easy listening so careful selection had been done. Much of the music played had been composed during WWII in the USA where Martinu had fled after the invasion of his country by the Nazis. This included his violin concerto, cello concerto No 2 and Symphonies 2 & 3 and the moving ‘Memorial to Lidice’. An earlier piece, his Concerto for 2 string orchestras, piano and timpani, was also included and the presentation was completed by part of one of his last works, his 5th Piano concerto of 1958.
Tuesday May 26th: Pauline Jones presented ” A Musical Life” – a programme of music that had special meaning to her at the various stages of her life . Songs by Hoagy Carmichael , Kathleen Ferrier , Howard Keel and Mario Lanza were followed by works several classical composers including Grieg , Mendelssohn , Tchaikovsky and Rodrigo .
A broad spectrum which obviously was much enjoyed by the listeners .
April 28th: Open Forum / BYO: This was one of the thrice yearly meetings where members are invited to introduce a (short) piece of music of their choice .
As usual a wide range of music was heard with vocal works from modern popular to liturgical and classical opera, from Eva Cassidy to Rene Fleming and a very well sung excerpt from Elgar’s “Sea Pictures ” via Mario Lanza’s ” Be my Love”.
Instrumental items were played from solo piano to full orchestral and the first example of electronic music – an arrangement of “Mercury” from Holst’s Planet Suite (The latter had a mixed reception!) There were excerpts from several piano works by Schumann, Beethoven, and Satie. Shostakovich’s “Walt & Tahiti trot” (a jazz arrangement of “Tea for Two”) raised some smiles .
March 24th: “Russian Renaissance” :An interesting and entertaining presentation was given by Steve Talbot on this period of musical history when Russian composers started to look east for their inspiration – to Russian history and folk music rather than to the music of western Europe. We were treated to music by Glinka, regarded as the father of “Russian” music, and to his successors Balikirev, Borodin and Glazunov – plus Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky. Some were familiar pieces, others less so, but all were appreciated by the listeners .
February 24th: “The Life and music of Sergei Prokofiev”:Vaughan Wall gave another comprehensive musical biography, illustrated with both familiar and less well known examples of this prolific composer’s works. These included part of his Classical Symphony, The Dance of the Knights from his Romeo & Juliet Suite, the March from The Love for Three Oranges, excerpts from piano and violin concertos and 5th Symphony and from the Lieutenant Kije and Cinderella Suites.
January 27th : “Women Composers“ David Sunderland’s presentation ranged from the music of the 12th C Nun Hildegard of Bingen to the current Master of the Queens Music, Dame Judith Weir. An introduction was also given to the composers Marianna Martinez (17th C Vienna), Louise Farrenc (early 19thC France) and Amy Beach (20thC USA) and examples of their music played. More time was assigned to the English composer, Ethyl Smyth, whose private life proved to be as colourful as her music. The most popular item appeared to be her “March for Women”, written as the rallying call of the Suffragette movement which earned a round of applause, somewhat to the alarm of the male members of the group!