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A Holst celebration in Oxford:
Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda
Corona Strings together with CHOROS chamber choir, under conductor Janet Lincé and with internationally renowned soloists, will take listeners on a beguiling eastern-inspired spiritual journey during their all-Holst concert, being performed at St John the Evangelist Church in Oxford on Saturday 27th September at 7.30pm. This enticing programme includes a rare fully-staged performance of Holst’s powerful opera ‘Savitri’ and a selection from his ethereal ‘Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda’.
The performance is being staged under the Directorship of Nina Brazier, with soloists Yvonne Howard, soprano; Mark Chaundy, tenor, and Matthew Hargreaves, baritone.
Conductor Janet Lincé said “I have been drawn to Holst’s music ever since singing his ‘Hymn of Jesus’ in my teens. I found that the composer really understands the human voice and his use of off-stage wordless chorus in his opera ‘Savitri’ is magical. It is a powerful and moving work and although the orchestra specified is tiny, it’s hugely effective. The dark-toned cor anglais has to be my favourite instrument at the moment!”
Corona, formed in 2012, is a professional string orchestra based mainly in and around Oxford and known as a flexible and vibrant ensemble which includes a fine group of ‘period’ instrument players at its core. Its repertoire showcases many of the standard classical works and the players share a particular enjoyment for programming pieces by home-grown composers.
Having cycled through the Algerian desert in 1908, on his Doctor’s advice to travel somewhere warmer, Gustav Holst returned invigorated and began work on a new opera – ‘Savitri’: the story of the triumph of love over death, based on the great Sanskrit classic, the ‘Mahabharata’.
Holst had a fascination for ancient Indian literature and philosophy and understood the significance of the sacred texts such as the ‘Vedas’ and ‘Upanishads’ and epics such as the ‘Mahabharata’. Holst said that the music and words for ‘Savitri’ “really grew together”, developing organically into a compact and perfect form.
Holst taught himself Sanskrit in order to write a more coherent English libretto, simplifying the story but taking some liberties with the characters. The opera, which lasts barely half an hour, contains only three characters with a small orchestra and wordless female chorus, but has an impact and resonance all of its own. It is an opera that has been somewhat neglected but is now finding its rightful place as one of the most significant of the twentieth century.
“St John’s Church is the perfect venue for this work” added conductor, Janet Lince “and we’ll be using the whole space to create a really special atmosphere. All the performers are very excited about this unique project”.
The accompanying Holst works include the neo-classical ‘Fugal Concerto’ and the second and third sets of ‘Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda’; another of Holst’s works which set some of the oldest sacred Sanskrit texts; the sense of which is brilliantly reflected in this atmospheric music.
How to book:
Tickets £16 (£12 concessions; £5 full-time students and under 18’s)
On the door: Church of St John the Evangelist, 109A Iffley Road, Oxford OX4 1EH or in advance from: www.sje-oxford.org or from ‘Tickets Oxford’: tel. 01865 305305
Searching for the music for Eleanor Farjeon's Sussex Alphabet
This concerns a project that I am developing with South Downs National Park. As I am sure you are aware this is the newest of the National Parks to be created in the UK, though in terms of the time it took, it's almost the oldest! As part of the celebration of its existence we are planning both to republish Eleanor Farjeon's Sussex Alphabet - a series of poems characterised by fantasy, humour and deep love of the county. At the same time we will produce a new set of poems which we hope the school children in the Park will write - and publish these as A Southdowns Alphabet.
Beside these lovely poems and, of course, Morning Has Broken - set to music by Cat Stevens - Eleanor also wrote a poem On The Road to Alfriston which is, in fact, the village where I live.
Though her original Sussex Alphabet was published by Pear Tree Press in 1939 she actually wrote the poems in 1924 and these were set to music by her brother, Harry.
My colleague Peter Robinson has a copy of both the Pear Tree publication and the musical poems.
However, as Peter wrote: It seems my scarce copy of the Sussex Alphabet set to brother Harry Farjeon's music, is only Vol. 1 of 2. It takes us up to 'N': Nightingales. However, for our purposes it has the all important 'D': Downs poem. Incidentally, you will see that this was in fact Harry Farjeon's own copy -it is signed bottom right on the front cover.
We are trying urgently to do four things and this led us to Mr Scowcroft's web site and your name. We would like to try to find the two volumes of this music and, if possible, get everything in a form so that a pianist and and eventually a school choir could sing these poems again - and eventually sing our new poems too. So this will require another composer, but we'll deal with the first problem at the moment.
Thank you for your advice and help. I can be reached on 01323 870073 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Julian Lloyd Webber’s last ever filmed performance as a cellist available to watch now
On 3 April 2014, Julian Lloyd Webber, along with wife Jiaxin and accompanist Pam Chowhan, launched Rhinegold LIVE with music from their recent Tale of Two Cellos tour. Just a few weeks later Julian announced his retirement from performance due to a herniated disc in his neck.
The concert was filmed, and four videos are now available to watch at Rheingold UK. The four videos represent Julian’s last ever filmed performance as a cellist:
- Summer Sunset, by Roger Quilter
- Moon Silver, by William Lloyd Webber
- Prelude from ‘The Gadfly’, by Dmitri Shostakovich
- All I Have to Do Is Dream, The Everly Brothers
The videos are available as part of Rhinegold LIVE’s commitment to offering accessible and affordable music to all. Also available is a live audio recording of the informal Q&A that followed their recital, in which the trio discuss stories from their most recent tour, William Lloyd Webber’s centenary year, the differences between playing classical and rock, Julian’s passion for Leyton Orient and the importance of music education.
All Rhinegold LIVE material is recorded using the AKG C414, and Pam plays a Schimmel Konzert Grand kindly donated by Peregrine’s Pianos.
This concert was sponsored by Teacher Stern solicitors.
A Dream of Germany: Music’s War-torn World 1914
What was it like, that cosmopolitan musical world of Howard’s End and Virginia Woolf?
And why did Tennyson fall out with Arthur Sullivan, what part did seasickness play in Mendelssohn’s success in England, and above all, how on earth could someone called Percy Sherwood be a great German composer? Find out all the answers, and more!
A complete and comprehensive series of four concerts in one day: Sunday 5th October 2014 @ St. John’s, Smith Square, London
Download the Press Release here.
2014 POSK 50th Anniversary
October 4th 7.30pm (Saturday) and October 5th at 5pm (Sunday).
The Polish Social and Cultural Association POSK
presents Halka, an opera in Four Acts,
Music by Stanislaw Moniuszko.
Libretto by Wlodzimierz Wolski.
A cast of internationally recognised soloists perform Moniuszko’s masterpiece- Poland’s first national opera “Halka” to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Polish Social and Cultural Association POSK in London.
Halka- Monika Swiostek,
Jontek- Rafal Bartminski,
Janusz- Marcin Janusz,
Stolnik- Piotr Lempa/Marcin Gesla,
Zosia- Violetta Gawara,
Dziemba- Marcin Gesla/Piotr Lempa,
Coro dell Angelo- Chorus,
The Orchestra of POSK Polish Opera in London
Director- Richard Fawkes
Conductor- Stephen Ellery
Halka received its first performance in Vilnius in 1848. 9 years later for the Warsaw National Opera premiere of 1857 the 2 act opera was enlarged to 4 acts to include national dances Polonaise, Mazur and Tance Goralskie as well as specially composed arias reminiscent of Polish folk songs.
Poland did not exist as an independent country and therefore its very creation was a revolutionary act, as under Tsarist Russian rule any artistic activity was subject to censorship. The composer was determined to create this work against all odds and the music and texts are enthused with Polish national musical rhythms and melodies. Because of its very nature it is a miracle that it reached the stage of performance as the artists involved risked their livelihoods by doing so.
Not only is 2014 the 50th Anniversary of POSK but also the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Monte Casino and the 25th Anniversary of free elections in Poland, so the staging of this opera provides a fitting tribute to the fighting spirit of Poland.
Ticket prices £20, 25, 30
THE IMMORTAL HOUR
Music by Rutland Boughton. Libretto by 'Fiona Macleod' (William Sharp).
Directed by Benji Sperring.
Celebrating the exact centenary of its first performance at the inaugural Glastonbury Festival on 26 August 1914, Rutland Boughton’s record-breaking 'music-drama' The Immortal Hour, plays at the Finborough Theatre for a limited nine performance run of Sunday and Monday evening and Tuesday matinee performances from Sunday, 10 August 2014 (Press Night: Monday, 11 August 2014 at 7.30pm).
As befits the Finborough Theatre's location on one of London's major ley-lines, The Immortal Hour is a magical faery tale that draws heavily from Celtic folklore and mythology.
Eochaidh, King of Éire, is drawn by visions to seek the love of the immortal Faery Folk, but in doing so inadvertently summons Dalua, the Lord of Shadows. Dalua uses his dark powers to bewilder Eochaidh and send him down a path that few return from...with tragic consequences.
Combining Wagnerian approaches to musical themes with a folk-like approach to the music itself, reminiscent of its Celtic roots, The Immortal Hour explores fate, desire and mortality in two worlds, as the unrequited love between the mortal world and the immortal Faeries collide.
Following its premiere at the first Glastonbury Festival (which Boughton co-founded), The Immortal Hour was produced in London in 1922 where it enjoyed a record breaking run of over 600 performances. Last seen in London at Sadler's Wells in 1958, it still holds the world-record for a continuous run of any serious opera written by an Englishman.
In a month that also marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, this production – which restores the piece to its theatrical roots – offers a unique opportunity to experience the musical culture of England as it was in the month that the nation went to war.
Composer Rutland Boughton (1878-1960) was one of the most prolific English composers of the 20th century – and was also well known for organising music festivals at Glastonbury, Stroud, Ross-on-Wye and Bath, and for his left wing political views. He studied at the Royal College of Music. His many other works include the operas Bethlehem, The Round Table, The Ever Young, The Lily Maid, Galahad, Avalon, The Queen of Cornwall and Alkestis, the ballets Death Dance of Grania, Snow White, The Death of Columbine and May Day, and many other orchestral concertos and musical poems. www.rutlandboughtonmusictrust.org.uk
Librettist Fiona Macleod was the pseudonym of Scottish author William Sharp (1855-1905), well known for his literary biographies of Percy Bysshe Shelley, Rossetti, Browning and Joseph Severn. Sharp used the Fiona Macleod pseudonym to write in a more whimsical and fantastical style as befitted his membership of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, one of the largest single influences on 20th-century Western occultism. Born in Paisley and studied at Glasgow University, Sharp was friends with many of the leading literary figures of his day including Rossetti and Swinburne, although his relationship with some writers – most notably W.B. Yeats – was often tumultuous as many were dismissive of Sharp’s writing, but commended Macleod’s. The opera libretto was based on Sharp's 1908 play of the same name.
Director Benji Sperring recently directed the professional world premiere of Ivor Novello’s Valley of Song at the Finborough Theatre. Directing includes Eugene Ionesco’s The Bald Prima Donna (Old Red Lion Theatre), Maurice Maeterlinck’s The Blind and The Intruder (Old Red Lion Theatre and Tabard Theatre) which received an OffWestEnd Award nomination for Best Design, Assassins (Palace Theatre, Manchester), Sweet Charity (King's Theatre, Southsea), The Monk (Barons Court Theatre), Fun Like Stalingrad (Hen and Chickens Theatre), Six Characters In Search Of An Author and Under Milk Wood (Caccia Studio, Eton), Find Me (David Russell Theatre, Portsmouth, and Woking Festival), Little Shop of Horrors (Dance House Theatre, Manchester), In Camera and Party Time (John Thaw Studio Theatre, Manchester).
In 2006, the Finborough Theatre began the Celebrating British Music Theatre series with a sell-out production of Leslie Stuart’s Florodora. Productions since then have included sell-out rediscoveries of Lionel Monckton’s Our Miss Gibbs, Harold Fraser-Simson’s operetta The Maid of the Mountains, A "Gilbert and Sullivan" Double Bill featuring Gilbert’s play Sweethearts and Sullivan’s opera The Zoo, Dame Ethel Smyth’s opera The Boatswain’s Mate, Sandy Wilson’s The Buccaneer, Oscar Asche’s Chu Chin Chow, Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley's The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, Ivor Novello's Perchance to Dream, Gay's The Word and Valley of Song, Gilbert and Sullivan's The Grand Duke, Edward German's Merrie England and Paul Scott Goodman's Rooms: A Rock Romance.
THEGREATWAR100 series is a new occasional series of works to be presented by the Finborough Theatre from 2014 to 2018 to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. The Immortal Hour will run concurrently with Rolf Hochhuth's epic retelling of the outbreak of the First World War, Sommer 14 – A Dance of Death.
Finborough Theatre, The Finborough, 118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652. www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
Sundays, Mondays and Tuesdays, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 August 2014
Sunday and Monday evenings at 7.30pm. Tuesday matinees at 2.00pm
Tickets £18, £16 concessions.
Bax and Vaughan Williams in Eastbourne
Mark Gibbs (Viola) and Christopher Atkinson (Piano) will perform a recital of viola and piano repertoire at Eastbourne College's Birley Centre on Saturday 31st May at 7.30pm. Opening with the rarely-performed Bax viola sonata, the duo will also perform Brahms' Sonata in E flat and Vaughan Williams' Romance before concluding with Shostakovich's viola sonata, the last piece the composer completed before his death in 1975. Tickets are available through eventbrite.co.uk (£10) or on the door (£12).
Tage der britischen Musik (British Music Days) in Mainz – 30 May until 1 June 2014
The Deutsche Sullivan-Gesellschaft e. V. in cooperation with the Staatstheater Mainz:
Friday, 30 May 2014
19:00 hrs pre-concert talk, Staatstheater Mainz (with the conductor)
20:00 hrs concert of the Staatsorchesters Mainz
(Florian Csizmadia conducts Dante und Beatrice by Granville Bantock, The World’s Ransoming by James MacMillan and the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar.)
Saturday, 31 May 2014
14 – 15:15 hrs
"Tonmaler und Klangdichter – Kunst und Literatur im Werk von Sullivan, Elgar und Bantock" – public talk about English music in the Orchestersaal of the Staatstheater Mainz, (in German)
Gutenbergplatz 7 (Meinhard Saremba) – for everybody –
15:30 – 16:15 hrs
"Lust auf Elgar?" – planning an "Elgar-Freundeskreis"
(in German, the German Sullivan Society in cooperation with the Elgar Society)
in the Haus des Deutschen Weines, Gutenbergplatz 3-5, Mainz – for everybody –
SullivanPerspektiven II – Arthur Sullivans Bühnenwerke, Oratorien, Schauspielmusik und Lieder (edited by Albert Gier, Meinhard Saremba and Benedict Taylor) Book with contributions in German and English, the editors will be present – for everybody –
16:30 – 18 hrs
Annual General Meeting of the German Sullivan Society (Mitgliederversammlung der Deutschen Sullivan-Gesellschaft e. V.)
in the Haus des Deutschen Weines, Gutenbergplatz 3-5, Mainz – for members only –
19:00 hrs pre-concert talk, Staatstheater Mainz (with the conductor)
20:00 hrs concert of the Staatsorchesters Mainz
(Florian Csizmadia conducts Dante und Beatrice by Granville Bantock, The World’s Ransoming by James MacMillan and the Enigma Variations by Edward Elgar.)
Sonntag, 1. Juni 2014
11 – 13:15 hrs
Concert with songs, arias and duets by British composers
in the Orchestersaal of the Staatstheaters Mainz, Gutenbergplatz 7
(e. g. Dowland, Purcell, Sullivan, Elgar, Vaughan Williams, Britten)
With Maria Ditz and Julia Funk-Balzer (sopranos), Matthias Eschli (baritone), Lionel Fawcett (bass), Susanne Wendel (piano) und Meinhard Saremba (presenter).
After the concert the artists and members oft he German Sullivan Society have lunch at the Haus des Deutschen Weines, Gutenbergplatz 3-5, Mainz.
For those who can stay longer: On 3 June 2014 there will be a performance of The Lady in the Dark by Kurt Weill, conducted by Florian Csizmadia. There are allusions to Sullivan’s operas in this work.
Deutschland / Germany
Tel.: +49 (0)621-333844
Online Polish music resource
I would like to draw your attention to the new project dedicated to Polish renowned composers Witold Lutoslawski, Henryk Mikołaj Górecki and Krzysztof Penderecki. The aim of the project is to make works of these composers avaiable to the wider public. It is a venture of the National Audiovisual Institute of Poland, a government agency under the Ministry of Culture with a mission to digitize, archive, record, share and promote Polish audiovisual heritage.
To celebrate the jubilee anniversary of the birth of Lutoslawski, Gorecki and Penderecki we have launched www.threecomposers.pl an on-line music collection containing almost all the works by Witold Lutosławski, Krzysztof Penderecki and Henryk Mikołaj Górecki. The recordings, at full lenght, have been carefully selected for the highest artistic level or their special historical value.
The whole content of the collection is available to the public all over the world for free.
The collection comprises nearly 300 pieces composed since 1924 up to present (in at least one audio recording), which have been enriched with 950 articles in Polish and English language version, concerning genesis or the circumstances of creating a given composition. This service have been developed by a team of experts - musicologists and music critics. Moreover, the collection consists of a number of additional contextual, iconographic and film materials, providing information on the life and works of the artists. Over 70 per cent of the collection comprises recordings from the archives of Polish Radio, digitized at our initiative.
Among the recordings available, one can listen to performances of the world-renowned instrumentalists and bands, including inter alia Anne-Sophie Mutter performing Lutosławski’s "Chain II. Dialogue for Violin and Orchestra", conducted by Jan Krenz; Krystian Zimmerman performing for the very first time in Poland Lutosławski’s "Piano Concerto" dedicated to him, under the baton of the composer; Mstislav Rostropovich in Penderecki's "II. Concerto for Cello” or the Kronos Quartet in registrations of string quartets of the Three Composers.
On some recordings, the great composers also perform as instrumentalists, for example Witold Lutosławski playing his "Folk Melodies", "Bucolics" and "Three Pieces for youth" on the piano; Henryk Mikołaj Górecki, accompanies Wanda Warska at the piano, who sings "Three fragments to the words of Wyspiański" and Krzysztof Penderecki, also playing the piano (!), accompanies Eugenia Umińska while she performs "Three miniatures for violin and piano".
Moreover, at the website one can find recordings that had never before been recorded for commercial purposes, such as Penderecki’s opera "Black Mask" performed at the Teatr Wielki in Warsaw (September 1988) directed by Robert Satanowski; and the world premiere records of such works as Lutosławski’s "String Overture " from 1949 recorded in Prague under the direction of Grzegorz Fitelberg.
The collection includes also some very rare musical "gems" such as a two-minute fanfare "Wratislaviae gloria" composed by Górecki in 1968 for Andrzej Markowski, the then head of the Wroclaw Philharmonic Orchestra, or electronic "Aulodia" by Penderecki - the first proposal of a piece that was supposed to dignify the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972.
National Audiovisual Institute of Poland
My name is Steve Pazin and I am a member of the Clovis Community Band of Clovis, California. The band is going to play a selection named “Normandy Veterans March” by Chris North. I can not find any performance notes regarding this selection. I know that he was born around 1910 and died around 1949. I assume he composed this march recognizing the Veteran’s who were part of the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944.
I would appreciate any information you or any of your colleagues could pass along to me. We’re going to perform this march this weekend.
Anyone who can help, please email Rob Barnett.
The English Music Festival, Dorchester-on-Thames, May 23-26 2014
The eighth Festival will be launched on Friday 23 rd May, 2014, with a fanfare of orchestral music at Dorchester Abbey, Oxfordshire. Conductor, Martin Yates, will lead the BBC Concert Orchestra in no Fewer than four world premières: hitherto undiscovered works by Rutland Boughton - his symphonic poem Troilus and Cressida ; Sir Arnold Bax's impressive Variations for Orchestra ; and lost landscapes by Ralph Vaughan Williams; Burley Heath and Harnham Down . So on the opening night, the fine British virtuoso, Rupert Marshall-Luck, will play the Violin Concerto by EJMoeran. The concert, to be broadcast on BBC Radio 3, will be Preceded by the annual Festival lecture, Which in this centenary year of the Great War will be devoted to the music and art of the years 1914-18.
Other Festival highlights include a recital by clarinettist Robert Plane, who champions two important Bax works, a Sonata movement (another world première performance) and Romance , both dating from 1901, and - on the final night - in appearance by the Orchestra of St. Paul's, Conducted by Ben Palmer. Dyson's Concerto da Camera and the magnificent and rarely-played Music for Strings by Sir Arthur Bliss Provide the mainstay of the programs. The City of London Choir and Holst Orchestra therefore make an uplifting contribution, in the form of Finzi's moving and intense Requiem da Camera , alongside Butterworth's profoundly beautiful setting of AE Housman's Loveliest of trees.
Meanwhile, a contemporary flavor is provided by composer John Pickard, When his Quartet No. 5 receives a performance, sharing a concert with Vaughan Williams's Quartet No. 1 The BBC Elstree Concert Band will make a star appearance in what promises to be a rousing evening, with Malcolm Arnold's English Dances , Eric Coates's London Suite , thrilling music from the classic movie Things to Come, by Bliss, and ending with the subtle shades of a work Entitled Dusk by a less familiar name, Armstrong Gibbs. A major new biography of this composer, written by Angela Aries with contributions from Lewis Foreman, will be launched week at a special seminar, Organised by EM Publishing, the literary arm of the festival.
The festival's founder, Em Marshall-Luck , commented: "Our 2014 concerts Provide a panoply of rare, unusual and undiscovered music added anonymously. Our first-night conductor Martin Yates, is undertaking what is probably one of the most remarkable concerts of the Entire Year, with world premières by Bax and Vaughan Williams. This is the equivalent of the National Gallery or Tate Britain finding new paintings by Constable and Turner. And I am also pleased to did say we have not neglected the lighter side of our musical tradition, and will be welcoming back the wonderful New Foxtrot Serenaders who, last year without royalty provided us with seeking entertainment and delight, while the BBC Elstree band will be making Their debut EMF - Ensuring there is something for everyone in our exciting and Varied programs. " A number of informative talks complete the programs. A convenient mini-bus transfer is available to / from Didcot station, Dorchester-on-Thames and other festival venues.
For Further Information and to see the full program, visit the festival website. Tickets go on sale from 15th March via the website, and also will be for sale on the door, subject to availability.
And all the trumpets sounded by Ronald Corp
Commissioned by the Highgate Choral Society and completed in 1989, the cantata is a setting of verses from the Latin poem Dies irae and war poems by Charles Hamilton Sorley, Wilfred Owen, Rupert Brooke, and Edward Thomas. The central section is a setting of Vigil Strange by Walt Whitman which tells of the death of a young comrade in battle.
And all the trumpets sounded was intended as a companion piece to Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem and owes a debt to Britten’s War Requiem.
Reviews after the first performance in Highgate:-
‘......a major work which should find a place in our great choral repertory’ (The Hampstead and Highgate Express)
‘Even after a single hearing there is no doubt that And all the trumpets sounded deserves to find a place in the programme of our choral societies, and I recommend it to the Three Choirs Festival. (Musical Opinion)
Now on CD - Dutton Epoch CDLX7280
Mark Stone (baritone); New London Children’s Choir: The London Chorus: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Ronald Corp
International Record Review - April 2012
‘the shadow of Britten may inevitably loom, and with textures dominated, as you would expect from the title (drawn from John Bunyan, not otherwise set here) by trumpets and bass drum, there is no avoiding the fact. All the same Corp is his own man, for the most part steering clear, or so it seems to me, of Britten’s sometimes biting astringency’ (Piers Burton-Page)
Fanfare July/August 2012
‘this is first class music of a sort sorely needed’......’from the first bar to the last this is a moving, powerful piece’ (James A Altena)
The work is scored for baritone soloist, SATB choir with optional children’s choir (or soprano solo) and modest orchestra - 2222.2300. timp perc (2) and strings.
Duration 38 - 40 minutes
Published by Stainer and Bell
Web site: www.ronaldcorp.com
Ethyl Smyth symposium
In connection with the research project "music and gender" at the University of Basle in connection with the Lucerne Aacdemy several events are to take place on Ethel Smyth (organised by Cornelia Bartsch and Blanka Siska). A symposium entitled "Life is a composite affair: Ethel Smyth - Musik, Kritik, Politik" is to take place on 16 and 17 February in Lucerne with an exhibition and a chamber concert; at the Lucerne Theatre Smyth’s opera The Boatswain's Mate is being mounted, first being performed on 15 February. More information on www.mws.unibas.ch.
First Swedish performance of Mitridate
On 8 and 9 February Mozart's opera "Mitridate"(K 87) will be performed for the first time in Sweden at the Royal Castle in Stockholm. It was premiered in Milan in December 1770 when Mozart was still only 14! It will be played without recitatives but with a narrator (in Swedish) linking the musical numbers. Among the soloists: Anna Eklund-Tarantino, Paulina Pfeiffer, Paula Hoffman and Mats Carlsson. The Rebaroque Orchestra plays and Jonas Dominique has arranged the Music. The performance on 9 February will be relayed worldwide at http://dlaplay.se/ 6.00 - 8.45 p.m. GMT. Not to be missed!
On Thursday 13th March at St John's Smith Square, The London Chorus are joining up with a choir from Durham University to give the world premiere of
Sir George Dyson's only recently discovered Choral Symphony: "O Give Thanks
Unto the Lord" (Psalm CV11). It's a big and impressive piece in four
movement for SATB soli, Double Chorus and orchestra, running 35'-40'. The
concert will be conducted by Ronald Corp.
The supporting programme is equally interesting with Sir Thomas Allen
singing Vaughan Williams Five Mystical Songs with the choir and a very rare
public performance of Stanford's Concert Piece for organ and orchestra. It's
a unique musical occasion, one not to be missed.
Download the choir's flier for the concert here.
Greville Cooke: Cormorant Crag and other piano works
Ever since discovering a mimeographed copy of Greville Cooke’s Cormorant Crag in the pages of the British Music Society Journal (Volume 4, 1982), I have regarded it as one of my musical aims in life to hear that piece. It is an evocative title that appeals to my sense of the picturesque. A study of the score reveals sea-music of the first order in a style that is romantic, nods to Bax and is deliberately overblown. It is way beyond my technical prowess (Grade 6⅓) on the piano so there is no potential for me to play it through with the notes in the right or even the wrong order.
Fortunately, the pianist Duncan Honeybourne has come to the rescue in a big way. On 27 April 2014, he is giving a lecture recital, entitled ‘Reef’s End: The Piano Music of Greville Cooke’ in Leominster as a part of a series of Sunday afternoon events that the pianist organises there.
On 24 May, Honeybourne is due to give a recital at the English Music Festival where he will play a number of Cooke’s essays, including ‘Cormorant Crag’, ‘Reef’s End’, ‘High Marley Rest’ and ‘Whispering Willows’. Other works at this performance will include Frank Bridge’s ‘revolutionary’ Sonata, Ivor Gurney’s ‘Five Western Watercolours’, Ernest Farrar’s Miniature Suite and two works by the forgotten Irish composer Archy Rosenthal.
Duncan Honeybourne is also due to record much of Cooke’s piano music for EM Records -‘Greville Cooke: A Forgotten English Romantic’. This album will be released (I hope) in time for the Festival. The recording is being made at the Turner Sims Concert Hall in Southampton. I understand that the disc will include the rarely heard ‘Six Teaching Pieces’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams, which was later ‘rebranded’ as A Little Piano Book. The ‘Nocturne’ by Gustav Holst is also on the batting list.
It is hugely encouraging when a composer is rediscovered. Looking at the piano scores of Greville Cooke’s music that are in my collection, I believe that listeners and concertgoers will not be disappointed. Certainly, based on the superb performance that this pianist has given in his recent retrospective of E.J. Moeran’s piano music, this promises to be an exciting project. Perhaps I can encourage Duncan Honeybourne to investigate the equally fascinating piano music of Harry Farjeon and Leo Livens?
Death of Regina Derieva
I am sorry to announce that the celebrated Russian poet Regina Derieva died on December 11 at the age of 64.
Regina and her husband Alexander Deriev produced the four recordings on our Pilgrims Star label. On two of them Via Crucis (PPS27002) and De Drofundis (PPS27004), Regina’s poems were set in stunning and beautiful fashion by Italian composer Armando Pierucci. On PPS27001, Regina recites her own poems between choral works in the Hail Mary Russian Rosary. These recordings were produced in collaboration with the Catholic organization La Terra Sancta (Guardians of the Holy Land) and given imprimatur from the Vatican. A tribute is being broadcast by Vatican Radio. Her funeral will take place in Stockholm, Sweden, on Monday 23 December.
Regina Derieva was born in the former USSR (Odessa) in 1949. From 1965 until 1990 she lived and worked in Karaganda, Kazakhstan. She graduated from university with majors in music and Russian philology and literature. In the old Soviet Union, Derieva's poetry earned her the disapproval of the state authorities, and she was denied publication. The KGB kept tabs on her, and she was accepted into the Union of Writers only with glasnost'. Derieva's work managed nonetheless to attract the attention of Joseph Brodsky, who first encouraged her to leave the USSR.
Regina Derieva is the author of twenty books of poems, prose and essays including most recent 'Sobranie Dorog: Selected Poems' and essays in two volumes (St. Petersburg, 2006). Her work has been translated into many languages, including English, French, Swedish, Italian and Arabic. Her work has appeared in magazines such as 'Poetry', 'Quadrant', 'Modern Poetry in Translation', 'Salt', 'The Liberal', 'Cross Currents', 'Poetry East', 'St. Petersburg Review', 'Ars Interpres', 'Notre Dame Review', 'Words Without Borders', as well as in many Russian and Swedish magazines. She has participated in a number of international festivals. Some of the books are available from Divine Art.
Several of Regina Derieva's poems have been put to music by the Italian composer Armando Pierucci and two of his cantatas to Derieva's poems, 'Via Crucis' (1999) and 'De Profundis' (2001), have been recorded for Divine Art's Pilgrims Star imprint. She has translated the poetry of contemporary American, British, Polish, and Swedish poets into Russian. In 2003, Derieva was awarded the Shannon Fellowship of the International Thomas Merton Society. She and her husband latterly settled in Sweden.
Stephen Sutton, Divine Art Records
28th November 2013, 7.30pm at St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate, London
BRITTEN Matinées Musicales Op. 24 (Excerpts)
DELIUS Intermezzo From Fennimore And Gerda
MILFORD Violin Concerto
ALWYN Symphony No. 4 (1959)
James Dickenson (violin)
Adam Johnson (piano)
Northern Lights Symphony Orchestra
GENEROUSLY FUNDED by Delius Trust, Milford Trust, RVW Trust and the William Alwyn Foundation
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Holborn Viaduct, London, EC1A 2DQ
Auction of Henschel archive
A small unrecorded archive of manuscripts and letters by singer, conductor and composer Sir George Henschel, one of the leading English musicians of his day, is to be auctioned by Shropshire’s leading fine art auction house next month.
The manuscripts and letters have been consigned in two lots to the Christmas collective auction at Halls in Shrewsbury on December 4 on behalf of an Irish vendor with family connections to Henschel (1850-1934).
Halls’ books specialist Aaron Dean is anticipating interest in the lots from across the UK and America.
Born on February 18, 1850 in Breslau, Prussia, Henschel began his career as a pianist but later found great success as a baritone and became a friend of Johannes Brahms. Moving to England in 1877, he became a British citizen in 1890.
He was first conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1881–84) and later conducted the Scottish Orchestra at Glasgow (1893–95) and taught at the Institute of Musical Art in New York, where he met his second wife, Amy Louis, who was one of his students.
Knighted in 1914, his compositions include two operas, a Stabat Mater, a requiem mass, and songs. In 1907, he published a collection of his journals and correspondence in ‘Personal Recollections of Johannes Brahms’ and in 1918 an autobiography, ‘Musings and Memories of a Musician’.
One of the auction lots, which is valued at around £2,000, comprises a three page manuscript titled ‘Little Lamb, who made thee’, described as “a Song of Innocence (for the little children to sing), humbly set to William Blake's beautiful words by George Henschel”.
With it are two pages of handwritten music dedicated to “Georgina and Peter” – believed to be Georgina Henschel, the composer’s daughter by his second wife and Peter Cloughton (1915-1968), Henschel's grandson - and initialled and dated Jan 18th 1918.
In addition, there’s a second manuscript titled 'The Knight of Bethlehem, set by George Henschel', two pages of handwritten music initialled and dated Nov 20th 1918, both within a 'Keepsake Cover' titled and signed by Henschel and enclosing three printed copies of his music.
Accompanying the manuscripts are two letters to Miss Janet Dunlop Smith (1888-1984), the vendor’s godmother, on Aviemore headed paper and dated June 19th 1914 and Nov 23rd 1914.
There’s also a three verse sonnet written and initialled by Henschel, dated November 22nd 1914 and a companion postcard, upon which he writes a new final verse stating "I think the following distribution of the last six lines is better".
“Miss Dunlop Smith was the daughter of Lieutenant Colonel Sir James Dunlop Smith, private secretary to Lord Minto while he was Viceroy of India,” said Mr Dean. “She was a singer under the professional name Janet Christopher and it is presumed that her close friendship with Henschel developed through their professional careers sometime around 1913.”
The first letter talks of a previous sonnet that Henschel had sent, mentions that he would be travelling to London for a concert at The Queens Hall and hoped that they could meet for tea. The second refers to Miss Dunlop Smith as his "grateful public" in regard to his prior verses, as well as general news and what had occupied his time in Scotland.
Also included in the lot is a programme for 'Dr George Henschel's concert in aid of the funds of the Alvie Boy Scouts Association', dated September 4th 1913, signed by him, five of the other singers and initialled by Miss Dunlop Smith.
The second lot, valued at around £500, includes a Christmas Day dinner programme from the Viceroy and Governor General's residence, Barrackpore dated December 25th 1907, signed by Lord Minto - 17th Viceroy, Field Marshall Horatio Kitchener, Lord and Lady Warrender, Mme Albani and Violet and Ruby Elliot, daughters of Minto.
In addition there is a programme for Madame Albani O.M. at The Town Hall Calcutta, 24th December 1907 and a photocopy of Miss Dunlop Smith's diary for Christmas 1907. The diary entry states: "Then everyone signed our hand programmes - I have Kitchener, The Viceroy, Albani's, Sir George and Lady Maud Warrender & several others - it was quite a wonderful evening."
For more information about the manuscripts and letters contact Mr Dean at Halls’s Battlefield headquarters in Shrewsbury on Tel: 01743 450700.
One of Sir George Henschel’s manuscripts.
A Christmas Day dinner programme from the Viceroy and Governor General's residence, Barrackpore dated December 25th 1907, signed by Lord Minto - 17th Viceroy, Field Marshall Horatio Kitchener and others.
For more information please contact Jeremy Lamond, Halls’ fine art director, on Tel: 01743 450700 or Duncan Foulkes, public relations adviser, on 01686 650818.
Copland House announces CULTIVATE 2014, an annual, intensive creative workshop and mentoring program for American composers in the initial stages of their professional careers. Six Fellowships are awarded to American citizens or permanent residents to participate in this weeklong emerging composers institute, which takes place June 16-22, 2014 at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home and its satellite venue at the historic Merestead estate, near New York City. Fellows each compose one 5- to 7-minute, small-ensemble composition (any combination of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and/or piano), which serves as the core of their work at the institute. CULTIVATE consists of daily individual and collective sessions exploring and refining the new works with composer-clarinetist and program director Derek Bermel and the Music from Copland House ensemble; informal discussion sessions with prominent music executives and arts leaders about practical, professional, and career matters; and a final public concert and live recording premiering all the Fellows’ new compositions written for CULTIVATE. All expenses (round-trip transportation within the continental U.S., session participation, accommodations, food) are covered.
FOR YOUNG WESTCHESTER COMPOSERS: Thanks to the generosity of a special Westchester Community Foundation Fellowship, CULTIVATE encourages applications from gifted young composers born, raised, studying, living, and/or working in Westchester County, NY, who have completed their undergraduate studies and are now beginning to embark on their professional careers. Composers must submit a CULTIVATE application form (downloadable), three representative works and recordings, and 1- to 2-page resume. For program guidelines, application form, and further information, please contact:
P.O. Box 2177
Peekskill, NY 10566
tel: (914) 788-4659
fax: (914) 788-8686
UPGRADE TO THE MUSICWEB LISTENING ROOM
You can follow the progress of the MusicWeb Listening room here.
We are upgrading from the B&W Nautilus 802s to the latest diamond version (£18,000). We wish to bi-amp so would like to purchase a second Chord1200B power amp. Should you have one for sale please contact Len Mullenger firstname.lastname@example.org
B&W 802s, French Cherry, absolutely unblemished. Please contact with an offer over £5000
Also available for sale is a black Meridian 8081
This was Meridian’s flagship CD player at the time of purchase and is strictly CD only, not a DVD player or universal player. It plays CD; CD-R; CD-RW; the VCD layer of SACD and DVD audio.
The pre-amp has both balanced and unbalanced outputs, plus 2 optical and 3 coax digital inputs plus 6 analogue inputs.
The conversion is 192kHz/24 bit capable of operating at 4 xCD sample rate (176.4kHz)
You will have read that there were various niggles with the initial Meridian but this is a replacement which has given years of faultless service. Audiophile users among you will already be aware that this calibre of equipment is normally eye-wateringly expensive to purchase but (relatively) jaw-droppingly cheap on trade-in. Make a reasonable offer and it is yours.
The equipment can be auditioned near Coventry, UK.
You may have heard that the conductor Leslie Head has died at the age
Many will have memories of Leslie’s varied London concerts in
the 1960s and 1970s – he retired in 1985 – including such
British premieres and revivals as Bax's Spring Fire, Havergal
Brian, William Baines, Delius, Elgar, Howells, Parry and Stanford –
as well as dozens of notable operatic performances with leading artists
and the only stage production of a Stanford opera in modern times.
Leslie Head's funeral will take place on Tuesday, October 1st at 2.15pm
at The Downs Crematorium, Bear Road, Brighton BN2 3PL .
It would be very helpful if any recipients of this e-mail who are intending
to attend please confirm to Yvonne@pigotts.org.uk.
'Cotswold Connection' Will Showcase Beauty
Of English Music
The English Music Festival (EMF) is expanding to include an Autumn Festival
in the beautiful countryside of the Cotswolds as part of the EMF UK
& European concert series. To be held on Friday 20th and Saturday
21st September 2013, The Cotswold Connection will showcase the brilliance,
innovation and beauty of works by British composers from mediaeval times
to the present day, with a strong focus on the Golden Renaissance of
The festival will open with a violin recital, A Cotswold Connection
by Rupert Marshall-Luck (violin) and Matthew Rickard (piano) at Cheltenham’s
prestigious Pittville Pump Room. The concert will feature the world
première performance of Howells’s Violin Sonata in B minor
as well as Vaughan Williams’s Concerto Accademico (in Constant
Lambert’s arrangement for violin and piano), Bliss’s Sonata
for Piano and Violin and Holst’s Five Pieces for Violin and Piano.
The Saturday begins with a morning organ recital, By Cotswold, Severn
and Wye: A Sequence of English Organ Music by Duncan Honeybourne in
St Laurence’s Church, Wyck Rissington, where Gustav Holst was
organist. The programme will include music by some of the finest British
composers, Darke, Finzi, Holst, Howells, Ireland, Moeran, Parry, Stanford
and Vaughan Williams.
A bespoke English lunch will be held at the Slaughters Country Inn,
comprising a two-course menu and wine. [Places are strictly limited
and must be pre-booked; early booking is recommended.]
In the afternoon, the Oxford Liedertafel will perform a selection of
neglected English part-songs in The Soul of the Age, including several
anthems by Thomas Tallis and beautiful choral music by Vaughan Williams
inspired by the beauty of nature.
The closing concert on the Saturday evening is a collaboration between
the Holst Birthplace Museum and the English Music Festival to celebrate
Gustav Holst’s Birthday (September 21st 1874). The first half
will feature St Paul’s Girls’ School Choir and Orchestra
and the second half will feature the Flowers Brass Band conducted by
Paul Holland at All Saints’ Church in Cheltenham.
Full details of all these programmes can be found at the English
Music Festival website or by emailing Festival Director Em Marshall-Luck
Tickets can be booked online
at or by contacting Em Marshall-Luck (email@example.com or
07808 473898) to request a programme and booking form.
Ivor Gurney day in Gloucester
The Ivor Gurney Society's event at St Andrew's Church Centre (Station
Road, Churchdown, Gloucestershire GL3 2JT) is on Saturday 11 May,
and we have a poetry recital by Philip Gross, a talk on Sir Hubert
Parry by Jeremy Dibble, and a piano recital by Jonathan Musgrave (RCM).
It starts at 12.30 with lunch (optional £7.50 for sandwiches/cake/fruit/soft
drink - or bring your own!), and the first speaker is at 1.30. The
recital is at 3.45. A ticket for the speakers, afternoon tea and cakes,
and the recital is £15.
All are welcome. If wishing to book in advance contact John Phillips
on 01432 363103 or firstname.lastname@example.org - this is essential if ordering
lunch. Cheques to 'The Ivor Gurney Society' or drop a line to me to
pay using Paypal. For those bringing their own lunch, feel free to
turn up on the day and pay at the door!
There is also a poetry walk on Sunday 12 May around Gurney's Maisemore,
led by Eleanor Rawling - meet at Maismore Village Hall at 10.45 (no
March 1st 2013
I am presently researching the late Victorian / Edwardian composer,
arranger and teacher, Wilfred Ellington Bendall (1850-1920), who was
friend and secretary to Sir Arthur Sullivan, and professor of piano
at the recently formed Guildhall School of Music (from c.1888-c.1905).
I shall be interested to hear anything that anybody has to tell me
about Bendall, particularly anything relating to autograph manuscripts
of his music, or the whereabouts of band parts, vocal score material
etc for any of his stage shows.
I am especially keen to find photographs of Wilfred Bendall, and would
also be thrilled to discover any living relations.
Please contact me directly at email@example.com
Questions concerning Bliss’s Things to Come (TTC) film score
and concert suite:-
1. According to the BBC John Curwen & Sons Ltd. provided the orchestral
parts for the Proms premiere Sept 12 1935. Why Curwen and not Chappell
& Co? Did Chappell outsource parts to Curwen and was this common
with Bliss’s scores?
2. Given the above, have Curwen ever been contacted about Bliss’s
TTC score? What happened to Curwen’s archive and music plates?
3. I own a rare score, the full symphonic edition of the March by
Novello. The year of publication is 1939 (Lewis Foreman catalogue
lists 1937?). The remaining five movements of Bliss’s definitive
concert suite are copyright dated 1940. Why the difference in years?
Also, the back cover of the March Novello full score lists seven movements
including World in Ruin and Machines . As the definitive suite does
not include World in Ruin was this simply a typo error by Novello?
If not, could Novello still hold a plate for World in Ruin? Altogether
I have counted four different versions of the concert suite: Proms
1935, Proms 1936, the Novello full symphonic edition from 1939/40
and Bliss’s recording 1957.
4. A letter (April 6 1938) from Doris Silver, London Films to Basil
Gray, BBC lists eight movements to the film score but for some reason
omits completely the March. Any views why and is there any possible
connection here with the year 1939 mentioned above and transfer of
the rights for the March from Chappell to Novello?
5. Following on from this, what exactly was the arrangement over the
score rights between Chappell & Co. and Novello?
6. With regard to the Idyll movement, is there any physical evidence
this music was later recycled by the composer?
7. Does anyone own a copy of Decca matrix TA 1734 (untitled, possibly
Bliss’s abandoned Idyll music).
8. Have any BMS members spoken to Bliss in person about the missing
film score and why only Attack on the Moon Gun survived?
9. Did Bliss sanction use of his No.1 of 3 Jubilant Fanfares (or a
variant thereof) in the film?
10. Does anyone have knowledge of the so-called Utopian Hymn recorded
& discarded by Denham Film Studios (78 rpm recording owned by
the late John Huntley).
Thank you for any help or suggestions you are able to offer
NMC Contemporary Opera Appeal
Please help us spread the word - a re-tweet, sharing our appeal via
Facebook, e-newsletters or blogs.
Thank you for supporting contemporary British music!
Of all contemporary music, opera is perhaps the genre that epitomises
NMC’s unique role in promoting British composition at its most
innovative. The financial and artistic risks inherent in new opera,
the paucity of repeat runs and the unwillingness of many mainstream
record labels to take up this repertoire require NMC to step into
the breach and make these works permanently available to a global
audience. NMC has recorded over a dozen contemporary British operas
to date, and Gawain is perhaps the work that we are most frequently
asked to release.
As a registered charity, NMC strives to find ways to fund and release
as many contemporary works as possible. We need to raise £43,000
from individual donors and from trusts/foundations to make this special
part of our anniversary celebrations happen (our 25th anniversary
is in 2014). In return we will credit supporters on our website, share
project updates, invite them to a 25th anniversary event and have
the discs available to purchase before the official release at a discounted
price. Those who contribute £500 or more will receive signed
complimentary copies of the three releases and CD booklet credits.
THE THREE OPERAS
Harrison Birtwistle - Gawain (BBC Radio 3 live recording, Royal Opera
House / Elgar Howarth,1994) Originally released on Collins Classics
'An opera of compelling power and grandeur ... John Tomlinson is in
outstandingly noble voice' Gramophone on Gawain
Judith Weir - The Vanishing Bridegroom (BBC studio recording, BBC
Symphony Orchestra / BBC Singers / Martyn Brabbins, 2008)
'The Vanishing Bridegroom is a huge compendium of western Scottish
folklore, music, mystery and imagination, intertwining family stories
from several generations ... NMC’s opera recordings covering
a 40-year period of stage works from Maxwell Davies and Birtwistle
to Sawer and Rushton have consolidated the existence of a very significant
era of new British Opera' Judith Weir
Gerald Barry - The Importance of Being Earnest (BBC Radio 3 live
recording, Barbican, BCMG / Thomas Adès, 2012)
'Gerald Barry’s music has been a source of wonder and astonishment
to me for many years and I have loved piece after piece as his work
has developed and he has conquered new creative worlds. It has been
a culminating joy for me to watch closely as that extraordinary energy
and invention collide with that of Oscar Wilde to create this thrilling
and dazzling explosion' Tom Adès, conductor
Details on how to donate can be found on our Annual Appeal page here
Rupert Marshall-Luck firstname.lastname@example.org
has been investigating the Violin Sonatas of David Moule-Evans, the
manuscripts of which were tracked down to the National Library of
Wales. Both are extremely interesting works, although they have never
been published. Rupert would like to take them on for the EMF (English
Music Festival) and possibly for EM Records and EM Publishing, too.
The problem is that Moule-Evans's works are still in copyright. This
appears to be held by a Miss Mary Mitchison who, it seems, lived in
or near Canterbury in 1988 at the time she gifted the manuscripts
to the Library. Does anyone have contact details for Miss Mitchison.
If so, or if you can think of any other avenues we might explore,
Rupert and Em Marshall-Luck would be hugely grateful! With many thanks,
and all best wishes,
Rupert G. Marshall-Luck · MA (Cantab) MMus (Distinction)
VIOLINIST · VIOLIST · MUSICOLOGIST
General Editor: EM Publishing
+44 (0)7762 023 710