ClefLogo  Concert 6 - Programme Notes


Download a copy of our latest leaflet in a new window  by clicking here.



Concert No 6

8pm Saturday 9th February 2019
at Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre


Young Musicians in Concert
Outstanding Students from Sir John Deane's College

 

Young Musicians     

The programme notes for this concert are:

Michelle Stearn (Piano and Flute)

Rhapsody in G minor Op.79 No.2 (Piano)
by Johannes Brahms 1833 - 1897

The term 'rhapsody' had already been used by Franz Liszt in the Hungarian Rhapsodies; however, Brahms created a totally new musical meaning for this form in his Two Rhapsodies Op.79, in 1880, and indeed they mark the beginning of his final period of work. The Second Rhapsody, in G minor, is one of the composer's most popular and effective piano works, and is darkly dramatic and emotionally charged.

Previous performance at HCMS concerts by Wyn Davies on 8th December 2001.

 

Syrinx (Flute)
by Claude Debussy 1862 - 1918

Claude Debussy's Syrinx dates from 1912 though it wasn't published until 1927, nine years after his death. He wrote it as music for the play, Psyché, by his friend, Gabriel Mourey. In Greek mythology, the flute is associated with the god, Pan, and in Mourey's play, Syrinx accompanied the scene of Pan's death. It is believed that Syrinx was originally written without any bar lines or breath marks so that the performer had complete freedom in terms of interpretation. Unaccompanied, and making use of whole tone, pentatonic and chromatic motifs, Syrinx has an improvisatory, haunting quality to it.

Previous performances at HCMS concerts by the Lynette Ensemble on 21st February 1987, by Ken Bartels (Flute) on 4th March 2000, Anna Wolstenholme (Flute) on 13th November 2004 and Helena Gourd (Flute) on 22nd November 2014.

 

Ella Ronald (Cornet)

3rd Movement (Spiritual) from Sonata for Trumpet
by Jean Hubeau 1917 - 1992

Jean Hubeau was a French pianist and composer, known especially for his recordings of Fauré, Robert Schumann and Paul Dukas. In 1941, he was appointed as head of the Music Academy in Versailles and he took the position of Professor of Chamber Music at the Paris Conservatoire from 1957 to 1982. The Sonata for trumpet and piano was composed in 1943. Paul Landormy, a French musicologist and critic, has described Hubeau's compositional style as 'using a simple language with no revolutionary intent, but displaying a freshness of invention evident in thematic material, rhythm and use of timbres.' This final movement requires a real musical partnership between the trumpet and piano.

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

3rd Movement (Allegro con Anima) from Cornet Sonata Op.18
by Thorvald Hansen 1847 - 1915

This Sonata was written by Thorvald Hansen, solo trumpeter at the Danish Royal Theater, in 1903. Hansen was also a conductor, organist and educator, and many of his works were written for the trumpet or brass instruments. The Sonata for Cornet and Piano contains three standard movements, but it might also be considered more of a sonatina rather than a sonata due to its relatively short length. Hansen's compositional style encompasses the romanticism prevalent during his time, seen in the playful yet grand opening movement with sweeping lines in the piano and trumpet. This final movement provides a really jubilant ending to the work, and both instruments are very busy from start to finish.

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Emma Rocke (Soprano)

Flow my Tears
by John Dowland 1563 - 1626

Flow my Tears is a lute song ("ayre") by the English composer John Dowland. Originally composed as an instrumental under the name Lachrimae pavane in 1596, it is Dowland's most famous ayre, and indeed Anthony Boden calls the song "probably the most widely known English song of the early 17th century". Like other Dowland lute songs, the piece's musical form and style are based on a dance, in this case the pavan. The song begins with a 'falling tear' motif, starting on an A and descending to an E by step; this type of motif was common in Elizabethan music to signify grief.

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Se tu m’ami
by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi 1710 - 1736
or Alessandro Parisotti 1853 - 1913

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi was the Italian composer responsible for one of the most famous Italian comic operas of the 18th Century, La Serva Padrona (1733), and he is often credited for this song. However, Se tu m'ami is actually now believed by scholars to be the work of Alessandro Parisotti who compiled the 24 Italian Songs and Arias c.1885 (that contain Se tu m'ami). This is because, although Se tu m'ami was originally accredited to Giovanni Pergolesi, no one was able to find any manuscripts of the piece earlier than the version included in Parisotti's collection. This led people to believe that Parisotti himself wrote this piece, giving credit to the popular Pergolesi in the hopes of selling more copies! In this song a coquette (a women who flirts) is telling her young shepherd boy lover that she cannot love only him.

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Ophelia’s Song
by Elizabeth Maconchy 1907 - 1994

Elizabeth Maconchy (a British composer of Irish descent) was taught composition by Vaughan Williams at the Royal College of Music, and was influenced greatly by eastern European modernism, especially the music of Bartok. Composed in 1926 at the earliest stage of her career, Ophelia's Song was Maconchy's first published vocal piece, set to text from Act IV, Scene 5 of Shakespeare's tragedy Hamlet. The musical structure ABAB creates a verse-chorus form and the minor key helps to create a sombre setting. The vocal line is mostly syllabic, sad and expressive, with a very lyrical, haunting melody.

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Maxwell Lewis (Alto Saxophone)

2nd and 3rd movement (Brasileira and Modéré) from Scaramouche
by Darius Milhaud 1892 - 1974

Darius Milhaud was a French composer - indeed a member of 'Les Six' (also including Poulenc), and his compositions are influenced by jazz and Brazilian music, both clearly heard in these movements. Milhaud is considered one of the key modernist composers of the twentieth century and his style is often polytonal. Scaramouche is a three movement work based on music he wrote for a Molière play, and is actually named after the Theatre Scaramouche on the Champs Élysées in Paris, where the play was performed. Scaramouche exists in different versions and was originally conceived as a piano duet in 1937, three years before the saxophone and orchestral version was first performed. The second movement (Modéré) is in ABA form and is a more reserved and sombre piece, containing folk-like melodies that balance the two outer movements. Brasileira however, evokes the Brazilian samba with its energetic syncopation. Scaramouche is one of Milhaud's most popular works - probably due to its infectious rhythms and diatonic melodies.

Previous performances of Scaramouche at HCMS concerts by Neville Duckworth (Saxophone) on 10th December 1988, Keith Swallow and John Wilson (Piano Duo) on 24th March 1993, Amy Dickson (Saxophone) and Catherine Milledge (Piano) on 15th March 2008 and Huw Wiggin (Saxophone) and James Sherlock (Piano) on 25th October 2014.

 

1st movement from Sonata for Alto Saxophone
by Phil Woods 1931 - 2015

Phil Woods (1931-2015) was an American jazz saxophonist, bandleader and composer. He studied at the Juilliard School and toured with such greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, and Benny Goodman. He is also actually the saxophonist heard on Billy Joel's Just the Way You Are from 1977. His compositional output almost always has a strong jazz basis, and can be highly expressive with often virtuosic passages. This sonata was originally called Four Moods. Its compositional style derives from the Baroque Era, but its melodic shapes and phrasing come from jazz. The work is in four movements, with interludes to be improvised by saxophone & piano.

The first movement was previously played at HCMS concerts by Young Musicians in Concert on 11th March 2006. The first and second movements were played by at HCMS concerts Young Musicians in Concert on 12th March 2005.

 

George Chipperfield (Flute / Piccolo)

1st movement from Fantaisie Pastorale Hongraise Op.26 (Flute)
by Franz Doppler 1821 - 1883

Franz Doppler was born in Poland and spent the early part of his performing career in Vienna. However, he did ultimately settle in Pest where he developed a keen ear for Hungarian music. This Pastoral Fantasy uses the slow-fast form that Liszt employed in his Hungarian Rhapsodies, and it begins with a gloomy descending motif in the accompaniment. When the flute enters, it plays a modal improvisatory-sounding melody that gradually expands in range. It develops to become a highly theatrical, twisting, and animated piece.

Previous performance at HCMS concerts by Cheryl Grice (Guitar) and Clare Southworth (Flute) on 18th October 1980.

 

Allegro from Flute Concerto No.1 in F Major La Tempesta di Mare RV433 Op.10 (Piccolo)
by Antonio Vivaldi 1678 - 1741

La Tempesta di Mare (The Storm at Sea) is the first of Six Flute Concertos, Op.10 by Antonio Vivaldi, published in 1728. This was actually the first collection of flute concertos published in Italy, and apparently nearly the first flute concertos ever published! Most of the concertos are transcriptions of earlier works or new compositions modelled on earlier works, and La Tempesta di Mare is an adaptation of the Concerto in Eb major for violin, strings and basso continuo, RV 253. The work's opening Allegro has a characteristic thumping unison repeated-note theme with the flute soloist swapping short lines in imitation with the accompaniment.

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Habanera from Fantaisie Brillante: Themes on Bizet’s Carmen (Flute)
by François Borne 1840 - 1920

François Borne was a French flautist playing with the orchestra of the Grand Théâtre de Bordeaux and a composer and professor at the Conservatoire de Musique de Toulouse. He is perhaps best known today for his 1892 Fantasy Brillante, which is a firm fixture of the Romantic flute repertoire. Since its première in 1875, the music of Bizet's Carmen has provided the subject for virtuosic showpieces by other composers, leading to spectacular arrangements for guitar, piano, full orchestra, and here - flute. Borne balances out the more familiar melodies (Habanera, Gypsy Dance) with less well known tunes from the opera, although it is Carmen's Habanera, a traditional slow Cuban dance that she performs in the opera with castanets and much flirting, that anchors the work.

Previous performances of the Fantasy at HCMS concerts by Eleanor Hudson (Harp) on 3rd October 1987, Keith Swallow and John Wilson (Piano) on 24th April 1993, Malcolm Messiter (Oboe) and John Lenehan (Piano) on 15th November 1997 and Huw Wiggin (Saxophone) and James Sherlock (Piano) on 17th November 2012.

 

Chloe Rigby (Soprano)

Vanilla Ice Cream from She Loves Me
by Jerry Bock 1928 - 2010

She Loves Me is a musical from a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock. It premièred on Broadway in 1963, and then had productions in the West End in 1964 and award-winning revivals on each side of the Atlantic in the 1990s. She Loves Me was revived again on Broadway in 2016, and the production actually became the first Broadway show ever to be live-streamed. Vanilla Ice Cream is from Act 2, and in the song the main female character, Amalia, starts to realise she has feelings for her friend and work colleague Georg. Amalia is sick and off work and Georg, worried about Amalia, visits her at her apartment. She fears he has come to spy on her though and tell the others she is not really sick, so she attempts to get out of bed and get ready for work ("Where's My Shoe"). Georg, seeing she is truly sick, forces her back to bed and presents her with a gift: vanilla ice cream! They chat at some length about the previous evening and Amalia's 'dear friend' who did not show up for a date, and find they get on very well. After he leaves, she begins a letter to "dear friend" but can only think of Georg's kindness and his gift of "Vanilla Ice Cream". Do they get together at the end of the musical? That would be telling…!

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

I'll Be Here from Ordinary Days
by Adam Gwon b. 1979

Ordinary Days is a musical by Adam Gwon. Set in New York City, the musical follows four characters, Claire, Jason, Warren and Deb, and explores how their ordinary lives connect in amazing ways. Claire is in her 30's and is embarking on a new stage of her life with boyfriend Jason. The decision to share an apartment is the catalyst for Claire to face her past, and her cathartic I'll Be Here provides the audience with the final tear-jerking clue to her journey….

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Someone To Watch Over Me
by George Gershwin 1898 - 1937

Someone to Watch Over Me was composed by George Gershwin in 1926 (with lyrics by his brother Ira). It was written for the musical Oh Kay! Originally Someone to Watch Over Me was an up-tempo swing number, but upon experimenting one day George Gershwin played the song as a ballad, and it stuck ever since. It is one of the great love songs in American musical theatre history, and is performed by the title character Kay, a British aristocrat disguised at this point as a housemaid. This song has been performed by many notable artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse and Frank Sinatra - all of whom have added their own jazzy twist!

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Jack Hayward (Acoustic Guitar)

The Showman
by Luca Stricagnoli b. 1991

Luca Stricagnoli is an acoustic guitarist, born and raised in Italy, known for his unique style and innovative playing techniques, many of which can be seen and heard in this fantastic fingerstyle piece. Candyrat records have said of Stricagnoli:- "Luca Stricagnoli is one of the most exciting new players on the acoustic guitar scene. He bypasses the normal limits of the acoustic guitar and adapts it to any musical genre: from pop to rock, from soundtracks to original pieces."

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

The Channel and Tabula Rasa
by Calum Graham b. 1991

Calum Graham is a 27 year old Canadian fingerstyle guitarist and singer-songwriter. He has classical guitar training, but tends to use a percussive technique. He has released four albums, and when he was 22 he was listed by Acoustic Guitar magazine as one of their 30 "great guitarists under 30". Graham plays both the Acoustic as well as the Harp Guitar in his live set and his music embraces elements of folk, world, and blues - all built upon the foundation of the fingerstyle technique. The Channel is from his 2013 album Phoenix Rising and has a lovely reflective quality to it, assisted by the regular use of harmonics. Tabula Rasa is the title track from his 2016 album and again demonstrates a wealth of different playing techniques as well as contrasting moods.

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Catherine Flanders (Percussion)

The Whistler
by George Hamilton Green 1893 - 1970

George Hamilton Green was an American composer, xylophonist and cartoonist. Considered one of history's greatest xylophone players, Green started playing at age 11 and at 13 was performing solos with his father's band. At 19 he entered Vaudeville and in one year was proclaimed "the fastest, most artistic, and most wonderful xylophonist and soloist in this country or abroad." He was one of the most popular xylophone artists in recorded history, acting as soloist, composer, arranger, and as part of various groups including the All Star Trio, Green Brothers' Xylophone Orchestra, and Green Brothers Novelty Band. Green was an important ragtime composer and authored many pieces that remain standards for the instrument even today, including The Whistler.

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Rotation IV from Four Rotations for Marimba
by Eric Sammut b. 1968

Eric was born in Toulouse, France, where he studied piano and percussion and became known for his musical abilities at an early age. After his studies at the Conservatoire Supérieur de Musique de Lyon he became the First Percussionist at l'Opera de Lyon. His passion for the marimba emerged during this period, as he found a new musical and technical approach to the instrument. He has toured extensively, gaining recognition as an international artist. He now serves as Principal Percussionist of the Orchestre de Paris and teaches marimba at the Conservatoire de Paris, in addition to the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Sammut has become one of the foremost composers of music for the marimba and actively promotes the instrument throughout France and all of Europe. Four Rotations has become some of the most frequently performed work for solo marimba, and within it, all four mallets are important and use the 'single alternating strokes' in both the melody and accompaniment. They are all, including this one (IV), audience pleasers with catchy rhythms, memorable melodies, and some jazzy harmonies.

First performance at HCMS concerts.

 

Czardas
by Vittorio Monti 1868 - 1922

The Italian composer Vittorio Monti wrote this rhapsodical concert piece in 1904, and it is a well-known folkloric piece based on a Hungarian czarda (folk dance). It was originally composed for violin, mandolin or piano, although there are arrangements for orchestra and for a number of solo instruments. The piece is characterised by seven different sections, usually of a contrasting tempo and occasionally key (between D minor and D major). Regular and dramatic tempo and dynamic changes, along with some stylish rubato, make the piece exciting and interesting, and a super concert finale!

Previous performances at HCMS concerts by the Albion Brass Consort on 16th January 1993, Young Musicians in Concert on 11th March 2006, Rhys Matthews (Percussion) and Tim Abel (Keyboard) on 23rd November 2013 and Huw Wiggin (Saxophone) and James Sherlock (Piano) on 25th October 2014.

 

 

Download a copy of our latest leaflet in a new window  by clicking here.

Buy tickets online, or download a membership application form  by clicking here.