Monday, 15 November 2010

This Week's Classical Journey (Tue 16 Nov)

Pianist John Scarfe and baritone Gareth Keene
will perform Sir Arthur Somervell's 1904 song cycle
based on A. E. Housman's poems, 'A Shropshire Lad'
(Thanks to Denise Hammond for providing this photo)
A Shropshire Lad
At about 11 am tomorrow morning 'Classical Journey' will host a guest performance by two very talented local musicians, pianist John Scarfe and baritone Gareth Keene.
In keeping with the time of remembrance for the young men and women who lost their lives in the service of their country during two world wars, John and Gareth will perform (a slightly abridged version of) Sir Arthur Somervell's song cycle 'A Shropshire lad'.
The words are from Alfred Housman's cycle of poems of the same name which he completed at the end of the nineteenth century.  The poignant description of a young man's happy life disrupted by war and tragedy is very prescient.  It is tempting to imagine that it was written later - during or after the Great War.  The poems, which were well known by 1914, certainly reflected the public mood at that time.
Gareth has a very powerful voice.  (I foresee that it will be quite an experience in the studio!)  When John and Gareth performed these songs at Broadclyst on 18th September this year for a 'Coffee and Music' concert.the audience were very impressed, and moved, by what they heard. The performance tomorrow promises to be equally special.
John and Gareth will also perform songs by Delius, Ireland, Keel and Foster in a full and varied programme.  This is the full itinerary we have to look forward to:
Sir Arthur Somervel: A Shropshire Lad
1. Loveliest of trees
2. When I was one-and-twenty
3. There pass the careless people
4.In summertime on Bredon
(Sadly the keyboard in the studio will have insufficient range for the next song 'The streets sound to the soldiers' tread' which gives us the first intimation of war.  But this may be an opportune moment for an intermission and discussion with our guests.)
5. On the idle hill of summer
6. White in the moon the long road lies
(Sadly 'Think no more, lad' will also have to be omitted.)
7. Into my heart an air that kills
8. The lads in their hundreds to Ludlow come in for the fair
Frederick Delius: Songs from the Norwegian
1. The Homeward Way
2. Cradle Song
John Ireland
Sea Fever
Frederick Keel: Salt Water Ballads
Stephen Foster (to his wife Jane McDowell)
I dream of Jeanie with the light brown hair
(That last song may seem familiar and modern, but actually dates from 1854!)

John will also be bringing a recording of another singer accompanied by himself, soprano Bethany Partridge.  At the 'Coffee and Music concert on 6th November, Bethany sang Charles Gonod's 'Ah! Je veux vivre' from his opera 'Roméo et Juliette' so entrancingly that the audience insisted on hearing it again.  Tomorrow we shall all be able to hear that beautiful song, beautifully performed by Bethany, just before 11am - while John and Gareth are getting ready for their live performance.

The first hour of 'Classical Journey' tomorrow will include the usual selection of baroque and classical music.  Soprano Janet MacDonald will come in briefly to tell us about a very special performance of Vivaldi's Gloria Mass this weekend.  She will be sharing a recording of Latvian soprano opera singer Inessa Galante singing Giulio Caccini's early seventeenth century madrigal 'Amarilli, mia bella' and, in anticipation of the Gloria Mass to come, we can listen again to the magnificent performance by the Academy of St Martin in the Fields (under Sir Neville Mariner) of Vivaldi's 'Gloria in excelsis Deo'!

More selections for tomorrow, plus concert details, will be added to this post later today.  Re-boot for the full story.  (And don't forget to send in any requests or comments to

Recorded concert programme for tomorrow
Should we have any time for recorded concerts tomorrow, I'll try to fit in at least some of the following:
Magister Grimace          'A L'Arme A L'Arme' (1370)
Giovanni Palestrina        'Gloria' from Missa Papae Marcelli (1562)
Thomas Campion          'Lord Hay's Masque (1613)
Giulio Caccini                'Amarilli, mia bella' (1614)
(Sadly Janet MacDonald is not able to locate this wonderful recording, but she has found an equally wonderful recording of Caccini's 'Ave Maria' also by soprano Inessa Galante.)
Antonio Vivaldi             'Gloria in excelsis Deo' (1710)
Joseph Haydn               'Man and Wife' Andante from Birthday Divertimento in C (1765)
Wolfgang Mozart          'Rondeau' Oboe Quartet K370 (1781)
Ludwig van Beethoven  'Adagio Espressivo' Piano Sonata No 30 in E Op 109 (1820)

(Concert run-down is below the next item)

'Les Goûts-Réunis'

Margaret Faultless and Devon Baroque at Dartington Great Hall
photo courtesy Katrina Hurford, Dartington Press Officer
Just a short note to thank Assistant Producer Danielle Rose at the Dartington Arts Office for arranging for me to attend the performance of 'Les Goûts-Réunis' by Devon Baroque yesterday afternoon.  Thanks also to Press Officer Katrina Hurford for providing this photo of the group.
The Devon Baroque Committee have agreed to provide more pictures and information for a full review in the next few days - and many thanks to Chairman Angus Gordon.  I can't begin to tell you about the concert in this small space.  It was simply spectacular.  I shall try to give a brief description on tomorrow's 'Classical Journey' (if I can find a space) and I shall post a detailed account in a few days time.  Simply spectacular!
The photo above doesn't actually show the line-up for yesterday's performance.  Katrina has very kindly supplied an archive shot - which shows only some of the performers who were there yesterday.
Apologies to the others, but I can recognise:
Violist Steve Gleed (second from left)
Violinist Julie Hill (third from left)
Leader, second violins, Jean Patterson (kneeling left)
Violinist Linda Hannah-Anderson (kneeling right)
Leader Margaret Faultless (behind Linda)
Violone Jan Spencer (far right)
Also shown (next to Jan) is 'cellist Mike Edwards who, I am very sorry to say, was killed in a road traffic collision on 3rd September this year.  He and his playing will be very sadly missed.  There will a memorial concert for Mike at Dartington on Sunday 5th December.

Concerts this week:

Glenorchy Lunchtime Concerts: Piano Concert
Wednesday 17 November 12.30pm, Glenorchy United Reformed Church, Exmouth
Piano Duncan Honeybourne
No charge for admission

Chapter House Concerts: Clarinet and Piano
Wednesday 17 November 7.30pm, Exeter Cathedral Chapter House
Clarinet Kevin Hurst, Piano Frances Waters
Ralph Vaughan Williams, Gerald Finzi, Charles Stanford
Admission £12, £6 student (box, Exeter Cathedral Shop: 271358)

Ballet Theatre UK: Prokofiev's 'Cinderella'
Thursday 18 November 7.30pm, Barnfield Theatre
Admission £15, £12 concession (box: 01392 270891)

nadsa Concerts (Newton Abbot and District Society of Arts): Craig Ogden, guitar
Friday 19 November 7.30pm Courtenay Centre, Newton Abbot 
Isaac Albeniz, John Dowland, Astor Piazzolla,
Callum Dewar, Fernando Sor, Miroslav Tadic. 
Admission £14, £10 member, £2 student (box - Opus Classical: 01392 214044)

Topham Film Society: 'Walk the Line' (Johnny Cash biography)
Friday 19 November 3pm & 7.30pm, Matthews Hall
Admission £3.50 matinee £4.50 evening

Exeter Recorded Concert Society: 'Dvořák' by Chairman Mike Drew
Saturday 20 November 1.15pm Exeter Central Library Music Room
Admission free for new members

Gallery 36: 'Time and Distance'
Saturday 20 November 7pm, 36 Denmark Road, Exeter
flute Susie Hodder-Williams, Clarinet Chris Caldwell, text James Turner
£5 please book (box: 01392 256206)

Exeter Festival Chorus: 'Eternal Voices'
Saturday 20 November 7.30pm Exeter Cathedral
Gala Concert with the Band of her Majesty's Royal Marines
in aid of Royal Marines Charities
Admission: £25/18/12 (£23/16/12 concession) (box - EFC: 432309, Phoenix: 667080)

Clyst Valley Choral Society: Vivaldi 'Gloria'/Rutter 'Sprig of Thyme'
Saturday 20 November 8pm, St Margaret's Church, Topsham
Sunday 21 November 8pm, Holy Trinity Church, Exmouth
Soprano Janet MacDonald, Mezzo-Soprano Moira Izzard, Organ Mark Perry
Admission £7 (£6 advance) (box: 01395 271858 or Joel Segal Books 877895)

St Peter's Singers/Exeter Bach Society: Evening Service
Sunday 21 November 5pm, Exeter Cathedral
J. S. Bach: Cantata BWV 116
Du Friedefürst, Herr Jesu Christ (Prince of peace, Lord Jesus Christ)
Soloists including soprano Mary O'Shea
No charge for admission
Exeter Bach Society/Music for Awhile: Chamber Music of J. S. Bach
Sunday 21 November 6pm, Exeter Cathedral Chapter House
Violin Margart Faultless, 'Cello Reinmar Seidler, Harpsichord Andrew Daldorph.
Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord in C minor BWV 1017
'Cello Suite No 4 in E flat BWV 1010
French Suite No 6 in E BWV 817 for Harpsichord
Sonata for Violin and Continuo in E minor BWV 1023
Admission £12, £9 concession (box: Phoenix 667080, Opus 214044) (online booking)

Update: Mary O'Shea has got in touch to say that the St Peter's are also performing Mozart's 'Missa Brevis' in F at Saturday's choral Eucharist on Saturday this week.  There is a change to the advertised time.  The service starts at 12.00 noon, not 12.15.  And the soprano soloist? - Mary O'Shea!

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