What Might Have Been . . .
This week's programme features musicians who were billed to appear in concert but weren't heard for one reason or another. I can't show you any photo's either because of an internet go-slow (but hope to add those later!) However, through community radio we can hear what they would have sounded like . . .
WILLIAM BYRD FESTIVAL, STONDON MASSEY, ESSEX
The remote Essex village of Stondon Massey is where Tudor composer William Byrd lived for the last 30 years of his life, and is buried. The Local people have been holding a festival in memory of Byrd for the past two weeks with concerts of Tudor song, special church services and talks by visiting speakers. Despite being too far away for Exonians to visit easily, the festival has been of interest to renaissance music enthusiasts here in Devon. There has also been interest from other parts of the world as well. Organiser Andrew Smith sent in this press release to the programme:
Successful Stondon Byrd Festival Gains International Reputation
|Stondon Singers with Richard Turbet (centre)|
photographed at St Peter & St Paul Church, Stondon Massey, Essex,
just before the matinee performance of 'William Byrd: His Essex Years'
Stondon Massey’s tribute to the Elizabethan composer, William Byrd, culminated last weekend with a concert by the Writtle Singers at St Peter and St Paul Church (Saturday) and service of favourite hymns (Sunday). The William Byrd Festival was organised by members of the congregation in order to raise money in support of the building of a new Garden of Remembrance in the churchyard where Byrd is believed to have been buried in an unmarked grave in 1623.
Last week one of the congregation visited the church in order to set up the space for a choir rehearsal to find affixed to the door a bunch of flowers with a request to place them on the grave of the ‘English composer’. The flowers were sent by well-wishers from ‘Tom Garrison and the Trinity Choir’ which following a little Internet research turned out to be the Episcopal Cathedral in Kansas City over in the United States of America. Festival Organiser, Andrew Smith, said, “This was a lovely surprise. We were not able to place the flowers on an unmarked grave so instead decided to arrange them on the Memorial Tablet to the great composer inside the church.
Our Festival website (www.williambyrdfestival.blogspot.com) shows that William Byrd is very popular in America with over a third of the hits coming from that country. We have received goodwill messages from many and some lovely comments on the singers who appeared at the Festival”. “The William Byrd Festival has been a tremendous success, both in raising Byrd’s profile and financially. We have raised around £2000 toward the Garden of Remembrance project”.
To read all the details of the festival go to www.williambyrdfestival.blogspot.com
In recognition of a festival that was sadly too far away to attend, Tuesday's programme will open with another beautiful choral work by William Byrd (followed by music from many other concerts which have been missed one way or another):
1605 London William BYRD Gradualia: Iustorum Animae Choir of King's College Cambridge
1691 London Henry PURCELL King Arthur Crispian Steele Perkins
1716 Venice Tomaso ALBINONI Concerto for 2 Oboes The Handel Players
1718 London G F HANDEL Acis & Galatea Thomas Hobbs
1763 Salzburg Michael HAYDN Concerto for Trumpet Crispian Steele Perkins
1787 Prague W A MOZART Le Nozze di Figaro Leslie Garrett
1808 Vienna L Van BEETHOVEN Fifth Symphony Herbert Von Karajan
1840 Leipzig Robert SCHUMANN Widmung Mary O'Shea
1854 Pennsylvania Stephen Foster I Dream of Jeannie Gareth Keene
1862 St Petersburg Giuseppe VERDI La Forza del Destino Emma Johnson
1875 Paris Georges BIZET Carmen London Festival Orchestra
1888 Paris Erik SATIE Gymnopodie III Sir Neville Mariner
1901 Bayreuth S RACHMANINOV How Fair this Spot Joyce Clarke
1920s Brazil TRADITIONAL Serteneja Ruth Avis and Clive Betts
1924 New York George GERSHWIN Fascinating Rhythm Crispian Steele Perkins
2003 St Vincent Klaus BADELT Blood Ritual Hollywood Studio Orchestra
2005 Bristol Andrew DALDORPH Full Circle Jewels of Jazz