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The Neville Ensemble: Memories in music
Sat 4 Jul 2015 , 6:00 pm| £5
Songs, and music written for the recorder, by some of England’s finest composers.
Herbert Howells: Gavotte
Edmund Rubbra: Passacaglia sopra “Plusiers Regrets”
Edward Elgar: Sea Pictures
Gordon Jacob: Variations
Benjamin Britten: Cabaret Songs
Lennox Berkeley: Sonatina
David Dubery: Three Songs to Poems by Robert Graves
The revival of the recorder in the 20th century as a serious instrument is due partly to the early music movement, but also to the pioneering work of the first modern recorder virtuoso, Carl Dolmetsch, who, together with his keyboard partner Joseph Saxby, commissioned a new piece every year for their annual Wigmore Hall recital. Lennox Berkeley’s Sonatina was performed at the first of these recitals in 1939 and has become one of the most popular pieces of twentieth century recorder repertoire. Gordon Jacob’s Variations, written for the 30th anniversary of the Dolmetsch-Saxby partnership, takes a simple tune that sounds as if it’s come from the Renaissance and works it into lyrical musings and lively dances, ending in a sprightly tarentella. Edmund Rubbra contributed more works to the series than any other composer, and like many of his pieces, Passacaglia sopra “Plusieurs regrets” reaches right back into the early music world for its inspiration, giving Josquin’s passionate lament a modern twist.
The recorder music is set against more familiar works, as Elizabeth Roberts sings pieces that combine Britain’s great composers and poets: Elgar’s Sea Pictures, Britten’s witty cabaret songs with words by Auden, and Howells’s Gavotte, a setting of a poem by Henry Newbolt which reflects on the complex role that music plays on our memories and which gives the concert its title. We always like to find something that we can perform together too, and so this concert ends with playful settings by the contemporary composer David Dubery of poems by Robert Graves.
With pianists Christopher Skelton-Foord and Janet Evans.
Tickets £5 on the door, with refreshments in St Oswald’s institute from 5pm. In aid of St Oswald’s path appeal.
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