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Booking open

Charnwood Orchestra

Saturday 2nd July, 2016, 7.30pm

Charnwood Orchestra

Charnwood Orchestra

SUMMER CONCERT

Charnwood Orchestra's season ends in spectacular style with an exciting concert of twentieth century English music.

Vaughan Williams: Overture "The Wasps"
Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves
Vaughan Williams: Tuba Concerto
Gustav Holst: The Planets


Vaughan Williams: Overture "The Wasps"

In 1909, Vaughan Williams was asked to write the incidental music for a production of Aristophanes' play The Wasps. VW obliged with an overture and 17 other items. The music was a huge hit. Although the play is strongly satirical, the music is consistently jolly and good-natured, reflecting the sound and spirit of English folk songs (even though there are no actual folk songs, nor Greek music, nor Greek scales; only a very waspish buzzing.) The overture quickly entered the concert repertoire as a stand-alone piece.

Vaughan Williams: Fantasia on Greensleeves

Fantasia on Greensleeves by Vaughan Williams is an exquisite four-minute orchestral miniature that has far eclipsed the song it was inspired by, Greensleeves, a traditional melody that was doing the rounds in the days of the Tudors. Originally it was used in the third act of the composer's Shakespeare-inspired opera Sir John in Love but has become a popular piece on its own. VW manages to capture the very essence of England, the serene, pastoral sounds evoking images of bucolic bliss.

Vaughan Williams: Tuba Concerto

While some view the Tuba Concerto by Vaughan Williams as the eccentric idea of an aging composer, it soon became one of his most popular works, and an essential part of the tuba repertoire. VW wanted to give the tuba a rare chance to take centre stage and went to considerable efforts to study its capabilities. True, its elephantine humour is exploited in the first movement, but its unsuspected agility is given rein too; the slow movement has a main theme of lyrical beauty and in the Finale, the tuba romps amid the dancing strings, like Falstaff among the fairies in Windsor Forest. Our soloist, Stephen Calow is the young Leicestershire musician. He is no stranger to the orchestra but his first time performing with us a soloist.

Gustav Holst: The Planets

The Planets Suite by Holst must be one of the most famous and popular pieces of English music in the world (excluding pop music!) It was also Holst's largest orchestral work, consisting of "seven influences of destiny and constituents of our spirit". It originated from his study of astrology which had helped him come to terms with a period of musical disappointments. Holst began to write Mars just before the outbreak of war in 1914 followed by Venus and Jupiter, then Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and finally Mercury in 1916. He then arranged them in the playing order Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune, not the astronomical order. He explained the astrological pattern as symbolising the unfolding experiences of life from youth to old age (although others dispute this meaning). Surprisingly, Holst was most dismayed by the international popularity of the suite.

Ticket Prices
Full Price (£12)
Concessions (£10)
Accompanied 16 and under (£3)

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Concert starts at 7.30pm

Booking open

The Gesualdo Six

Saturday 3rd September, 2016, 7.30pm

Flyer

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SUMMER TOUR 2016

Directed by Owain Park

Beautiful unaccompanied choral music from the renaissance to the present day: Tenebrae Responsories, English Polyphony, Contemporary Works, Light Music Selection

Byrd, Tallis, Tomkins, Sheppard, Gesualdo, Harvey, Marsh, Poulenc, Ligeti

"The coolest vocal group around... revel in the gorgeous sounds, the spellbinding music, the programmes with something for everyone. Don't miss them, I guarantee you'll have the best evening ever." - John Rutter

The Gesualdo Six are a vocal sextet specialising in the performance of renaissance polyphony, directed by Owain Park. Formed in March 2014 for a performance of Gesualdo's Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday, the ensemble has since gone on to perform numerous concerts around the UK, including a ten-concert tour in the summer of 2015.

Whilst focusing on early music, the group often programmes modern works, recently juxtaposing madrigals by Monteverdi and Gesualdo with Ligeti's Nonsense Madrigals. Other programmes have included sacred and secular renaissance works by the English and Italian masters, combined with modern works by Poulenc, Jackson and Lukaszewski.

In June 2015, the group were revealed as St John's Smith Square Young Artists, following a highly competitive audition process. The scheme aims to invest in future talent, selecting promising artists who show "enormous talent and energy", endeavouring to help shape their futures. The ensemble will perform several times at St John's Smith Square during the 2015/16 season.

Ticket Prices
Front Nave (£18)
Back Nave (£15)
Aisles (£10)
U16/Students (£5)

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Concert starts at 7.30pm

Cash bar open from 6.30pm

Date for your diary

St James Cantata Choir

Saturday 26th November, 2016, 7.30pm

Date for your diary

Ex Cathedra

Tuesday 6th December, 2016, 7.30pm

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