Our members’ concert on 8th May 2017

Dear ECMC Member or Friend,

Our next concert is going to be a fascinating mixed bag and we hope to see more members there.

But first – could anyone take over the website for the time being?

Now for the concert on 8th May. Do bring your own programme, which is available for download here.

To start with, Liz Sharma, our resident composer and actually by far the most frequently performed composer in the Club, plays one of her most recent works. “Play it again” was commissioned by her publisher in March this year as a set of three short pieces based on dance rhythms, originally for two oboes. At Hilary’s request she arranged it for the narrower compass of two recorders, treble and tenor. The three items are

  1. Repeat after me,
  2. To Tango and
  3. Samba.

Next we have two instruments new to the Club, and mandolin and the mandola. Stuart McGowan and John Maw present a sequence of eight duets, the first six of which have been arranged by Stuart. These are:

  • Brasileirinho by Waldyr Azevedo, (b.1923)
  • Calabrisella Mia, trad Italian,

The next four are from a Mexican collection called “Danzones Yucatecos.”

  • A mi Blance by M.Mendez C,
  • A mi Negra by M.Mendez C,
  • Holda by J. M. Vargas,
  • La Union by J. M. Vargas,
  • El Morenito from Suite Venezolano by by Jose A. Zambrano (b. 1965)
  • Duetto V by Antonio Riggieri. (fl.1780)

The Mandolin has a long and venerable history as a plucked string counterpart to the violin, being tuned the same, but double-strung, and played with a plectrum. The mandola bears a similar resemblance to the viola, though some, like John’s are tuned an octave lower than the mandolin. Stuart McGowan and John Maw formed “Duo Diapason”, a mandolin and mandola duo, when they met during meetings of the Plucked Ensemble Masterclass, coached by the distinguished mandolinist, Travis Finch. Stuart and John have performed together in the London Mandolin Ensemble and the London Mandolin Quartet and ‘Duo Diapason’ have given several independent recitals in the London area.

The third item is a rare treat from Deni Teo with Sarah Park, the first movement from the Shostakovich Cello Sonata Op.40. This was one of Dmitri Shostakovich’s early works, composed in 1934 just prior to the censure by Soviet authorities of his music, notably the opera Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, which was deemed too bourgeois and decadent for the Soviet people. It was also a period of emotional turmoil in his life, as he had fallen in love with a young student at a Leningrad festival featuring his Lady Macbeth. Their affair resulted in a brief divorce from his wife Nina, and it was in August, during their period of separation, that he wrote the cello sonata, completing it within a few weeks and giving its premiere in Moscow on 25 December with his close friend, the cellist Viktor Kubatsky, who was also the piece’s dedicatee. By the next autumn Shostakovich and Nina had remarried,

Finally, Li Lin Teo returns to complete the Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No. 2, with the 3rd Movement, Allegro scherzando. This time the orchestra is represented by a piano duo, Deni Teo and Benjamin Mellefont. This mighty work needs no recommendation from me and will make a splendid conclusion to the evening.

Do come, and bring your programme with you.


Our members’ concert on 10th April 2017

Dear ECMC Member (or friend),

Our next concert is on April 10th and we would love to see you there. This will feature Andrew Lewandowski with Li Lin Teo in two little-known clarinet works, and two short violin works. Do bring your own programme, which is available for download here.

The first is a clarinet and piano sonata by Jean Xavier Lefevre (1763-1829). He started his musical career as a clarinettist in the French Guards band and joined the National Guard at the start of the Revolution, going on to conduct the band and later becoming one of the first professors at the Paris Conservatoire. He contributed to the development of the 6 key clarinet, and wrote several methods for the instrument. This is the third of five Sonatas included in his clarinet method of 1802, and the three movements are:

  1. Allegro moderato,
  2. Andante and
  3. Allegro.

Next we have two violin and piano items performed by Saori Howse and Li Lin. The first is “Nigun”, the second of three sections of Ernst Bloch’s suite “Baal Shem – scenes of Chassidic life,” first performed in Cleveland in 1924. Typically the work takes its inspiration from his Jewish background, specifically the founder of modern Jewish mysticism founded by Baal Shem Tov in the 18th century, a movement which placed great emphasis upon song, dance and ecstasy as channels for direct communication with God. The title refers to a genre of songs composed by tzaddikim (holy men) ), the purpose of which is to transport both performer and listener to transcendental realms of spirituality, and set to nonsense (or, more politely, non-semantic) syllables. Nigun has gained itself a place as a self-standing work.

Saori and Li Lin will then play “Après un rêve” by Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) This is the first of a set of mélodies for solo voice and piano, one of Faure’s most popular vocal pieces, and is a dream of romantic flight with a lover, away from the earth, and has been performed by numerous singers and in settings for various instruments. The other two in the set were “Hymne” and “Barcarolle”. The songs were written between 1870 and 1877, and published in 1878. They were not, however, originally conceived together as a set of three; the opus number 7 was imposed on them retrospectively in the 1890s, almost 20 years after their first publication.

Andrew will then join them for a rare work by Richard Walthew which is a trio for Violin, Clarinet and Piano in C minor, written in 1896. Richard Henry Walthew (1872-1951) was born in Islington and was a pupil of Parry at the R.C.M. Walthew had a natural affinity for chamber music and a long association with the South Place Sunday Concert series for which he wrote programme notes. He conducted the orchestra there and it was also where much of his chamber music was played. The movements are:

  1. Allegro no troppo e poco maestoso,
  2. Andante non tropp,
  3. Poco Allegretto,
  4. Allegreto Simplice (Theme and Variations), and
  5. L’ Envoi.


The following concert will be on Monday May 8th 2017, and the Organiser is John Heffernan. If you intend to contribute an item, please contact him.

You might be interested in a concert coming up at the other St Mary’s church (in St Mary’s Road W5) called “East meets West” – the cellist Ruth Henley with pianist Ilya Chetverikov play Russian and English works. This will be on Saturday May 6th at 7.30 pm.

All the best, Hilary