July 2017 Concert and Play-in

Dear ECMC Member/Friend,

Welcome to our last event of the season, on Monday July 10th, when we hope lots of members will come, hopefully to take part, and enjoy our lovely venue, St Mary’s Perivale. If you are coming, please print up your own programme (which you can find here).

The first half of the evening contains two very contrasted offerings. I was recently reminded that the first recorder ensembles offered to the Club were under the name of “My Ladye Pottes Consort” and were mainly of the Tudor and Stuart period. We have become more eclectic since then, and on this occasion will be firmly in the 20th and 21stcenturies. The recorder has gained a good deal more popularity even in the last ten years, with recorder orchestras springing up with new works and arrangements appearing by the dozen. One of the nicest of these is  “A Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square”, a huge hit for Sherwin and Maschwitz in 1940 and recorded since by almost everyone. Denis Bloodworth made an arrangement for recorder quintet, which is played this time by Zillah Myers, Lowri Norris, Hilary Potts, Linda Shanks, and Liz Sharma To provide the twitter, the descant player (Liz) switches for a few seconds to the even tinier sopranino.

Liz has composed the five recorder quintet items which bracket the Nightingale. Her set of Water birds, “Ducks march to the pond”, “Swans” and “Cranes & Mallards” were  written for double reeds in about 2007.  Oboes are of course better suited than recorders to providing a realistic quack, and the composer is currently working on this problem.

The other two items, “Bamboleo” and “La Bamba” are Latin American in origin. Liz cannot remember when she originally made these arrangements or for what instruments – but definitely not for recorders.

The word bamboléo means “swaying” in Spanish. The song’s refrain says: “Bamboléo, Bamboléa, Porque mi vida yo la prefiero vivir asi.” Which translates to: “Swaying, swaying, because I prefer to live my life this way.” Part of the song is an adaptation of a Venezuelan classic folk song , though there seems to have been some Brazilian input.

La Bamba” is a Mexican folk song, best known from a 1958 adaptation by Ritchie Valens, whose version is ranked number 354 on Rolling Stone magazine′s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The audience may clap or hum along as they wish.

Rupert Bawden (violin) and Chris Crocker (piano) now take the stage for an altogether meatier work, the Sonata no.3 for violin and piano, op. 133, by Edmund Rubbra. The three movements are:

  1. Allegro
  2. Andante poco lento e mesto
  3. Tema con Variazioni.

Rubbra (1901-1986) was born in Northampton. His music, particularly the 11 symphonies, was much played in his lifetime but, as often happens, became forgotten after his death, and a revival has yet to occur. The third violin sonata was written in 1968. It is an enigmatic late work: spiky, modernistic, and entirely different from the romantic second sonata (composed 35 years earlier) which they played in April last year. The first movement is based on the interval of a fourth and is notable for the amount of writing for the white keys on the piano and absence of chromaticism. The second movement is introspective, chromatic and dissonant. The third movement comprises a set of variations on a  march-like theme. Like the first movement it is diatonic, but in this case based on the interval of a second.

We hope you will have brought your instrument for the Play-in. This starts with a small item by Liz Sharma, Memories & Myths No.1 – Meeting. We did the second of these in a previous Play-in.

The main work will be Haydn “London” Symphony No. 104 in D Major, in fact the last of his twelve London Symphonies. It was premiered at the King’s Theatre on 4 May 1795, in a concert featuring exclusively Haydn’s own compositions and directed by the composer. The event was a huge success; Haydn wrote in his diary: “The whole company was thoroughly pleased and so was I. I made 4000 gulden on this evening –  such a thing is possible only in England.” We will have a conductor, but hopefully the atmosphere will be light-hearted.

Enjoy the summer break, and if you have anything to offer for the first 2017-2018 concert on 11th September, do let Andrew Lewandowski know.