October 2017

Dear ECMC Member

Before giving you the October programme, I’d like to give you advance notice that we are hoping to run a series of Bach Brandenburg Concertos, starting with No.5 on November 13th, when Li Lin Teo will be playing the virtuoso harpsichord part and Theresa Cory the flute solo. We need strings for the orchestra and there will be at least one rehearsal plus a run-through on the day, so please volunteer by filling in the Doodle poll – copy and paste this address into your browser (https://doodle.com/poll/s85rawru8pn8vvce) and hopefully we will find a day and time which suits everyone. It can’t be a big orchestra, so obviously it’s first come, first served.

If you have your eye on one of the solo parts in another Brandenburg, please let me know.

The AGM will follow the music on November 13th, and we hope for a good turnout. If you would like to join the Committee (which does virtually all its work by email), please let Hilary know.


We’ll begin with recorder duos, played by Liz Sharma ad Hilary Potts, and in the course of the evening using three of the four sizes of recorder used before the 20th century. We will begin on basses with Thomas Morley’s (1557-8) “Go ye my Canzonets” followed by “La Sampogna” on tenor and Bass. “La Sampogna” means “bagpipe” or possibly panpipes, though the music does not seem particularly characteristic of either.

Next in date order, John Maw (mandola), Tilly Mattich and Stuart McGowan (mandolins) will play the Trio Sonata Op.4 No.1 of 1694 by Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713). This is transcribed from the original for two violins and basso continuo, and the movements are:

Largo (Preludio), Allegro, Adagio, Presto (Allemande)

There is no record of Corelli himself having played the mandolin, but the instrument was generically a plucked-string version of the violin, and there are many pieces of this and later eras where they were both identified on the title pages. Of course later publications have tended to not include this. And in a general sense composers were much less tied to particular instrumentation than was true from mid-classical times onward – naturally, as they wanted to make what sales they could in an era before copyright protection.

We move forward and across the Channel to Michel Corrette (1707-1795). His second Sonata may have been written either for treble recorders or flutes, but more likely the latter as it tends to lie rather low on the treble and Liz has opted to swap to the tenor halfway through. The four movements are a gracious Allemande, a Courante, movement styled “Lentement” with sections of imitation suggesting a pair of birds singing to each other, and a lively Rondeau.

Jo Parton and Li Lin Teo will then perform Mahler’s “Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen”, a song cycle on his own texts. The cycle of four Lieder for medium was written around 1884–85 in the wake of Mahler’s unhappy love for soprano Johanna Richter, whom he met while conductor of the opera house in Kassel, Germany, and orchestrated and revised in the 1890s.

The four sections are:
Wenn mein Schatz Hochzeit macht (“When my sweetheart is married”)

Ging heut’ Morgen über’s Feld (“I went this morning over the field”)

Ich hab’ ein glühend Messer (“I have a gleaming knife”)

Die zwei blauen Augen von meinem Schatz (“The two blue eyes of my beloved”)

For the last item, Li Lin will be joined by Nicholas Bryer (cor anglais) to play Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise”.  This is a song composed and published in 1915 as the last of his 14 Songs or 14 Romances, Op. 34. Written for high voice (in practice, more often soprano than tenor) with piano accompaniment, it contains no words, but is sung using any one vowel of the singer’s choosing. It was dedicated to soprano Antonina Nezhdanova. It has been arranged for just about every known instrument and combination (some of them by the composer himself), including orchestra, choir and orchestra, theremin and piano, piano trio, jazz ensemble, and on the oboe in the Pet Shop Boys’ 1999 album “Nightlife.”

Finally, sad news of an ex-member, FIONA THOMAS, which came too late for the last mailout. Karen Benny has send us the following memoir: –

Fiona had been a member of ECMC for several years up to 2012 playing in various ensembles, from wind quintets to dectets.  A graduate of the Royal College of Music she was a wonderful French horn player and soprano and a dedicated and passionate musician.  She passed away in August 2017.  She was a passionate supporter of Ealing Youth Orchestra and donations in her memory can be made towards the EYO bursary fund. 

Here’s the link to the donations page: