Spring Concert 2018

Sun, 18 Mar 2018

Una Primavera Italiana

Conductor - Jonathan Hargreaves
Leader - Tina Bowles

Profits go to concert charity Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk Registered Charity No. 280960

The Concert Programme

  • Overture in the Italian Style in C major D591 - Franz Schubert

  • Overture, Scherzo and Finale - Robert Schumann

    • Overture: Andante con moto - Allegro

    • Scherzo: Vivo

    • Finale: Allegro molto vivace


  • Symphony in A major No 4 Op 90 ("Italian") - Felix Mendelssohn

    • Allegro vivace

    • Andante con moto

    • Con moto moderato

    • Saltarello presto

Programme Notes

Overture in the Italian Style in C major D591 - Franz Schubert (1797 - 1828)

Born near Vienna, 20 year old Schubert had already been introduced to the 'Italian Style' by his teacher Antonio Salieri. Rossini was all the rage after the success of 'Tancredi', so capturing the mood of the moment, Schubert dashed off two sparkling overtures of which this is the second. The music opens with an ornamental run of three notes and loud chord, just as Rossini might have composed it - as is the conspicuous use of woodwind. There is a famous Rossini crescendo in the second theme and a typically Rossinian dash to the finish employing lots of brass.

Overture, Scherzo and Finale Op 52 - Robert Schumann (1810 - 1856)

The work was performed in 1841 entitled Sinfonetta as it had no slow movement. It was then revised and finally published in 1845 under the title 'Overture, Scherzo and Finale'. The overture has that particular delicacy which distinguishes Schumann's works; and was composed in a joyous mood a year after his marriage to Clara Wieck. Schumann's individuality is also on display in the Scherzo where a tripping dotted rhythm prevails, relieved in the Trio by graceful phrasing in 2-4 time. Both Scherzo and Trio are repeated, closing with a return to something of the first movement and a few bars from the Scherzo. The Finale is more symphonic in style with majestic brass heralding the end of the movement.

Symphony No 4 in A major "Italian" - Felix Mendelssohn (1809 - 1847)

Born in Hamburg to a well-connected and talented Jewsih family, Mendelssohn had already composed a dozen symphonies and many chamber works by the time he was 14. He is thought of as being blessed with a successful career and happy family life. However he was also very highly strung, given to overwork and outbursts which led to a series of strokes resulting in his early death.

The symphony was composed between 1829-1831, when Mendelssohn was travelling in Italy, and performed the following year to huge acclaim. Mendelssohn described it as 'the jolliest piece I have so far written... and the most mature thing I have ever done'. However paradoxically he was dissatisfied with it, constantly re-writing it, and never allowing it to be published during his lifetime.

The work conjures moments of Mendelssohn's Italian journey. The enchanting melodies of the opening Allegro present an urban scene, perhaps Venice. The reverence of the second movement might have been inspired by a religious procession in Rome. The third movement is a graceful minuet in the style of Mozart, and suggests an elegant Florentine palace. However, the final movement needs no speculation as Mendelssohn wrote to his sister that he was waiting for Naples to inspire him. The listener is in southern Italy hearing a blend of two lively folk dances: the salterello and the tarantella. Both are wild and swirling, and unquestionably Italian. It shows Mendelssohn's tremendous skill that he could incorporate folk music into this classical work so harmoniously.

Notes by Netia Lascelles

The Concert Charity

Nordoff Robbins Music Therapy www.nordoff-robbins.org.uk Registered Charity No. 280960 is the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK, dedicated to changing the lives of the vulnerable and isolated. It supports thousands of people in its own centres and in partnership with a wide range of organisations including care homes, schools and hospitals. When delivered by a trained practitioner, music therapy can help a child with autism to communicate, reduce anxiety for those living with dementia and comfort people facing terminal illness.

Its mission is to bring the life-changing power of music therapy to as many people as possible through the delivery of high-quality music therapy services across the UK, masters-level music therapy training, and research to raise the effectiveness of its work.
  • £10 pays for a music instrument, giving non-verbal children and adults the tools to express themselves.
  • £20 allows a person living with dementia to communicate with loved ones in a music therapy group session.
  • £50 could help bring comfort and joy to a child in hospital during a one-to-one music therapy session.

The Concert Players

Conductor: Jonathan Hargreaves

First Violins

  • Tina Bowles (Leader)
  • Rachel Barbanel
  • Steve Dobson
  • Joanne Maimaris
  • Gwyn Rhydderch
  • Ayesha Wynne
Second Violins
  • Helen Sanders-Hewitt (Principal)
  • Sonja Ashbury
  • Ian Brookman
  • Louisa Burden
  • Laura Doel
  • Mary Moore
  • Lucinda Platt
  • Jan Toporowski
  • Pearl Williams
  • Geoff Irwin (Principal)
  • Tom Boswell
  • Nigel Franklin
  • Netia Lascelles
  • Charlotte Lesforis
  • Caryl Mayes
  • John Nicholls
  • Sarah Parfitt
  • Josh Salter (Principal)
  • Sue Bird
  • Fiona Dunn
  • Hilary Evans
  • Hannah Franklin
  • Helen Mabelis
Double Basses
  • Darren Edwards
  • Francois Moreau
  • Naohiro Yonezawa
  • Ian Braford
  • Joanna Bosanquet
  • Sumitra Lahiri
  • Adrian Hall
  • Sophie Goodwin
  • Ian Merryweather
  • Rosalind Hedley-Miller
  • Louise Johnston
French Horns
  • Susie Laker
  • Julie Rooke
  • Mike Dockerty
  • Barney Samson
  • Stuart Delve