Summer Concert 2016

Sun, 26 Jun 2016

Bloom on the Bough

Conductor - Jonathan Hargeaves
Leader - Tina Bowles

In support of The Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants Registered Charity No. 1135205

The Concert Programme

  • Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis - Ralph Vaughan Williams

  • A Shropshire Lad (Orchestral Rhapsody) - George Butterworth

  • Serenade in E flat major for 13 wind instruments - Richard Strauss


  • Symphony No. 8 in G Major - Antonin Dvorak

    • Allegro con brio

    • Adagio

    • Allegretto grazioso - molto vivace

    • Allegro ma non troppo


Programme Notes

Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis - Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958)

One of Britain's most popular composers, Vaughan Williams marked a decisive break in English music from its German-dominated style of the 19th Century. He was strongly influenced by Tudor music and English folk song, though his style also reflects the influence of Maurice Ravel with whom he studied in France.

Together with The Lark Ascending the Fantasia ranks among his best known works. He came across the Third Psalter Tune of Thomas Tallis (1567) when researching hymn tunes for Percy Dearmer's English Hymnal. He used it for Hymn 92 beginning 'When, rising from the bed of death" and then decided to develop it into music for string orchestra.

The Fantasia has a beauty and ghostly solemnity due in part to its unusual structure. The string orchestra is divided into three parts; a large orchestra, a smaller one which mostly provides an echo or 'halo' of sound and a string quartet. The players are generally grouped separately.

A Shropshire Lad Rapsody - George Butterworth (1885 - 1916)

Butterworth was a London born composer who became a close friend of Vaughan Williams and Cecil Sharp while studying music at Oxford. He was part of a group of enthusiasts who travelled the country collecting English folk songs. He was also an accomplished Morris dancer.

In 1911 Butterworth set the 11 poems of A.E. Houseman's 'A Shropshire Lad' to music. The first of these. 'Loveliest of Trees', became the basis for his 1912 orchestral rhapsody. The title of this concert 'Bloom on the Bough' is a line from the poem. Like Houseman's poetry, the piece has a war-time sorrowing for young men sent abroad to an early grave. Ironically only five years later Butterworth himself was to be tragically killed. After a brilliant career as a soldier for which he was awarded the Military Cross, he was shot by a sniper in northern France

Serenade in E flat major Op 7 - Richard Strauss (1864 - 1949)

Richard Strauss was born into a German family of professional brass players and his father, Franz Strauss, was the Munich court orchestra's principal horn player. The young Richard had already composed a number of works when he wrote his Serenade for 13 wind instruments in 1882 aged only 17.

The Serenade is in sonata form (exposition of themes, develoment and recapitulation) which, though traditional in structure, also reveals the glorious lyricism and freedom of his later works. The first parts of Wagner's Ring Cycle had just been heard by the public and the full, rich sound of the horn writing can be felt as another influence.

Symphony No 8 in G major - Antonin Dvorak (1841 - 1904)

Dvorak was a Czech composer of romantic music. He wrote his eigth symphony in 1889 on the occasion of his election to the Bohemian Academy of Science, Literature and Arts. In contrast to his other symphonies, the music is cheerful and optimistic, containing elements of the Bohemian folk music that he loved.

The first movement is a powerful and glowing exposition characterised by liberal use of Timpani. The second movement opens with a beautiful clarinet duet, developing from a tranquil summery mood to thunderstorm and back again to calm contentedness. The third movement is mostly a melancholy waltz with a contrasting section owning something to Bohemian folk dance. The finale is in the form of a theme with variations. The movement opens with heroic trumpets followed by a beautiful melody. The tension grows through a tempestuous middle section towards a slow lyrical close. A chromatic coda finishes the symphony with resounding brass and timpani.


The Concert Charity

The Isington Centre for Refugees and Migrants ( Registered Charity No. 1135205) provides the support refugees and asylum seekers need to fulfil their potential in the UK. Many people have suffered terrible abuses of their human rights, and face multiple challenges now they are in the UK. The Cnetre runs English classes, art and writing sessions, a dance group, a book group, provide a support service, serve hot food, tea and coffee, and give food parcels and clothes. Last year the people who attended the Centre were from 39 different countries including Eritrea, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Iran, and the centre has been pleased to recently welcome Syrian refugees.

The Concert Players

Conductor: Jonathan Hargreaves

First Violins

  • Tina Bowles (Leader)
  • Rachel Barbanel
  • Steve Dobson
  • Ros Hedley-Miller
  • Sian Herlihy
  • Loren O'Dair
  • Gwyn Rhydderch
Second Violins
  • Nichola Blakey (Principal)
  • Ian Brookman
  • Hannah Callcut
  • Lucinda Platt
  • Mary Ruddy
  • Jan Toporowski
  • Raffaella Urbani
  • Marianna Waite
  • Gintare Zolubaite
  • Geoff Irwin (Principal)
  • Tom Boswell
  • Richard Clarembaux
  • Nigel Franklin
  • Charlotte Lesforis
  • John Nicholls
  • Laura Seddon (Principal)
  • Sue Bird
  • Fiona Dunn
  • Hilary Evans
  • Olivia Kilmartin
  • Yasmin Mukhida
  • Emma Roberts
Double Basses
  • Francois Moreau
  • Ingela Weekes
  • Ian Bradford
  • Joanna Bosanquet
  • Sumitra Lahiri
  • Margaret Thomas
Cor Anglais
  • Margaret Thomas
  • Lindsey Kaye
  • Ian Merryweather
Bass Clarinet
  • Ian Merryweather
  • Rosalind Hedley-Miller
  • Louise Johnston
French Horns
  • Simon Ashdown
  • Mike Fage
  • Susie Laker
  • Julie Rooke
  • Richard Slater
  • Patrick Dodds
  • Barney Samson
  • Rob Heath
  • Sian Herlihy
  • Paul Weaving
  • Matthew Watts
Harp (synth)
  • Ian Brookman
  • Stuart Delve