Spring Concert 2016

Sun, 13 Mar 2016

Conductor - Jonathan Hargreaves
Leader - Tina Bowles


With Bella Cora - Musical Director: Rosamund Savournin

In support of the Rare Dementia Support Fund https://www.raredementiasupport.org Registered Charity No 290173

The Concert Programme

  • Hey down a down - Ravenscroft, arranged by Savournin
    A round of three country dances in one

  • Ah, Robin - Cornysh

  • Sure on this shining night - Barber, arranged by Savournin

  • Blackbird - Lennon and McCartney, arranged by Wikeley

  • And so it goes - Joel, arranged by Shaw

  • Till there was you - Wilson, arranged by Shaw

  • In Sea-Cold Lyonesse - Pickard, arranged by John Hargreaves


  • The Planets Suite Op 32 - Gustav Holst

    1. Mars, the Bringer of War - Allegro

    2. Venus, the Bringer of Peace - Adagio

    3. Mercury, the Winged Messenger - Vivace

    4. Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity - Allegro giocoso

    5. Saturn, the Bringer of Old Age - Adagio

    6. Uranus, the Magician - Allegro

    7. Neptune, the Mystic - Andante


Programme Notes

Bella Cora

Bella Cora's programme opens with music from the taverns of 17th century London (Ravenscroft's Country Dances). From there, we graduate to laments of love and loss, first described by a lovesick Tudor (Ah, Robin) but expressing feelings that would be recognised by Billy Joel nearly five centuries later (And so it goes). In the meantime, we turn to higher things, with Samuel Barber's ravishing setting of James Agee's expression of wonder at the beauty of the universe, 'Sure on this shining night', followed by 'Blackbird', Paul McCartney's much loved ballad of awakening. Finally, 'Till there was you' is an enduring descripton of falling in love from Meredith Wilson's 1957 musical 'The Music Man'. 

In Sea-Cold Lyonesse - John Pickard

According to Arthurian legend, Lyonesse is a mythical sunken kingdom between Cornwall and the Scilly Isles. It has inspired many writers; John Pickard's composition uses text from Thomas Hardy and Walter de la Mare to describe a voyage to and away from the kingdom. His evocative music, orgiinally performed by eight flutes, strings, brass band and choir, paints vivid pictures of the voyage. Towards the end, as the sinking kingdom disappears from view, the woodwind (in Lyonesse) and brass (on the mainland) 'call' to each other, one of the many spatial effects in the work.

The composition had its premiere in July 2015. Stunningly original in concept, it was performed simultaneously in three different locations in Cornwall and the Scilly Isles to point up its other-worldly space, with Jonathan Hargreaves conducting via computer link-up. Tonight's performance, its London premiere, is arranged by Jonathan for a single location using a large symphony orchestra and choir.

The Planets Suite - Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934)

Holst was fascinated by astrology and wrote this much-loved seven movement suite between 1914-1916. Holst described it 'as a series of mood pictures' which depict the astrological character of each planet in the solar system, as then known. The work became immensely popular and influential.

The Suite demands a very large orchestra (over 70 players are on the platform tonight). as well as a double female-vocal choir which is only heard in the final movement. The orchestration is unconventional and shows the influence of Schoenberg and Stravinsky who had recently made trips to England and created a stir.

The first movement, Mars, is brutally rythmic and warlike in character but with none of the nobility and grandeur associated with much martial music. Venus, in contrast, uses harps and celeste to create a mood of heavenly serenity, together with beautiful melodies for solo violin and oboe. Mercury is swift, short and rhythmic. Jupiter, the central movement, is jolly and essentially English (despite the name, Holst was English-born). It comprises several tunes which owe something to English folk music. The most famous became the hymn tune 'I vow to thee my country'.

Saturn depicts the different aspects of aging - slow defeat and hollowness, a sense of despair. Then a theme in the trombones introduces a feeling of acceptance and wisdom. It is said that Holst preferred this movement to all the others. Uranus is a quirky scherzo with magical quick-fire efects. The final movement, Neptune, creates a mystical atmosphere of disembodied sound, of wordless singing which dies away into silence.

Nothing that Holst wrote in the last 20 years of his life approached the popularity of The Planets, something he found hard to accept. It is is said that he reacted by abandoning his interest in astrology.

The Concert Charity

The Rare Dementia Support fund ( https://www.raredementiasupport.org Registered Charity No 290173) raises money to support people living with, or affected by, less common dementias. The service is organised by the Dementia Research Centre at The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery.

Rare forms of dementia pose complex challenges for people living with this diagnosis, their families, friends and carers, particularly as it often affects younger people. Over 40,0000 people in the UK develop dementia under the age of 65 and many experience atypical symptoms such as visual disturbances, problems speaking and understanding language or have behaviour and personality changes.

Our vision is to extend the Rare Dementia Support service and enable evey individual living with, or affected by, a form of rare dementia to have access to specialist information and support as well as contact other people with a similar condition.

The Concert Players

Conductor: Jonathan Hargreaves

First Violins

  • Tina Bowles (Leader)
  • Rachel Barbanel
  • Mary Dentschuk
  • Mark Denza
  • Steve Dobson
  • Adrian Garfoot
  • Imali Hettiarachchi
Second Violins
  • Cathy Fox (Principal)
  • Ian Brookman
  • Hannah Callcut
  • Amy Fulton
  • Beibhinn O'Leary
  • Julia Metcalfe
  • Anne Marie Rohwer
  • Grace Rollason
  • Mary Ruddy
  • Jan Toporowski
  • Gintare Zolubaite
  • Geoff Irwin (Principal)
  • Tom Boswell
  • Nigel Franklin
  • Netia Lascelles
  • Charlotte Lesforis
  • John Nicholls
  • David Robinson (Principal)
  • Sue Bird
  • Fiona Dunn
  • Hilary Evans
  • Sarah Gregor
  • Olivia Kilmartin
  • Yasmin Mukhida
  • Laura Seddon
  • Richard Smith
Double Basses
  • Francois Moreau
  • Ingela Weekes
  • Ian Bradford
  • Joanna Bosanquet
  • Mo Talukder
Piccolo/Alto Flute
  • Mo Talukder
  • Sumitra Lahiri
  • Sue Bulmer
  • Adrian Hall
Cor Anglais
  • Adrian Hall
  • Lindsey Kaye
  • Sophie Goodwin
  • Katie Lord
Bass Clarinet
  • Ian Merryweather
  • Rosalind Hedley-Miller
  • Hugh Whitfield
French Horns
  • Simon Ashdown
  • Mike Fage
  • Susie Laker
  • Julie Rooke
  • Richard Slater
  • James Symington
  • Patrick Dodds
  • Angela Dudley
  • Barney Samson
  • Chloe Watson
  • Rob Heath
  • Paul Weaving
Bass Trombone
  • William Symington
Tenor Tuba
  • John Holland
Bass Tuba
  • Ben Miller
  • Milo Harper
  • Zita Silva
Piano and Celeste
  • Oliver Till
  • Erik Eichelberger
  • Stuart Delve
  • Sharon Moloney
  • Bennet Smith
  • Wilf Van Kempen
  • Sharon Moloney
  • Bennet Smith