Spring Concert 2015

Sun, 22 Mar 2015

Conductor - Jonathan Hargreaves
Leader - Tina Bowles

Supporting the Whittington Hospital Maternity Unit Registered Charity No 1056452

The Concert Programme

  • Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Richard Wagner

  • Symphonic Dances - Edvard Grieg

    • Allegro moderato e marcato

    • Allegretto grazioso

    • Allegro giocoso

    • Andante allegro molto e risoluto

  • Symphony No 4 in f minor - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    • Andante sostenuto

    • Andantino in modo di canzona

    • Scherzo: pizzicato ostinato - allegro

    • Finale - allegro con fuoco

Programme Notes

Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg - Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883)

Wagner's opera Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg tells the story of Walter whose goal is to be admitted to the Nuremberg Mastersinger's Guild by winning its singing competition, and with it the hand of Eva, daughter of one of the Mastersingers.

The themes in the Prelude are golden and triumphant, evoking the different aspects of the opera. The condifent opening passage symbolises the essence of the Mastersingers. This is followed by the 'banner theme', a striking march introduced by the brass. The prelude then moves on to the luxuriously flowing 'Prize theme', followed by a trio. Finally the themes are brought together in a feast of melody leading to a magnificent conclusion.

Symphonic Dances - Edvard Grieg (1843 - 1907)

The themes of Grieg's four symphonic dances, composed in 1896, come from the folk music of Grieg's native Norway. The first and second movements are based on the 'Halling' dance, traditionally performed by young men at weddings, involving athletic competition between the dancers. The second movement is the more relaxed of the two.

The third movement is based on a 'Springar'. a dance in three-four time from Hedmark near the Swedish border. Traditionally, the musicisans stamp their feet in accompaniment, but we will refrain from this tonight!

The themes in the fourth movement are also derived from folk songs, the central section of which is a wedding song from the Valdre region.

Symphony No 4 in f minor - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840 - 1893)

Tcjaikovsky wrote his stormy fourth symphony in 1876 - 1877 at a time of great emotional stress when he entered into a tragic but brief marriage with a student from the Moscow Conservatoire. Conflicted by his homosexuality, he suffered a nervous breakdown and attempted suicide.

According to Tchaikovsky's own notes on the work for this benefactress Nadezhda von Meck, the introduction to the first movement contains the 'germ' of the entire symphony, conveying the idea of 'that fatal force that prevents our striving for happiness from succeeding'. The long main theme evokes a feeling of hopelessness that grows ever stronger. However, there are glimmers. Lighter instruments such as the clarinet and violins introduce dream-like passages which provide glimpses of joy. But fate returns to bring the music back to 'grim reality'.

The second movement provides a reflective interlude with the composer looking back on moments of happiness and dejection at the end of the day. The third movement, a bright scherzo, breaks away from the gloom to 'drink a little wine' and enjoy fleeting images: capricious arabesques, peasants enjoying themselves, a military band in the distance.

The vigorous final movement brings a more upbeat tone to the work. If you cannot find happiness yourself, seek pleasure in the joy of others. Fate intervenes again with its now familar fanfare. But Tchaikovsky is better prepared. He has seen that others can find happiness and enjoyment in life, and that makes it more bearable for him.

Tchaikovsky's 4th has been described as 'barbaric', as a mélange of the languid and ferocious. It was not well received at its first performance in 1878, but has since claimed its place as one of the giants of the Russian repertoire.

The Concert Charity

The concert is in aid of The Whittington Health Maternity appeal which aims to provide state of the art maternity facilities for parents and babies at The Whittington Hospital. Donations enable the hospital to buy up-to-date equipment, improve the environment and train staff to deliver the best possible care for sick and premature babies.

Registered Charity No 1056452

The Concert Players

Conductor: Jonathan Hargreaves

First Violins

  • Tina Bowles (Leader)
  • Rachel Barbanel
  • Steve Dobson
  • Adrian Garfoot
  • Natalie Kent
  • Nataliya Mandzhekova
  • Gwyn Rhydderch
  • Richard Smith
Second Violins
  • Nichola Blakey (Principal)
  • Sonja Ashbury
  • Ian Brookman
  • Sabrina Pathan
  • Lucinda Platt
  • Ayesha Wynne
  • Gintare Zolubaite
  • Geoff Irwin (Principal)
  • Tom Boswell
  • Richard Clarembaux
  • Nigel Franklin
  • Win Eyles
  • Laura Seddon (Principal)
  • Susan Bird
  • Hilary Evans
  • Olivia Kilmartin
  • Yasmin Mukhida
  • Alison O'Reilly
  • Christine Secombe
Double Basses
  • Esther Arribas
  • Clarissa Dann
  • Francois Moreau
  • Ian Bradford
  • Joanna Bosanquet
  • Mo Talukder
  • Mo Talukder
  • Sumitra Lahiri
  • Adrian Hall
  • Lindsey Kaye
  • Ian Merryweather
  • Rosalind Hedley-Miller
  • Hugh Whitfield
French Horns
  • Tabitha Bolter
  • Mike Fage
  • Clare Hennesey
  • Netia Lascelles
  • Julie Rooke
  • Antony Brian
  • Angela Dudley
  • Rob Heath
  • Sian Herlihy
  • Paul Weaving

  • Chris Claxton
  • David Lascelles
  • Stuart Delve
  • David Coronel
  • Sharon Moloney