A year ago at the last AGM concert we were remembering Sullivan, Copland and Bach, as this year we celebrate Rubbra, Verdi and Space Odyssey 2001.
In between we have had a familiar pattern of chamber and orchestral concerts
with some unusual features:
6 of the chamber concerts included runners-up to the Centenary chamber music competition of the previous year, showing a wide range of styles to complement that of the winner Tansy Davies (whose wind quintet was also included in the November concert alongside Luca Vanneschis Xylographie). Another of them, John Luke Prices clarinet quintet, formed part of a New Members concert, in which Pamela and Irvine Simpson, Barbara Wylie, Evelyn Bercott and Anthony Hardwicke joined more long-standing members they have all made significant contributions to other concerts too.
The two submissions from Club members to the Centenary competition, Mary Leonards celebratory anthem Bridgeford and Derek Smiths flute sonatina, found a natural place in the Club Composers concert in September, alongside wind quintets by Raymond Parfrey and Pamela Tomlinson, a carol with flute by Helen Shaw, and a further batch of songs from the assiduous organiser Tony Noakes, this time reflecting his new life (at least partly) in Western Australia.
Wind combinations of all sizes have figured prominently this year, from solos , with and without voices, to a clarinet duo by Poulenc, variously mixed trios by Weber, Milhaud, Andr Previn and Gordon Jacob, his oboe quartet, quartet arrrangements of lute songs, quintets already mentioned and by Blumer, Rhen-Baton, and one with piano by von Herzogenberg, a sextet by Reinecke and three notable mixed septets: one of the new works, by Tom Poster, imaginatively combining voice and alto saxophone with string quartet and piano, and the others more established the Beethoven and the Saint-Sans (for trumpet, piano and strings).
Familiar Saint-Sans, his cello concerto, with Laura Forbes as soloist, also figured in the June orchestral workshop, alongside the less familiar Diversions on Ulster Airs by Howard Ferguson and a real novelty, the spirited overture to Messina, an opera set around the 1908 earthquake, by Lillo Saitta, drawn to our notice by Piero Mattei. Piero and Judith Mattei sang Tchaikovsky, Quilter and Schubert memorably in September, as did Jane Gregson (Spohr, with clarinet) in May and Jo Parton (Offenbach) in November; the Open concert in June included the last appearance at the Club of Bernard Wilcocks (singing Beethoven), before his death last month; other singers in that concert were Adrian de Peyer (Vaughan Williams) and Carl Murray (Mahler). Carl also sang Wolf and Evelyn Bercott Strauss Lieder at the following Open concert in February. These two Open concerts also provided opportunities for members to perform familiar violin and cello works by Bach, Vitali, Beethoven, Rode, Max Bruch and - less familiar - Aaron Copland (just missing last years centenary), flute pieces by Gaubert and a Haydn piano sonata.
In other concerts, piano works by Grieg, Mozart, original compositions by Richard Price and duets by Schubert were heard, culminating in the full glory of two pianos (and fourteen pianists) in the most recent concert two weeks ago. Apart from the string contributions to ensembles already mentioned, violin and piano works by Schubert and Hindemith, an unusual Vivaldi sonata for viola damore and continuo, string and piano trios by Beethoven, quartets by Schubert, Christopher Wiggins and Philip Wood (competition runners-up), and, notably, Shostakovitch (his 7th) provided the traditional core of the programme. Three of these string works were in the December memorial concert for Reginald Thompson, which also included a string orchestra for the first work he had conducted at the Club, Finzis Dies Natalis (narrowly missing his centenary, also this year), impressively sung by Lyn Parkyns - as was the title role in this years opera, Handels Semele, a welcome taste of the baroque very much inspired by Lyn, and generally held to have provided splendid opportunities for orchestra, chorus and a strong group of soloists, idiomatically conducted by Nicholas Steinitz. In Februarys Gala concert also a memorial for both Bernard Wilcocks and Tommy Evans the Club contribution of the Beethoven septet was matched by distinguished items from Cambridge (the Franck violin sonata) and University College (flute and guitar duets) with Oxford not represented on this occasion.
In conclusion, the year reflects the continuing vitality of the Club in its second century, with performance standards and audience attendances evidently showing renewed enthusiasm.
Alan Reddish (Music Committee Chairman)
5th March 2001
|Back to Top | Home||Updated 17 Novermber 2012|