25 June 2016 Finzi Memorial Window - Gloucester
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Gerald Finzi’s death a Finzi Memorial Window, designed by Tom Denny, a celebrated stained glass window designer, which is to be positioned alongside the Gloucestershire Musicians commemorated in the Cathedral, is to be unveiled during a service at the Cathedral. It will be dedicated at Evensong when Gerald Finzi’s music will be sung by the combined choirs of all three Festival cathedrals.
2016 Celebrating English Song – Tardebigge
This year the series features:
26 June 2016 Celebrating English Song - Tardebigge
You will notice that this opening concert follows on directly from the Gloucester event and consequently if you are coming to Gloucester you would be advised to book for the weekend and pull in Tardebigge on Sunday as well. Committee Member, Jennie McGregor-Smith, is holding the first of her annual Tardebigge Sunday afternoon concerts series and following the dedication of the window in Gloucester she is presenting a Finzi themed programme as well as providing lunch for travellers.
In connection with the anniversary, all concerts will feature works by Finzi, particularly this first concert when we will hear a performance by Benjamin Appl, baritone, accompanied by Simon Lepper, piano. Works will include Finzi’s Overlooking the River, So have I Fared, Waiting Both and Amabel.
This programme not only includes Haydn, Finzi and Barber but also a group of songs by Gurney, interleaved with songs by Ian Venables, which relate to wartime, settings of poems by Gurney's friend Harvey and Gurney himself.
In addition, on this occasion a light lunch will be provided following the late morning talk and Finzi Friends Members are invited to join us. Tickets will be priced to include the lunch so visit the Celebrating English Song website and watch this space in the next Newsletter.
Ian Venables is the Composer in Residence for this series and will be giving a pre-concert talk highlighting the Finzi and Hardy connection.
For further information and booking go to the dedicated website at: www.celebratingenglishsong.co.uk
9 July 2016 Visit to Ashmansworth and AGM
This is the highlight of this anniversary year and we are looking forward to a return visit to the site of Gerald and Joy’s last home at Ashmansworth in the Berkshire countryside, our day’s event including a concert and our AGM.
As on our previous visit in 2014 our hosts, Mr and Mrs Skinner who live on the other side of the road, have expressed their willingness to hold another event at their home. On this occasion Mr and Mrs Skinner believe we would also be allowed access to the grounds of Church Farm and they will approach the new owners accordingly on our behalf.
Our AGM will be held in St James’ Church opposite Church Farm in the morning, followed by lunch in our host’s garden. After lunch we will return to St James’ for a concert as usual, details of which are still being confirmed. To commemorate the 60th anniversary we intend to place flowers on the memorial stone to Gerald and Joy which is just outside the church.
Details are being finalised and an invitation to purchase tickets will be included in the next Newsletter.
17 July 2016 Celebrating English Song – Tardebigge
Our President Iain Burnside, piano, will be bringing Kitty Whately, mezzo, together with Louise Williams, principal violist with the CBSO.
Iain Burnside's fifth visit brings an opportunity to hear Frank Bridge's works for voice and viola and Ian Venables' Acton Burnell, much appreciated by The Gramophone's reviewer. Iain has planned a group of Finzi songs, and a good looking second half devoted to Shakespeare settings, including Joseph Horovitz's dramatic Lady Macbeth - A Scena, and Korngold's music for Desdemona's willow song.
Those who heard Dr Alan Watson at Three Choirs last year will know that his special interest at Cardiff University is in the nature and treatment of performance related injury in singers - so his talk on The Science of the Singing Voice should be fascinating.
28 August 2016 Celebrating English Song – Tardebigge
We are privileged once again to have Roderick Williams accompanied by Susie Allan. They have chosen a programme which is full of musical favourites, starting the concert with Butterworth's Six songs from A Shropshire Lad and ending with Finzi's Shakespeare group Let us Garlands Bring. Vaughan Williams' Silent Noon will be a highlight for me, and an opportunity to revel in Gurney's Captain Stratton's Fancy and hear Ian Venables' The Kiss and Flying Crooked.
There will be a pre-concert talk by Ian Venables once again.
28 – 30 October 2016 Beethoven Quartets
Committee Members Jim Page and Jennie McGregor Smith have also planned, with great excitement, to promote the Dante Quartet to play all sixteen Beethoven Quartets at Bromsgrove's Artrix from Friday 28th to Sunday 30th October 2016. There will be talks by Stephen Johnson, Jessica Duchen and Roderick Swanston, plus Robin Ireland giving a Masterclass with a student quartet, and Steven Cowperthwaite reading The Heiligenstadt Testament.
There will be Gold Saver tickets for the whole weekend plus meals, and Silver Saver tickets without. If you are interested please email Jennie for a leaflet, or look at www.festiveclassics.co.uk which gives full details.
19-21 May 2017 (provisional) – The Ludlow English Song Weekend
It is our intention this time to precede the English Music Festival at Dorchester on Thames by a week. Iain Burnside, the Musical Director, is confident of being able to deliver another riveting programme and we look forward to the details as they develop.
2017 – Joint Ivor Gurney Event
We are very eager to undertake a joint event with the Ivor Gurney Society and this was originally planned for 2016 but two prestigious events are already planned for next year and consequently we have postponed this event until 2017.
Gerald Finzi championed the music and poetry of Ivor Gurney. Finzi very quickly recognised the worth of Gurney’s output and put considerable effort into ensuring it was brought to public notice. It is proposed that an event takes place on Chosen Hill near Gloucester because of the significance it had to Finzi, the inspiration for In Terra Pax and of course his love of the location. Details of the day and calendar dates have still to be finalised.
One of our Members, the Reverend John Risdon, is Rector of St. Bartholomew’s church, Chosen Hill and is offering to host an event in the church. You may recall that the Sexton’s Cottage just by the church, a favourite spot of Gerald’s.
The cottage is now being refurbished and offers a form of visitor centre which will add interest to the event.
It was felt that we could put on a small concert and a Finzi talk, probably on Herbert Howells, also known to Finzi and Gurney, and who had associations with the area. Thoughts extend to including a formal service of Evensong at the church as well.