201529 – 31 May 2015 English Song Weekend - Ludlow
The Ludlow English Song Weekend has been compacted to an extended weekend to make it more attractive to visitors, a more achievable timescale for most people and still time to renew acquaintances and friendships old and new. The official programme and booking information will be published in January 2015 and you are invited to keep in touch via the Ludlow website: www.ludlowenglishsongweekend.com
Together with a Young Composer Competition and a Master Class hosted by the personalities of Judith Bingham and Roderick Williams, there will be talks, discussions and a forum with the personalities interspersed by prestigious concerts as follows:
Friday evening An unmissable concert by Roderick Williams and Iain Burnside to include Finzi’s Before and After Summer; Robert Saxton’s Time and the Seasons; and Vaughan Williams, including his Four Last Songs.
Saturday afternoon The Birmingham Conservatoire Chamber Choir conducted by Paul Spicer to include songs by Stamford, Finzi, Walton, Dyson, Howells and Four Carols by Paul himself.
Saturday evening The World of A E Housman. Songs and readings given by the Resident Team of Alex Jennings, Actor; Kitty Whately, Mezzo-Soprano; John Mark Ainsley, Tenor; Marcus Farnsworth, Baritone; and Iain Burnside, Piano.
There will be Housman settings by Arthur Somervell, E J Moeran, John Ireland, Benjamin Burrows, Graham Peel, Michael Head, George Butterworth, Janet Hamilton, Judith Bingham, Willie B Manson and our own Martin Bussey.
Sunday morning Exalt and Crown the Hour. Finzi’s song cycle A Young Man’s Exhortation interspersed with songs by John Ireland, Hugh Wood, William Bolcom, Geoffrey Allan Taylor, Martin Bussey and Jonathan Dove.
Sunday afternoon The world of Walter de la Mare. Again using the Resident Team from the Saturday evening’s concert songs will be performed by Ivor Gurney, Herbert Howells, Benjamin Burrows, Armstrong Gibbs, Lennox Berkeley, W D Browne, Rodney Bennett, Brien Blyth Daubney and Gerald Finzi.
28 June 2015 Celebrating English Song - Tardebigge
Finzi Friends Committee Member Jennie McGregor-Smith is once again preparing summer Sunday afternoon concerts in the attractively located classical church at Tardebigge near Bromsgrove where we are always delighted to hear recitals from well know vocal soloists and piano accompanists. Each concert is prefaced by a topical or concert related talk and we always welcome the interval tea and cakes.
Consecutive dates next summer are 26 July 2015 and 16 August 2015. The programmes for each of these concerts is still being finalised and will be detailed in the next Newsletter but we are never disappointed and there is always a congenial company.
30 July 2015 The Three Choirs Festival - Hereford
The Finzi Friends have booked the Festival Marquee for a 1.00 pm lunch on the Thursday of the Festival week.
Our Journal Editor, Rolf Jordan, is scheduled to give a talk on Purcell Warren. We hope to see all our Friends who are attending concerts at the Festival join us for the event.
Entitled ‘A soldier of the Great War: Francis Purcell Warren', this informal talk aims to clarify one of the great mysteries of English Music - who was 'Bunny Warren', the cherished friend and inspiration to Herbert Howells and Ivor Gurney? It will describe Warren's life as an outstanding musician, his part in the Somme battle, and introduce recordings of his music.
2016 – Joint Ivor Gurney Event
The Ivor Gurney Society are keen to undertake a joint event with the Finzi Friends because of the natural close relationship Finzi had with 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, was where he contracted chicken pox which was to prove fatal compounded by his pre-existing condition. The cottage is now being refurbished and offers a form of visitor centre which can 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.
2016 – Joint Tardebigge Event
Continuing Jennie’s theme of Summer Sunday concerts, Celebrating English Song, it is proposed that one of her concerts celebrating song cycles from early 20th Century composers should feature Finzi due to his wealth of song and song cycles. You will be invited to join in this Finzi Friends related event and once again, details of the proposed programme and exact dates will be published in due course. Lunch is normally an added attraction at this particular event and will be included in the ticket price.
2016 - Three Choirs Festival - Gloucester
2016 will be the 60th anniversary of Finzi’s tragically early death and there are plans to mark this occasion at the Three Choirs Festival in Gloucester. It is our intention to have the traditional Marquee Lunch and we are seeking to have as much of Finzi in the performance as we can secure and we are approaching the organisers accordingly.
The Dean of Gloucester has suggested that the Cathedral would be the appropriate place to add a Finzi window to join the Gloucestershire Musicians commemorated there. This was raised during the dedication of the Ivor Gurney window in the Cathedral recently. The proposal was received enthusiastically by the Committee and there will be close cooperation with the Finzi Trust.