Sharing a passion for recorded music since 1945
More details of the coming events for the first half of our season, running from April to October. Details of our meetings, costs and venue can be found here.
[* Denotes Visiting Speaker]
France has been the home of imaginative composers and fine performers of music and song in both classical and popular forms. The lyrically driven chanson style of popular music will be a particular feature of Christopher Ford’s programme, which will be drawn from a wide range of 20th century French music.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, (1844-1908) was one of the “Mighty Handful,” also known as “The Five”, a group of 19th century composers active in Saint Petersburg, who strove to produce a specifically Russian kind of classical music. Monica Bayley says he was at his best in descriptive orchestrations suggesting a mood or a place.
Though principally celebrated as an interpreter of the core German repertoire, throughout his long professional life Arturo Toscanini consistently promoted the works of Italian composers. In Stephen Coster’s programme we will hear a wide range of examples, dating from the final phase of his career as conductor of the NBC Symphony Orchestra.
Bernard Smith discusses the link between singing styles and languages, and changes in the world of singing over the last 100 years.
Having visited the South Bank for practically all his and its life – both as a member of the audience and a choral singer, not to mention as a promoter of concerts – Peter Avis is now re-living that life as one of the volunteers working in the archive at the Royal Festival Hall and is delighted to tell anyone who will listen, all about it.
Rosemary Howard invites us to come and enjoy the beauty of the Mediterranean through its vibrant and colourful music, from the passion of ‘Cavaliera Rusticana’ set in Sicily, to the exuberant Italian symphony of Mendelssohn, Espana of Chabrier and the guitar of Rodrigo. It will set us up for holiday mood.
Liz Brereton will look at music at high and low periods of life. Music in joy will include celebrations such as birthdays, coronations, church feast days and others. Music in sadness will include funerals, war, remembrance, in memoriam and music written to remember specific people.
We sample the orchestral output of the greatest composer to come out of Russia. Not only did Tchaikovsky revolutionise the writing of the scores for the ballet but he also composed unorthodox concertos for the piano. Brilliant, emotional, melodic and popular are aspects of his music. Tony Walker will explore these in this programme.
To follow up his survey of Great British Pianists of the first half of the Twentieth Century earlier this year, the independent recording producer Andrew Keener offers a portrait of British conductors from the same period, this time with an emphasis on figures who tend to be overlooked (trascurato) these days..
Ken Dudley asks ‘What is there in a tune? Is it happiness, sadness, excitement, or evoking scary feelings?’ From Berlioz to Mussorgsky, Puccini to Rachmaninov, and others, Ken invites us to investigate.
For many Holst’s fame rests in a single work – The Planets, yet his varied and often highly original compositions reveal a powerful musical imagination, capable of expressing many emotions, from the bawdy sentiments of Latin texts and mediaeval themes to austere religious mysticism. Adrian Falks will explore the music of a still under-appreciated composer.
Members bring some of their favourite pieces of music to share with the audience.