Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for April 2017

OUR CLASSICAL MUSIC COLUMNIST LIZ LEATHERDALE, FOUNDER AND OWNER OF COLCHESTER CLASSICS, BRINGS YOU HER PICK OF APRIL’S CLASSICAL MUSIC EVENTS IN, AND AROUND, COLCHESTER.

Classics
Like Advent and Christmas, Lent and Easter have provided composers from every musical era with a wealth of material to set to music, either drawn from the Bible itself or with themes such as repentance, reflection, comfort and joy.   

Alan Bullard, the established British composer based in Essex, recently told me that he originally wrote his Easter work, Wondrous Cross, for the choir of Lion Walk Church in Colchester. This work has subsequently been performed by many choirs in the UK, USA, and Europe, and recorded by the Chapel Choir of Selwyn College, Cambridge, director Sarah MacDonald. This month the Clacton Choral Society conducted by Gilli Dulieu will perform Alan’s Easter work  –  described as a meditation based on the traditional ‘Seven Last Words’ of Jesus Christ.  The music presents itself in a similar way to Stainer’s popular Crucifixion with congregational hymns interspersed between the solo and choral items, culminating in ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’.

Clacton Choral Society will also perform extracts from J S Bach’s St John Passion in English. Bach’s oratorio is often sung in English in the UK and Essex-based CD recording label, Chandos, have just released a new recording of this wonderful work performed by the Crouch End Festival Chorus.  This is an important CD release as the last recording in English was released over forty-five years ago and is no longer available!  Colchester Classics is delighted to offer the audience at this concert, recordings of both this new CD and also Alan Bullard’s Wondrous Cross. (Further details – free phone 0800 999 6994 or email liz@colchesterclassics.co.uk).  This concert takes place on Saturday 8 April in St James Church, Tower Road, Clacton at 7.30pm.

Tickets: £8 including programme on the door (pre-order via 01255 221511).

Last month Colin Baldy was one of the soloists in Colchester Choral Society’s performance of Bach’s St John Passion sung in German. This month he will be conducting a performance of this work with the Choir of St Mary’s Church, Maldon. The choir will perform this work in German but with five of the chorales (hymns) sung in English by both the choir and listeners. St Mary’s Church, Church Street, Maldon. Friday, 14 April at 7.30pm.

Free entry with retiring collection.
On 8 April Ipswich Bach Choir, with a team of excellent soloists including Colchester-based Gill Wilson, present a rare opportunity to hear Handel’s superb oratorio Samson. The most famous number is the soprano aria Let the Bright Seraphim (to be sung by Gill Wilson) but conductor Patrick McCarthy assures me that the rest of the work is packed with equally fine choruses and arias. The performance is at 7pm at St John the Baptist Church, Felixstowe.

Tickets: £12 (01394 271538).

Last but not least, the Essex Youth Orchestra under Robin Browning will perform a popular mix of Russian music including Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Shostakovich’s Second Piano Concerto with soloist Daniel Lebhardt. This is a ticketed free event on Friday 7 April at 7.30pm and takes place at the Saffron Hall, Saffron Walden.

Please check seat availability by telephoning the box office on 0845 548 7650.

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music, you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

Start your love affair with Classical Music at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk and take a minute to watch their company video: 

Liz Leatherdale

Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for February

Our Classical Music columnist Liz Leatherdale, founder and owner of Colchester Classics, brings you her pick of February’s Classical Music events in, and around, Colchester.

Classics

Rachmaninov Piano Concertos

This month St Botolph’s Music Society begins its 50th anniversary anniversary celebrations in a Gala Concert with two international pianists Noriko Ogawa and Philip Smith performing two Rachmaninov Piano Concertos. The society was founded by Colin Nicholson, former Head of Music at Colchester Royal Grammar School, who continues to be active within the society and at the church.

Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto, often described as the greatest ever written, will be performed this month by international pianist Noriko Ogawa accompanied by the St Botolph’s Music Society Orchestra. This music is virtuosic and lyrical for both soloist and orchestra.  The main theme from the sublime second movement has been used elsewhere including the modern ballad ‘All by Myself’.

Philip Smith will be the soloist in Rachmaninov’s most technically challenging third Piano Concerto. This work is  often over-shadowed by No.2 but  received greater recognition when featured in the film, Shine.  The Oscar-winning success of the film ensured a new audience  became aware of this Romantic work. The movie told the true story of the Australian concert pianist David Helfgott, who suffered a mental breakdown and abandoned his career for many years.   Saturday 6 February 2016 at 7.30pm, St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.

Tickets: £15 (01206 823662)

 

Colchester Bach Choir and Orchestra

The same venue will also host the 24th annual concert performed by the Colchester Bach Choir and Orchestra in aid of the Mayor of Colchester’s Charities. Over the years these concerts have raised many thousands of pounds for good causes. As well as Bach’s Magnificat, the concert includes Vivaldi’s most famous choral work, his Gloria in D.  This popular piece is characteristic of Vivaldi’s style with distinctive rhythms, joyful choral writing and bright orchestral accompaniment. Saturday 20 February 2016 at 7.30pm.

Tickets: £12 (01206 282206)

 

Teddy Bears Musical Picnic

This year Colchester Arts Centre hosts the annual Teddy Bears Musical Picnic concert with the Colne Valley Youth Orchestra  offering children with teddies a chance to try conducting the orchestra and to play percussion instruments and sing!  The orchestra will perform a variety of suitable orchestral music including arrangements of the concert’s namesake “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” and the popular poem “We’re going on a Bear Hunt” set to music. Sunday 7 February 2016 at 2.30pm, Colchester Arts Centre. See www.colchesterartscentre.com for further details.

Tickets from £3 

 

The Kingfisher Ensemble returns to Colchester on Sunday 7 February performing Dvorak Sonatina in G and his Piano Quintet No.2 in A and Schumann  Piano Trio No.1 in D minor. This concert is in the Lion Walk Church in Colchester and start at 2.45pm. Admission is by programme at the door.

£12 for adults; £10 for concessions (senior citizens); and £2 for those in full-time education. You may also reserve tickets for collection just before the concert by contacting kingfisherensemble@gmail.com .

 

Puffin Ensemble

Later in the month the Puffin Ensemble performs  a programme including Haydn’s Symphony No.83, Mozart’s popular Sinfonia Concertante and Schubert’s Symphony No.5 in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester. Tickets available on the door or call 01206 271128. Adults £14 – Concessions £11 – Full-time education £3

 

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music, you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

Start your love affair with Classical Music at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk and take a minute to watch their company video:

Liz Leatherdale

 

 

 

 

 

 

Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks for September

Our Classical Music columnist Liz Leatherdale, founder and owner of Colchester Classics, brings you her pick of August’s Classical Music events in, and around, Colchester.

 

Colne Valley Youth Orchestra

Launched in 1981, the Colne Valley Youth Orchestra provides young Essex musicians opportunities to perform in our region and also tour in Europe. On Sunday the orchestra will perform music by Brahms, Dvorak and Bizet. Special guest Will Quince MP will sing music from Les Miserables and also Nessun Dorma, the famous tenor aria from Puccini’s Turandot. Free admission with retiring collection. Sunday September 6, 3pm. Firstsite, Colchester.
Another performance at Colchester’s contemporary art gallery has been chosen by BBC Music Magazine as one of 20 unmissable events in September. The young and exciting Sacconi Quartet will give the world premiere of a string quartet by pianist and composer Gwilym Simcock within an exhibition of new canvasses by the Roman River Festival artist John Doubleday at Firstsite. Quartets by Nielsen and Sibelius complete the programme. Friday 25 September at 7.30pm Firstsite, Colchester.

Tickets from £12 (01206 729356)

 

Belmont Ensemble of London and the English Chamber Choir

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and other baroque favourites will be performed by the Belmont Ensemble of London and the English Chamber Choir in Chelmsford Cathedral. Saturday, September 5 at 7pm. Tickets are available for this charity concert for a suggested £20 donation to the Essex Clergy Charity.

Email nigel@garden-shows.com for details

 

Another Breath of Fresh Air

‘Another Breath of Fresh Air’ is the title of a concert featuring music for wind and brass instruments composed by Peter Thorne, pianist, conductor and composer based in Frinton. Peter’s recent composition, Paean, was a runner-up in Pipeworks, Colchester’s Moot Hall Organ composition competition and the work was performed last month at a lunchtime concert during Organ Fest. Saturday’s concert includes Peter’s Showtime for Brass Quintet and Romances for flute and piano, and also unaccompanied recorder music by Van Eyck. Saturday September 5 at 4pm. Colchester Institute, Swinburne Hall, Colchester.

Tickets: £10 (01255 852502)

 

Roman River Festival

This month the Roman River Festival opens in an idyllic new venue in Mistley. Piano trios by Rachmaninov, Shostakovich and Brahms plus Alissa Firsova’s Fantasy for Cello & Piano will be performed by Roman Simović and Tim Hugh (both London Symphony Orchestra Principals) with composer, pianist and conductor, Alissa Firsova. Thursday, September 17, 8pm. St Mary and St Michael’s Church, Mistley. Tickets: £18 (01206 241027). Alissa’s debut CD, Russian Emigres, is now available and was recently reviewed in the Colchester Gazette.

Freephone 0800 999 6994 for further details

 

University of Essex Choir

Open rehearsals offer potential new members the chance to sing with a choir, see how it works and meet current members. Next month the University of Essex Choir has an open rehearsal on Thursday 8 October at 7pm at the University. (Email members@universityofessexchoir.org This month Witham Choral Society will be rehearsing Handel’s Messiah on Tuesdays starting 8 September at the United Reformed Church, Newland Street, Witham at 7.45pm and all singers are very welcome

(01621 854621) www.withamchoralsociety.org.uk

 

Come and Sing

The first Come and Sing event in September is Faure’s Requiem hosted by the Halstead & District Choral Society. It is one of the composer’s best known works and includes the popular soprano aria Pie Jesu. Come and Sing events often offer the opportunity to rehearse a large-scale choral work in the afternoon and present a concert in the evening. Admission for singers for this event is £8 and £5 for the audience. If you would like to join the choir for both the afternoon rehearsal (from 3pm) and the choral concert (at 7.30pm), please register asap.

Further details by ‘phone (01787 473002) or visit www.halsteadchoral.co.uk . Saturday, September 26 at St Andrew’s Church, Halstead

 

The Glories of the Moot Hall Organ

The Glories of the Moot Hall organ is the title of the Roman River Festival’s first ever organ recital. Young organist Tom Bell presents a varied programme including music by Bliss, Bridge, Duruflé and the winners from the Pipeworks competition (John Furse’s Moot Points and Mark Bellis’ Graduation Toccata). During the concert Tom will accompany the Colchester Chamber Choir in some popular music including Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine. Sunday 27 September, 5pm, Colchester Town Hall. Tickets: £12 (01206 729356). The Roman River Festival (17 September – 4 October) covers a wide range of music and actively encourages anyone under the age of 30 to enjoy concerts.

Tickets priced from £3 www.romanrivermusic.org.uk

 

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music, you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

Start your love affair with Classical Music at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk and take a minute to watch their company video:

 

Liz Leatherdale

 

 

 

Liz Leatherdale

Colchester Classics – Classical Music Picks

Our Classical Music columnist Liz Leatherdale, founder and owner of Colchester Classics, brings you her pick of August’s Classical Music events in, and around, Colchester.


Enrique Granados and Isaac Albeniz

Two of the most well-known composers of Catalan music from the last century are Enrique Granados and Isaac Albeniz.  On Thursday 6 August at 12.30pm, Peter Dollimore presents a concert of this style of piano music in St Peter ad Vincula, Coggeshall. Lunchtime concerts start at 12.30pm.. Light lunches available from 12 noon.

Admission is free – retiring collection

 

Gilbert and Sullivan’s – Iolanthe

On Sunday 9 August at 2.30pm Illyria Theatre Company returns to the beautiful walled gardens at The Minories, Colchester for Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera, Iolanthe, set half in Fairyland, half in Westminster will be performed. In typical G & S style, its surprisingly topical satire pokes fun at love, class, politics and how those from different backgrounds form uneasy relationships. All llyria productions are performed by a reduced cast with live piano accompaniment. Having seen Mikado at the The Minories a couple of years ago I can highly recommend Illyria Theatre productions of Gilbert and Sullivan. Iolanthe will be staged outside with some unreserved seating, so be prepared for an outdoor performance! Sunday August 9 at 2.30pm.

Tickets: £14 or £36.00 for a family ticket.  The Minories, 74, High Street, Colchester.  (01206) 712437

 

Organ Fest

Colchester Town Hall’s majestic Edwardian organ in the magnificent setting of the Moot Hall has been recently renovated to its former glory.  The inaugural ‘Organ Fest’ a series of four lunchtime concerts, began with organist Dr Gillian Ward Russell on Tuesday 21 July.  The final concert is on Tuesday 11 August when Andrew Cantrill performs Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on ‘Greensleeves’ and Walton’s Coronation March ‘Orb & Sceptre’. Full details on the restored organ and all the organists involved in this mini-festival can be found at www.moothallorgan.co.uk. Colchester Town Hall, High Street, Colchester.

Admission is free to the Organ Fest recital with a retiring collection for the Mayor’s Charities.

 

Summer Lunchtime – St Botolph’s

Summer Lunchtime concerts were recently launched at St Botolph’s, Colchester on 22 July and continue until 23 September. This month there is a Harp recital on Wednesday August 19 with performances by Louise Binks and Maria Creasey.

 

Roman River Festival – The Glories of the Moot Hall Organ

Tickets are now available for The Glories of the Moot Hall Organ – the Roman River Festival’s first ever organ recital. Young organist Tom Bell presents a varied programme including music by Bliss, Bridge, Duruflé and the winners from the Pipeworks competition (John Furse’s Moot Points and Mark Bellis’ Graduation Toccata). During the concert Tom will accompany the Colchester Chamber Choir in some popular music including Fauré’s Cantique de Jean Racine. Sunday 27 September, 5pm, Colchester Town Hall. Tickets: £12 (01206 729356). The Roman River Festival (17 September – 4 October) covers a wide range of music and actively encourages anyone under the age of 30 to enjoy concerts.

Tickets priced from £3 www.romanrivermusic.org.uk

 

BBC Proms

Last but not least, do dip into the greatest Classical Music festival on earth, the BBC Proms: an eight-week summer season of classical music concerts held predominantly in the glorious Royal Albert Hall and available on TV, Radio and the iPlayer.

Yasmin Rowe

Young international pianist Yasmin Rowe presents an eclectic mix of music from Bach to Piazolla in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester, later in August. Yasmin’s family is celebrating various significant birthdays and this free concert will make these events even more memorable.

Yasmin was last heard in Colchester in 2008 as soloist in Grieg’s Piano Concerto.  Since then she has performed at various concert venues worldwide and recovered from surgery to her left hand.   The first half of the concert will be solo piano music and after the interval Yasmin will be joined by the highly regarded international cellist, Yelian He.  Saturday 22 August at 7.30pm, St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.

Admission is free with a retiring collection.

 

The same venue continues its Summer Lunchtime Concert series with a recital of Harp Music with Louise Binks and Maria Creasey. Wednesday 19 August at 1pm.

Admission is free with a retiring collection.

 

If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music, you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.

 

Start your love affair with Classical Music at www.colchesterclassics.co.uk and take a minute to watch their company video:

 

Liz Leatherdale

Liz Leatherdale