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.
On Wednesday 1 February at 1pm the The Marenzio Singers will be performing at the first lunchtime concert in 2017 at Lion Walk United Reformed Church in Colchester. The Marenzio Singers are a five-part vocal ensemble and specialise in music from the 16th and 17th centuries plus music from more modern times.
Free entry with a retiring collection.
Last January the University of Essex Choir under the direction of Richard Cooke performed Mozart’s Requiem and other works to a packed audience at the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall in the university. Early next month, the choir will be back at the same venue with an intriguing selection of pieces.
The choir’s next concert does not feature one major choral work but instead Richard has chosen a wide selection of music. I understand that the choir has been thoroughly enjoying rehearsing Holst’s hauntingly beautiful Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda (group 3), for female voices only, and Britten’s The Ballad of Little Musgrave and Lady Barnard, for the male voices. The concert also includes works for the whole choir in Brahms’ 4 Quartets (Op 92), contrasting with Folksong arrangements by Percy Grainger such as I’m Seventeen Come Sunday and music by the sadly neglected 20th century Swedish composer, Stenhammar. The choir will be accompanied by pianists Richard Pearce and Jonathan Beatty who will also perform music by Brahms, Debussy and Grieg.
This concert takes place on Saturday 4 February at 7pm. Tickets: £22 (www.universityofessexchoir.org) By the way, a short walk from the Ivor Crewe Lecture Hall, Wivenhoe House Hotel is offering pre- or post-concert dining (01206 863666).
On Sunday February 5 at 2.45pm the Kingfisher Ensemble returns to Lion Walk United Reformed Church in Colchester performing Piano Quartets by Schumann and Beethoven.
Tickets: £12 and available on the door.
Colin Nicholson will be joining Ian Ray in Two’s Company in the second concert in the series of three lunchtime Organ Recitals given on the magnificent Moot Hall. A variety of organ duos will be performed on Tuesday 7 February at the Colchester Town Hall .
Free entry with a retiring collection.
Over in Chelmsford, Jeffrey Wilson’s Environ Music promotes creative musical initiatives including a regular Wednesday lunchtime recital series at the Cramphorn Theatre in Chelmsford. This month on Wednesday 15 February the “Sun Trio” (Carol Taylor, clarinet, Paul Arnell, viola, Alison Eales, piano) offer some engaging chamber music.
Further information (01245 606505)
Last year octogenarian Colin Nicholson celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his founding St Botolph’s Music Society in Colchester with his wife, Gill. This month Colin will be conducting the Society’s orchestra in its Gala Concert with a trio of concertos. International pianist Noriko Ogawa performs Grieg’s Piano Concerto – one of the most-loved piano works of all time. (Some of you may recall the classic Morecambe & Wise sketch with Eric attempting to perform this concerto while endlessly annoying conductor Andre Previn). Back to 2017: in the same concert, soloist Philip Smith will perform Schumann’s Piano Concerto and the solo violin part in Lalo’s Symphonie Espagnole will be played by Sian Philipps. Saturday 18 February at 7pm in St Botolph’s Church, Colchester.
Tickets: £15 (01206 577905)
Colchester Classics is delighted to be at the Noriko Ogawa concert offering her CDs before her CD signing in the interval.
The following weekend at the same venue, situated next to the ruins of the Norman priory, Colchester Bach Choir and Orchestra perform their annual concert in aid of the Mayor of Colchester’s Charities. On 25 February the choir will be presenting An Evening of Mozart to include the famous ‘Coronation’ Mass and the Solemn Vespers. Among other pieces, a highlight will be the delightful Flute Concerto in D with Mary Blanchard as soloist. Conductor Patrick McCarthy tells me he also has a Mozartian surprise or two up his sleeve. This will be the 23rd such concert the choir has given for successive Colchester mayors thereby raising many thousands of pounds for their charities.
Tickets £12 (£5 full-time education). Tel (01206) 282206
If you have a forthcoming concert of classical music, you would like previewed, contact Liz Leatherdale on 0800 999 6994.
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