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Concerts 2017

Romsey Abbey - Saturday 6th May 2017 7.30pm

by kind permission of the Vicar and in association with Music in Romsey

Conductor: John Sutton
Soloists: Stefanie Kemball-Read (soprano), Richard Thesinger-Pratt (tenor), Andrew de Silva (baritone)
Choirs: Compton & Shawford Festival Choir, Itchen Valley Choral Society, Sarisbury Choral Society

Pianists: Gwilym Stacey and Gilly Slot

Constant Lambert: The Rio Grande
Richard Rodney Bennett: Four Piece Suite For 2 Pianos
Carl Orff: Carmina Burana

Symbol of Fortuna


The Rio Grande was composed in 1927 for choir, soli, 2 pianos and a percussion section of 15 instruments needing 5 players. It achieved instant and long lasting popularity at its appearance on the concert platform in 1929.

Although a student of Vaughan Williams, Lambert’s main influence was not English folk music, but the then more fashionable jazz. The Rio Grande, setting a poem by Sachervell Sitwell , joins, such as Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and Ravel’s piano concerto in G as a seminal work of symphonic jazz, combining syncopations, ragtime and Brazilian influences, with harmonies and rhythms inspired by the great Duke Ellington, with a traditional English choral sound.

Carmina Burana is a scenic cantata, composed in 1935/6, based on 24 poems from the medieval collection of the same name. The poems written mostly in Latin and medieval German, were rediscovered at the beginning of the 19th century in a Bavarian monastery, and published in 1847. The original illuminated manuscript includes an illustration of Fortuna, The Roman Goddess of fate, seated within a wheel of fortune. Round the outside a sovereign is depicted rising to power, seated on a throne, then finally losing his crown and falling beneath the wheel as it turns. The other scenes cover a wide range of topics, as familiar in the 13th century as they are in the 21st: the fickleness of fortune and wealth, the ephemeral nature of life, the joy of the return of spring, and the pleasures and perils of drinking, gluttony, gambling and lust! Although some are morally uplifting in nature, most are bawdy student songs.

It is scored for two pianos and a percussion section of 7 players.

Winchester Cathedral - Saturday 13th May 2017 7.30pm

by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter

Conductor: Graham Kidd

Soloists: Helen Bailey (soprano), Adrian Green (tenor), Edmund Saddington (bass)

Choirs: Botley Choral Society, Overton Choral Society, Twyford Singers, Winchester City Festival Choir

Orchestra: Festival Orchestra

Felix Mendelssohn: St. Paul


Felix Mendelssohn's massive oratorio Paulus (1836) is based on the story of Saul, the zealous Pharisee who, after a dramatic encounter with the risen Christ, turns from a fanatical enemy of Christians into the most influential apologist of the Christian faith.

Using the New Testament, particularly the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles as sources, Mendelssohn wrote his own version of Paul's story. While the influence of Bach and Handel are at once evident in Mendelssohn's score, Paulus is by no means a replica of the Baroque oratorio. Mendelssohn expressed his ideas with great contrapuntal facility and clarity, with a technical competence rivaling the expertise of the great Baroque masters, but his counterpoint is fresh and original, and the writing fluent and elegant.

Previous concerts: 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007