MusicUpClose IV, Conway Hall, London
Music from Within: The psychology of musicians, composers and conductors
Session One: Inside the Violin
Presenter: Karl Lutchmayer
Guest Musician: Fenella Humphreys
Session Two: Inside the Voice
Presenter: Richard Sisson
Guest Musician: Kathryn Harries
Session Three: Inside the mind of a Conductor
Presenter: Karl Lutchmayer
Guest Musician: Sian Edwards
Session Four: Inside the Piano
Presenter: Richard Sisson
Session Five: Inside the mind of a Composer
Presenter: Tom Hammond
Guest Musician: Matthew Taylor
Session Six: Inside our minds: how do we respond to music?
Presenter: Bill Brewer
Musicians: sound collective and Trinity Laban
The Secret Sounds of Sneyd
An outreach project in North Staffordshire that saw us collaborating with Keele Concerts Society (KCS) and Re: SourceMe - a Community Interest Company that inspires and educates young people through the creative arts.
We created composition/performance workshops for two high schools in the area that combined electronic and acoustic instruments and built towards a final performance as part of the KCS concert series 2013-14. Jenny Gould was the sound collective animatuer for this and the Re: Source Me team led the workshops from a music technology perspective.
Kings Place, London
New theatrical performance of James Francis Brown's Prospero's Isle as part of the RE: Naissance Festival curated by Matthew Sharp at Kings Place. The RE: Naissance Festival celebrates the extraordinary Man (Shakespeare) and that extraordinary Time with some of the most extraordinary performers and artists of our time.
Cello Matthew Sharp
Piano Clare Hammond
Sound Design Shawn Moore
A short teaser trailer for this concert was created which you can view below.
MusicUpClose V, Conway Hall, London
Music Under Fire: Music in London and Paris during World War One
Presented by Prof. Barbara Kelly
Session One: On the Brink of War
Works to be performed: Ravel Trio, Vaughan Williams On Wenlock Edge etc.
Our first session explores music written and performed on the eve of the First World War. It was a period of considerable experimentation, freedom and artistic confidence. European composers were challenging traditional rules of melody, harmony and form. They were also playing with size of musical forces from the huge orchestra of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring to small chamber works for just a few instruments and often voice. It is easy to forget that there was considerable musical interaction between composers from very different national traditions. The English composer, Vaughan Williams came to Paris to work with Ravel; Ravel spent time with the Russian composer, Stravinsky, and both wrote works inspired by the Austrian Schoenberg. We will hear works by a number of these composers tonight, including Ravel’s colourful Trio and Vaughan William’s lyrical On Wenlock Edge. Come and join us in an evening of live music and discussion with Barbara Kelly and musicians from sound collective and Trinity Laban Conservatoire.
Session Two: Musical Responses to War
Works to be performed: Debussy Cello Sonata etc.
In this second session, we look at how composers responded to war. War was often evident in the music they wrote as well as in their private letters and public pronouncements. Those unable to take part in the fighting often used their art to support the war effort. Elgar and Debussy are good examples. Prevented by age and illness to defend their country, they wrote musical tributes for the King Albert book. It was a political and artistic tribute by politicians and artistic figures in response to the German invasion of Belgian in 1914. We will hear Elgar’s Carillon and an extract of Debussy’s Berceuse Heroique. Debussy liked to hide musical clues in his music. If you listen closely, you can hear the Belgian national anthem in the Berceuse and a musical contest between Germany and France in En Blanc et noir. The highlight of the evening is a performance of Debussy’s Sonata for Cello and Piano. Here private and public lives merge as we puzzle over the significance of this majestic work by a dying musician and national figurehead.
Session Three: Jane Bathori – A Voice in the War
Featuring: Olivia Ray and choral group, VERISMO
Works to be performed: Ravel Histoire Naturelles, Satie Trois Mélodies, Debussy Chansons Charles D’Orléans, Ravel: Trois Chansons pour choeur mixte, Satie Parade etc.
Today the spotlight is on the French singer, Jane Bathori. She was given an amazing opportunity to direct the small but experimental theatre, le Vieux Colombier in Paris during the war. She put on concerts of new music by composers including Debussy, Ravel, Satie, Prokofiev, Stravinsky, and she promoted the works of the youngest French composers, including Poulenc and Milhaud. With an awareness of the musical past, she programmed early French, English and Italian repertoire and music associated with the French Revolution. We are delighted that Olivia Ray will play the part of Jane Bathori, singing some of the works she made famous, such as Ravel’s Histoires naturelles. The vocal ensemble Verismo will perform some special choral works in the ancient style by Debussy and Ravel. These works will be interspersed with extracts from Bathori’s private letters to theatre director, Jacques Copeau, which give a fascinating insight into the difficulties of putting on concerts while Paris was under attack. They give a vivid sense of her determination to contribute to the war effort musically.
Session Four: Britain at War: the Lads that will Never be Old
Works to be performed: Songs for Baritone & Piano by Butterworth, Bridge, Vaughan Williams, Quilter, Scott etc.
This session is devoted to Britain’s musical response to the Great War. The response took many forms, such as the large-scale forces of Holst’s The Planets. Today we will focus on songs, many of which will be familiar. Some were by composers who fought and died during the war, including Butterworth’s moving A Shropshire Lad set to poems by A. E. Housman, which foretells the sacrifice the young composer and many others were to make. It is from these songs that we take the title of tonight’s session: the Lads that will never be old. We will also look at songs written and performed during the war by such familiar names as Vaughan Williams, Ivor Gurney, Roger Quilter, Cyril Scott, Franck Bridge and John Ireland. The Conway Hall is the home of the Ethical Society. Its concert series, which began in 1887, is among the longest-running in the UK. The Conway Hall archive reveals that concerts continued throughout the war period as a symbol of London’s resilience. The programme includes some works performed at the Society concerts exactly 100 years ago. Join Barbara Kelly and musicians from Trinity Laban Conservatoire for an evening of live music, reflection and discussion.
Session Five: In Memorium – Bells and Sounds of War
Works to be performed: Poulenc Sonata for Two Clarinets, Stravinsky Three Pieces for Clarinet etc.
This week is devoted to the remembrance of war. We will look at the significance of bells in music because of their association with loss and destruction during war. Moving from Elgar’s Carillon, we will consider other musical evocations by French composers, Poulenc and Durey. We will also look at how composers commemorated their lost friends and confirmed their national allegiance, focusing on Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin. Wind sonorities were highly fashionable in this period. This is surprising given that wind players were almost always men and many were away fighting. Join Barbara Kelly, clarinettist James Mainwaring and performers from Trinity Laban Conservatoire to hear live performances of playful yet haunting clarinet works by Stravinsky and Poulenc.
Session Six: Music Under Fire in Paris and London
Featuring: Badke Quartet, Sadie Fields violin, Daniel Broncano clarinet, Olivia Ray mezzo soprano, Simon Callaghan piano Tom Hammond conductor
Works to be performed: Ravel Mallarmé Songs, Elgar Piano Quintet, Stravinsky A Soldier’s Tale (trio version), Ethel Smyth Songs
Music Under Fire in Paris and London is the grand finale of this First World War season. We are delighted to welcome the Badke Quartet and musicians from sound collective, including Simon Callaghan, violinist Sadie Fields and clarinettist, Daniel Broncano. This exciting programme includes works performed during the Great War, others written as a creative response to it and one work about war, exile and loss. The programme includes Ravel’s Mallarmé’s songs for voice and ensemble, which was first performed by the singer Jane Bathori and premiered in London in 1915. We will also hear Elgar’s passionate Piano Quintet, composed just before the famous Cello Concerto in 1918. The programme includes César Franck’s Violin Sonata, not because it was written during the war, but because Franck featured regularly on allied WWI programmes because he was Belgian; he was one of the most popular composers played at the Ethical Society concerts during this period. Another treat is Stravinsky’s energetic Soldier’s Tale, in the arrangement for violin, clarinet and piano. Stravinsky composed the work in 1917 for ensemble and narrator and it tells the story of a soldier returning from war to find that no one recognises him. Influenced by popular styles and dances from the period, including the ragtime and tango, this flexible work reflects the composer’s own permanent exile from his native Russia as a result of the Bolshevik Revolution.
Keele Concerts Society, Keele Chapel, Keele University
Music Under Fire in Paris and London
Presenter Prof. Barbara Kelly
Mezzo Soprano Olivia Ray
Violin Sadie Fields
Clarinet Daniel Broncano
Piano Simon Callaghan
Conductor Tom Hammond
Maurice Ravel: Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé
Igor Stravinsky: A Soldier’s Tale (trio arrangement)
Edward Elgar: Piano Quintet in Minor Op.84