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The Spring Concert 2017

Saturday 25 March 2017
United Reformed Church,
Southernhay, Exeter

The Spring Concert 2017

Serenade for Strings - Edward Elgar

Piano Concerto No. 4 - William SterndaleBennett (soloist: Richard Deering)

Karelia Suite - Jean Sibelius

Symphony in D minor - César Franck

 

2016 will mark the bicentenary of the birth of the composer, pianist, conductor and influential musical educator William Sterndale Bennett, thus providing an opportunity to reappraise his contribution to the English musical landscape in the Victorian era.

Barry Sterndale Bennett writes - At the time of his death he was widely regarded as the head of English music, and in Grove's Dictionary, the most distinguished English composer of the romantic period. The educational reformer Sir Henry Hadow wrote 'Bennett held a most honourable place on the mid slopes. He found English music a barren land, enriched its soil, and developed its cultivation'. Yet, like so many Victorian artists, he was soon to be relegated to the footnotes of musical history only to be rediscovered a century later. 

 

Our soloist tonight, Richard Deering, is a great champion of his music. However, with all the performances he was giving of this and other piano works, we had to move our celebration of this 2016 bi-centenary to tonight's concert.The fourth piano concerto is a very attractive work out of the 6 concerti, and with a reasonably large orchestra, it is a delightful concerto from a period of English music that is not well known.Lovers of the piano will be delighted to discover these new pastures.

 

The other three works in the programme continue our aim to bring to you well known and great music, and with the success of the Elgar 1st Symphony in this March's concert, we start with one of Sir Edward's most popular miniatures - Serenade for Strings.

  The fine and stirring Karelia Suite by Sibelius is also featured. As the symphony, we present a French masterpiece that, as frequently happens with changing moods and tastes in music, doesn't seem often played at the moment. In my youth it was one of the top concert symphonies, and one of the great examples of French romantic music. Symphony in D minor by César Franck will be a warm and rousing conclusion to a concert not to be missed for both the known and also the rediscovered.

Lake Repovesi Karelia region