Archive

Here are some programmes, recordings and videos of our performances. In addition, a complete list of every piece we have performed since 1960 is on the repertoire page in a sortable table.

Many of the sound recordings in this archive were recorded by students on the Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey.

Robert Schumann
Robert Schumann

Philip Rowson
Philip Rowson

Programme May 2009SchumannSymphony No.3

Mozart Flute Concerto No.1 in G major
    Soloist Philip Rowson

Strauss ‘Till Eulenspiegel’ 

Schumann's "Rhenish" is perhaps his brightest and most optimistic work. Its tunefulness and folk-like character quickly made it one of his greatest successes and its popularity has endured to the present day. Despite Mozart's well known claim to dislike the flute, he wrote very well for it, including this delightful concerto. Strauss's tone poem chronicles the misadventures and pranks of a mischievous German peasant folk-hero. We hear him upsetting market stalls, poking fun at the clergy, flirting with girls and mocking academics. But eventually he is captured and sentenced to death for blasphemy!

Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler

Programme Mar 2009Mahler Symphony No.9

This intensely romantic symphony has long been regarded as Mahler's swansong - his farewell to life. He had been told by his doctor that he had a fatal heart condition. The mystery of death had always preoccupied him, but now it was within sight. The music powerfully expresses his torment, but also affirms his unquenched belief in life. The symphony follows the pattern of Tchaikovsky's "Pathetique", ending with an impassioned slow movement.

Hector Berlioz
Hector Berlioz

Eurico Pereira
Eurico Pereira

Programme Jan 2009Berlioz ‘Roman Carnival’ 

Ravel ‘Rapsodie Espagnole’ 

Rodrigo ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’ 
    Soloist Eurico Pereira (Guitar)

Respighi ‘Roman Festivals’ 

This programme burns with Mediterranean heat and passion, opening with an exuberant overture, one of Berlioz's most popular works. Ravel's Spanish "Rapsodie" has three short movements of sensuous colour and elegance and a dazzling finale. Staying in Spain, the Rodrigo is perhaps the most well known of all guitar concertos, especially its evocative slow movement. Respighi said that "Roman Festivals", his vivid celebration of ancient Rome, represented his absolute peak of orchestral sonority and colour. It's certainly that!

Sergei Rachmaninov
Sergei Rachmaninov

Masa Tayama
Masa Tayama

Programme Nov 2008Tchaikovsky ‘Hamlet’ Fantasy Overture

RachmaninovPiano Concerto No.2
    Soloist Masa Tayama

Rimsky-Korsakov ‘Scheherazade’ 

In a programme of romantic Russian music, what could be more romantic than this lovely concerto, familar even to non-classical music lovers through its use in the classic film "Brief Encounter"? Before that,"Hamlet" captures the many moods of the Bard's great play. In Rimsky-Korsakov's colourful suite, based on the age-old "Tales of 1001 Nights", the solo violin represents Scheherazade as she tells a series of enthralling stories that will spare her life.

Programme June 2008Day Workshop at Bishop Justus School

Richard Strauss Alpine Symphony

We ran a day’s workshop on Richard Strauss’s epic 'Alpine Symphony' at Bishop Justus School. Given its scale and complex scoring, this was not a work that we could ever afford to include in a concert performance, but this was a wonderful opportunity to play this Strauss masterpiece. We spent the day working on it with Adrian before an informal performance in the early evening, which was open to the public.

Adrian introduced the work at 5.50pm, followed by an informal performance at about 6.10pm (ending around 7pm).

The session was free, but donations were welcome; no tickets were issued.

Gustav Holst

Gustav Holst

Programme May 2008Bax 'Tintagel' - Tone poem 

Arnold 'The Inn of the Sixth Happiness' - Suite

Holst 'The Planets' Suite
    with the choir of Newstead Woods School

Bax’s tone poem dramatically portrays the Cornish castle, high above rocks, battered by the waves. Its Celtic flavour hints at the legend of King Arthur. Sir Malcolm Arnold was a prolific composer, who wrote in many genres including music for over 100 films, winning an Oscar for ‘Bridge on the River Kwai’ and an Ivor Novello Award for ‘Inn of the Sixth Happiness’. Holst’s ‘Planets’ Suite was described by him as ‘a series of mood pictures’, and is based on astrological ideas. It uses a huge orchestra, sometimes with enormous power and sometimes with extreme delicacy, making a splendid sonic spectacular conclusion to our season.

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Programme Mar 2008Dvořák'The Noonday Witch'

MendelssohnViolin Concerto
    soloist - Jeanine Thorpe

TchaikovskySymphony No. 4

Dvořák wrote some highly colourful symphonic poems, which graphically illustrate rather grisly stories. The Mendelssohn concerto is rightfully one of the most loved of all concertos. The symphony opens dramatically with a foreboding ‘fate’ motif which leads us through gloom, melancholy and recovery to a joyous finale based on Russian folksong.

Anton Bruckner

Anton Bruckner

Programme Jan 2008Schubert Overture - 'Rosamunde'

Strauss Duett-Concertino
   soloists - Massimo Roman (clarinet)
   & Stephen Fuller (bassoon)

BrucknerSymphony No. 7

Schubert wrote much charming, tuneful music in his short life and this overture shows both these qualities. Strauss’s solo clarinet masquerades as a princess and the bassoon as a bear who turns into a prince when they dance together. Bruckner’s symphonies are like magnificent cathedrals in splendour, the famous slow movement of the Seventh being a glorious tribute to his idol, Wagner.

Sir Edward Elgar

Sir Edward Elgar

Programme Nov 2007Delius(ed A Summers) The Walk to the Paradise Garden

Bloch 'Schelomo' - Hebraic Rhapsody
    solo cello - Alice McVeigh

ElgarSymphony No. 2

The season opens with Delius’s seductive and melodious ‘Walk’, a perennial concert hall favourite. In ‘Schelomo’, Bloch personifies the cello as the reincarnated voice of King Solomon, giving the virtuoso soloist a magnificent emotional range. Our symphony celebrates the 150th birthday of arguably this country’s greatest composer with his wonderful evocation of Edwardian England.

Programme June 2007Day Workshop

Stravinsky The Rite of Spring Click to hear a sample from a commercial recording. Requires free RealPlayer.

This work is a major landmark in the musical world. Its first performance in 1913 caused a riot, but it has now taken its rightful place as a staple part of the symphony orchestra repertoire.

It would be very difficult to include Stravinsky's ballet masterpiece in our formal concert series, as the stage area will not accommodate the forces required (including quintuple woodwind, eight horns, five trumpets, two timpani players etc). We took the opportunity to work on it with our conductor Adrian Brown on Sunday 10th June.

We rehearsed over several sessions during the day, and the final session was open to the public. Adrian  introduced the work at 5.30pm, followed by an informal performance at about 6pm (ending around 6.30). The hall was set up "in the round" to enable us to accommodate the resources required and to allow the audience to get up close to the action!

The session was free, but donations were welcome; no tickets were issued.

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