Bath philharmonia March 2016 programme

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PROGRAMME THIS CONCERT IS DEDICATED TO JOHN SHIRLEY-QUIRK Britten, Four Sea Interludes Bernstein, Symphonic Dances (from West Side Story) INTERVAL Walton, Belshazzar’s Feast Jason Thornton (conductor) The Jennifer Skellett Chair Frederick Platt (assistant conductor) Nicolas Dwyer (baritone) Bath Spa University Choir Bath Spa University Chamber Choir Francis Faux (BSU Choir Chorus Master) David Whitehead (SWFC Chorus Master) Gerry Hoddinott (Repetiteur)


John Shirley-Quirk This concert is dedicated to John ShirleyQuirk CBE. John was one of Britain’s greatest Bass Baritones. His voice inspired not only his audiences but composers and fellow musicians alike. As a result the concerts he gave and the recordings he made, read as a who’s who of the 20th century’s greatest musicians and composers. He was close friends with composers Benjamin Britten, Sir Michael Tippett and Sir William Walton and they were all inspired by and wrote specifically for his voice. On the concert platform he regularly worked with the 20th centuries greatest conductors including Leonard Bernstein, Andre Previn, Sir Georg Solti, Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Adrian Boult, and his recordings of particularly English Songs by Vaughan Williams are considered the greatest interpretations of this repertoire. What is not necessarily known is that he spent the final three years of his life in Bath with his third wife Teresa Shirley Quirk, who was also the General Manager of the city’s orchestra Bath Philharmonia until Spring 2015. Music Director of Bath Philharmonia Jason Thornton remembers John Shirley Quirk with great admiration and fondness, “I first met John

properly before a performance of Walton’s Façade. He came up to me and said I hope you conduct it better than William use to. I realized he was referring to the composer and was later told he used to perform the work regularly with the composer conducting. John would pop into the Bath Phil office frequently and we would talk about the latest project we were working on. My fondest memory of John was collaborating with him on Benjamin Britten’s opera Turn of the Screw. John was acting as coach and mentor for the young singers working on the project. Listening to him pass on his pearls of wisdom was truly extraordinary. During rehearsals he asked to see the score, found the page and pointed to a bar and said – this is what Ben was writing when I first met him in his studio at the Red House. That was truly magical. “ John, up until 10 days before he died was still giving masterclasses to students at Bath Spa University. Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Charles Wiffen remembers, “…’It was hugely inspiring for students to work with such a distinguished and yet humble figure. John’s teaching was patient, insightful and memorable.”

Britten – Four Sea Interludes Opening with a serene depiction of dawn breaking over the North Sea, these four interludes have come to form an immensely powerful and emotive suite from Benjamin Britten’s opera, Peter Grimes. About a fisherman, it explores themes surrounding community, isolation and redemption in a fishing port on the East coast, modelled after Britten’s hometown of Aldeburgh. Britten composed this seminal work in the early 1940s, with it premiering in June 1945. Many consider it to be partly autobiographical of Britten’s experiences of living in a society that held his open homosexuality in contempt. However, the opera proved an enormous success and Britten extracted these Four Sea Interludes to create the suite, each depicting either an element of Peter Grimes’s character, or of the surroundings he found himself in.

Dawn brings to mind the water in the early morning light, under the famously ‘big skies’ of the East coast. All is still, with the occasional gusts of wind creating ripples across the water. We then move into Sunday Morning as the local residents all converge upon the church, conversing with one another and children dashing about. The tolling bell that can be heard throughout in the French horns is in fact a direct quote of the church bells Britten grew up with. Afterwards, Moonlight again brings a moment of reflection with the stillness of the sea under the night sky and the occasional reveal of the pale light upon the water. Finally, Storm confronts the listener with big seas, rolling waves, flashes of lightning and the patter of rain. These latter two can equally give insight into the psyche of Peter Grimes; a man falsely accused, alone and bewildered, destined to ultimately take his own life out at sea.

Bernstein – Symphonic Dances from West Side Story Leonard Bernstein’s famous West Side Story contains some of the most challenging music of the musical theatre repertoire. Inspired by Romeo and Juliet (except here they become Tony and Maria), it takes place in the 1950s between two New York gangs. With themes of ethnic divide and social division, as well as the remarkable difficulty of the music and dance scenes, West Side Story proved to be a pivotal work. The music is heavily imbued with Latin American, jazz and classical influences. After its success, this suite of Symphonic Dances was made. Opening with Prologue, the listener is instantly transported to the streets of New York with elements of jazz and Tin Pan Alley in the orchestration which almost resembles a big band. “Somewhere” then uses a theme from the Adagio

of Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto to form the love song Tony sings to Maria. The Scherzo then segues into Mambo, a raucous cacophony involving the whole orchestra in a quick, loud and rhythmic section. Contrasting this is the Cha-Cha, a brief interplay between the woodwind and string sections which merges into the Meeting Scene, reprising the theme from “Somewhere”. “Cool” employs syncopation and rich chords that lead us into the Fugue, weaving the “Cool” and “Somewhere” themes together against swung rhythms in the woodwind to a tumultuous climax. Out of this launches the Rumble, a fast-paced fight-scene with the piano creating the forward motion in this exciting bout before the Finale brings the suite to a peaceful and thoughtful close with its quotes of “Somewhere”.

Walton – Belshazzar’s Feast In this cantata, premiered in 1931, Walton tells the story of how Belshazzar, the Babylonian king, is brought down by his sacrilegious acts and how this is foretold by the writing on the wall. Work began on this piece in 1929 as part of a BBC commission for fifteen players, a small choir and a soloist, however the inception was not quite so straightforward as Walton felt it required more time than was allowed by the commission and more scope for performers on stage. Eventually, it came to be performed at the Leeds Festival by a sizeable ensemble was instantly successful. The piece opens ominously, and sets Psalm 137 before expressing the anger and resentment of the Jews, exiled in Babylon under the oppression of Belshazzar. While the city is under siege, he prepares a feast and drinks from the sacred vessels. A hand appears and writes the words upon the wall, ‘You have been weighed in the balance, and found wanting’. Later that night, Belshazzar is killed and the people rejoice at their newfound freedom.

For they that wasted us Required of us mirth; They that carried us away captive Required of us a song. Sing us one of the songs of Zion.

Belshazzar’s Feast Rembrandt (1635)

Notes by Frederick Platt How shall we sing the Lord’s song In a strange land?

Belshazzar Libretto Thus spake Isaiah: Thy sons that thou shalt beget They shall be taken away, And be eunuchs In the palace of the King of Babylon Howl ye, howl ye, therefore: For the day of the Lord is at hand! By the waters of Babylon, There we sat down: yea, we wept And hanged our harps upon the willows.

If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, Let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth. Yea, if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy. By the waters of Babylon There we sat down: yea, we wept. O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed, Happy shall he be that taketh thy children And dasheth them against a stone, For with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down And shall be found no more at all.

Babylon was a great city, Her merchandise was of gold and silver, Of precious stones, of pearls, of fine linen, Of purple, silk and scarlet, All manner vessels of ivory, All manner vessels of most precious wood, Of brass, iron and marble, Cinnamon, odours and ointments, Of frankincense, wine and oil, Fine flour, wheat and beasts, Sheep, horses, chariots, slaves And the souls of men.

Crying, Thou, O King, art King of Kings: O King, live for ever... And in that same hour, as they feasted Came forth fingers of a man’s hand And the King saw The part of the hand that wrote. And this was the writing that was written: “MENE, MENE, TEKEL UPHARSIN” “THOU ART WEIGHED IN THE BALANCE AND FOUND WANTING.” In that night was Belshazzar the King slain And his Kingdom divided.

In Babylon Belshazzar the King made a great feast, Made a feast to a thousand of his lords, And drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, Commanded us to bring the gold and silver vessels: Yea! the golden vessels, which his father, Nebuchadnezzar, Had taken out of the temple that was in Jerusalem. He commanded us to bring the golden vessels Of the temple of the house of God, That the King, his Princes, his wives And his concubines might drink therein. Then the King commanded us: Bring ye the cornet, flute, sackbut, psaltery And all kinds of music: they drank wine again, Yea, drank from the sacred vessels, And then spake the King: Praise ye The God of Gold! Praise ye The God of Silver! Praise ye The God of Iron! Praise ye The God of Wood! Praise ye The God of Stone! Praise ye The God of Brass! Praise ye the Gods! Thus in Babylon, the mighty city, Belshazzar the King made a great feast, Made a feast to a thousand of his lords And drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar whiles he tasted the wine Commanded us to bring the gold and silver vessels That his Princes, his wives and his concubines Might rejoice and drink therein. After they had praised their strange gods, The idols and the devils, False gods who can neither see nor hear, Called they for the timbrel and the pleasant harp To extol the glory of the King. Then they pledged the King before the people,

Then sing aloud to God our strength: Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, bring hither the timbrel, Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, Blow up the trumpet in Zion For Babylon the Great is fallen, fallen. Alleluia! Then sing aloud to God our strength: Make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob, While the Kings of the Earth lament And the merchants of the Earth Weep, wail and rend their raiment. They cry, Alas, Alas, that great city, In one hour is her judgement come. The trumpeters and pipers are silent, And the harpers have ceased to harp, And the light of a candle shall shine no more. Then sing aloud to God our strength. Make a joyful noise to the God of Jacob. For Babylon the Great is fallen. Alleluia!

Nicolas Dwyer Baritone Many of you may recognise Nick as Guglielmo in our production of Cosi fan Tutte at Cooper Hall in July 2015. He has also performed with Grange Park Opera, Buxton Festival Opera, and British Youth Opera amongst others. Roles include Marcello (La Bohème, OperaUpClose, Soho Theatre), Don Alfonso (Cosi Fan Tutte, Clonter Opera), Sid (Albert Herring, Hampstead Garden Opera), Count Almaviva (The Marriage of Figaro, OperaUpClose, Zaretsky (Eugene Onegin, GPO), Alidoro (Cenerentola OperaUpClose), Escamillo (Carmen, OperaupClose), Javert (Les Miserables, Pimlico Opera Prisons Project). Cover roles include Eugene Onegin (GPO), Angelotti (Tosca, GPO), Geronimo (The Secret Marriage, BYO), Adolf (The Jacobin, Buxton Festival Opera), and Marullo (Rigoletto, Bury Court Opera). Nick is a graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

South West Festival Chorus In spring 2002, Jason Thornton, music director of Bath Philharmonia, suggested that a choral concert of Carmina Burana might be a good finale to the 2002 Frome Festival. Joanna Wiesner recruited a choir, it was a huge success and of course, everyone wanted to do it again, so South West Festival Chorus was born and still continues. All performances are always rehearsed over just two highly intensive weekends. With internationally respected Jeffrey Skidmore as chorus master, choral forces increased, student players gave place to established orchestras and following performances included Berlioz’s monumental Grande Messe des Morts, Verdi Requiem, Elgar The Dream of Gerontius, and Vaughan Williams A Sea Symphony, sung in Frome and Leipzig. Gavin Carr became Chorus Master in 2007, we toured Brahms German Requiem to France, with a sell-out concert in Paris. Later came Bach B Minor Mass in Wells Cathedral, Vaughan Williams and Elgar in

Bath Abbey, and Elgar The Dream of Gerontius, performed first in Wells Cathedral and toured to equal success in the fabulous concert halls of Beijing and Shanghai – the very first Gerontius in mainland China. Subsequent concerts included Walton Belchazzar’s Feast, with the concert setting of Gershwin Porgy & Bess, with international bass Sir Willard White. Then came Rachmaninov’s great Vespers, Verdi, Fauré and Rutter Requiems Requiems, Mozart Mass in C, Haydn Creation, Elgar’s delightful part songs, Russian Opera choruses, and Mendelssohn Elijah. In 2014, we were invited to perform Handel Messiah in Goa Cathedral and Mumbai’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, with the Symphony Orchestra of India, both performed to full houses and standing ovations. We always welcome new singers; there are no auditions - just a commitment to our intensive rehearsal weekends, which are great fun. To join us, contact Joanna Wiesner MBE on 01225 444190/07973 326350, or email her at

Sopranos Altos Tenors Basses Frances Ansell Trixy Alberga Peter Fereday Pete Ash Liz Ash Janie Applebee Neil Moore David Banks Patricia Astill Lynne Banks Richard Munro Anthony Berridge Sallyann Baldry Kate Fitzgerald Nick Selley Andrew Clarke Susan Berridge Barbara Ford John Gutteridge Valerie Butt Susan Moore Malcolm Hitchcock Vicki Davies Judith Pepler Chris Parrish Christine Eyres Belinda Rennie Fred Platt Sue Footner Jill Rowe William Starling Patricia Green Sarah Sandon Michael Wintersgill Carolyn Haresign Jane Shaw Jeanette Hayward Julia Williams Selma Lavender Eleanor Wintersgill Janet Parrish Jane Paxton Marlene Powell Caroline Robinson Gillian Sheldrick Carole Smith Patricia Spencer-Barclay Barbara Suri Joanna Wiesner


BOARD OF TRUSTEES Robert Derry-Evans Tony Howell Andrew Mortimer Richard Munro Mike Ralli Jennifer Skellett






Assistant Conductor Frederick Platt

BATH PHILHARMONIA FRIENDS Mr Martin Bell OBE Mrs Diana Bourdon Smith Mrs Shiena Bowen Mrs Joanna Cain Mr Guy & Mrs Jules Channer Mr G Collett Mr Antony Corfe Mr Graham & Mrs Marilyn Cox Mr & Mrs Martin Davis Mrs Kate Elston Mr Philip & Mrs Marie Ennis Mr & Mrs P Franklyn Mr & Mrs J Furber Mr Tony Garrett Mr Peter Goodden Ms Caroline Gosling Mr David Greenwood Mr Philip Harris Sir Robert & Lady Deborah Hill Mr Gerry & Mrs Marina Hoddinott

Mr Peter Ives & Miss Pat Oakley Mr Robin & Mrs Henny John Mrs Jean King Ms Judy Kinsman Mr Neville D Lintern Mr & Mrs W Mathias Mr Andrew & Mrs Jinny Matters Mrs Rosemary Munro Mr Sam Priestman Mrs Janet Pitt Mr Mike & Mrs Fran Ralli Mrs Teresa Robinson Ms Corinna Sargood & Mr Richard Wallace S Sawyer Mr Alan & Mrs Judy Singleton Mr John & Mrs Marianne Webb Mr Robert & Mrs Molly Worlidge Mr Paul & Mrs Elizabeth Whitehouse

BATH PHILHARMONIA PATRONS Mr Peter & Mrs Liz Ash Mr Alasdair Campbell Dr Marianna Clark Mr Peter Clegg Mr Rupert Cooper & Ms Hilary Shekleton Mr Michael & Mrs Anne Davis Mr Gavin Douglas Mr Roger & Mrs Mandy Eggleton Mr Andrew Fletcher Miss Jane Glaser Mr Steve & Mrs Fiona Gourley Mr Peter Gunning Mr Roy & Mrs Maureen Hatch

Mr Peter Holland Mrs Sue Howell Mrs Joy Isaac Mrs Gladys Macrae Ms Bel Mooney Mr Peter Morrison Ms Jadis Norman Mr Robert & Mrs Barbara Tan Mr Richard & Mrs Margaret Turner Mr Richard & Mrs Teresa Wharton Mr Nigel Whiskin Mrs Jeannie Willis Capt Brian Woodford



Mr Robert & Mrs Rebecca Derry-Evans Mrs Elaine Marson Mr Andrew & Mrs Katherine Mortimer Mr Graham & Mrs Bridget Wakefield

BATH PHILHARMONIA BENEFACTORS Mr Ian Hay & Mrs Morny Davidson Mrs Margaret Roper Mrs Jennifer Skellett

Mr Tony Doughty Mr Denis & Mrs Tor Gamberoni Rear Admiral & Mrs Austin Lockyer Mr Rod & Mrs Karin Morgan Ms Jill Rowe Mrs Joanna Wiesner MBE

TRUSTS The Roper Family Charitable Trust The Joyce Fletcher Charitable Trust The Brewster Maude Charitable Trust The Oldham Foundation


Player’s { { List LEADER Matthew Scrivener VIOLIN I Rosie Wainwright Matthew Everrett Claire Parkin Gill Austin Mardyah Tucker Gisele Boll Richard Smith VIOLIN II Declan Daly Kerry Vaughan Lisa Betteridge David Williams Alison Balfour-Paul Katy Rowe Mario Bailisco Steph Miemira VIOLA Reiad Chibah Lousie Hawker Jake Walker Sophie Broadbent Wei Wei Tan Jennifer Wilkinson CELLO Orlando Jopling Alison Gillies Sophie Gledhill Jonathan Few Anita Strevens Emily Isaac BASS Dave Brown Antonia Bakewell Martin Henderson FLUTE Ian Mullin Sarah Manship Hannah Grayson

OBOE Alun Darbyshire Rosalie Watson Jennie-Lee Keetley CLARINET Anna Hashimoto Alastair Logan Claire King SAXOPHONE Sam Corkin BASSOON Martin Gatt Lois Au Christina Marroni HORN Dicky Wainwright Tim Locke Jon Bareham Jose Lluna TRUMPET Gavin Wells Matt Wells Alex Cromwell TROMBONE Matt Harrison Steve Turton Josh Hayward TIMPANI Ben Hoffnung PERCUSSION Jeremy Little Matt Turner Graham Bradley James Bower Keith Price HARP Ruth Faber

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