THE NEWSLETTER OF THE ALDERLEY EDGE ORCHESTRA
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E d i t o r : R o g e r D o w l i n g ( t e l : 0 1 9 2 5 7 5 6 3 9 0 ; r o g e r. d o w l i n g @ a e o r c h e s t r a . o r g . u k )
Chet’s horn player Alison to open 2009-10 season Brilliant horn player Alison Young, currently studying at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester, will be soloist in the first concert of the 2009-10 season on 14th November 2009. Now 15, Alison was born in Manchester and right from the start she showed a keen interest in music. At the age of three she started dance lessons, followed at the age of seven by piano lessons.
A year later her piano teacher Lizzie Davis introduced her to the French horn and so Lizzie became her horn teacher too. Alison gained a place at Chetham’s School of Music when she was 10 and has continued her horn studies with Lizzie Davis. Although the emphasis at Chetham’s is on classical music, Alison has a wide spectrum of musical tastes and is just as happy dancing to pop music as she is playing classical music. In 2006 and 2007 she played in the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain. She is now studying for her GCSEs. Lizzie Davis was Principal Horn with the Manchester Camerata for
Next season’s concerts Many thanks for your many suggestions for the remaining items in the 2009-10 season, which your Committee discussed at length at its recent meeting. Whilst it wasn’t possible to meet everyone’s requests, we’ve done our best and the full schedule for 2009-10 is given below. Please note the new date for the concert in May 2010, now 8th (formerly 15th). ten years before deciding to devote all her time to teaching. She has been horn and chamber music tutor at Chetham’s School of Music for 17 years. Her former pupils hold positions in the LSO, LPO, Philharmonia and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
Orchestral sisters Joan Wilkinson (violin) and Barbara Wingard (cello) have established themselves so quickly as members of the orchestra that we never got round to welcoming them formally in our Newsletter. To put this right, here are a few words
Put these dates in your diary NOW: 2009-10 concert schedule 14th November 2009
28th November 2009
6th March 2010
20th March 2010
8th May 2010
SCHUBERT Symphony No 8 in B minor 'Unfinished'
BRAHMS Variations on a theme of Haydn, Op 56a
ARC CONCERT AT LYMM
MENDELSSOHN Overture ‘The Hebrides’ (Fingal’s Cave), Op 26
BEETHOVEN Choral Fantasy in C minor, Op 80 (Soloist: Simon Conning, with Lymm and District Chorus)
BRAHMS Variations on a theme of Haydn, Op 56a WEBER Clarinet Concerto No 1 in F minor (Soloist: Oliver Janes)(tbc) FAURE Requiem in D minor, Op 48
MOZART Horn Concerto No 3 in E flat major, K. 447 (tbc) (Soloist: Alison Young) DVORAK Symphony No 8 in G, Op 88
Overture: Roman Carnival Harold in Italy, Op 16 (Viola: Mary Anderson)
LITOLFF Scherzo FAURE Requiem in D minor, Op 48
HANDEL Zadok the Priest
BEETHOVEN Piano Concerto No 5 ‘Emperor’ (Soloist: Jamie Thomson) SCHUMANN Symphony No 4 in D minor, Op 120
about their interesting musical backgrounds. Joan and Barbara come from a very musical family: father played the cello, mother was a gifted pianist, and they met playing for the silent cinema before the advent of the ‘talkies’. Not surprisingly, they soon found themselves in their school orchestra, and in due course they joined the newly formed Youth Orchestra in Bolton. Frank Milner was the conductor, and his son Martin Milner was the leader. (Martin, of course, went on to become the distinguished leader of the Hallé Orchestra in the Barbirolli years. He performed a Mozart violin concerto with the Alderley Edge Orchestra in 1992). Joan went on to study violin at the Royal Manchester School of Music (now the RNCM) but soon changed to viola which she felt would provide more playing opportunities. She spent two years in the Scottish Orchestra under Walter Susskind before successfully auditioning for the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 1950. Sir Adrian Boult was Joan’s favourite conductor during her 14 years with the BBCSO. She also recalls outstanding concerts with Vaughan Williams, Bruno Walter, Leopold Stokowski and Stravinsky. Later, Joan became one of the first women members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. On retiring to Wilmslow, she played with the Wilmslow
Symphony Orchestra and more recently the Alderley Edge Orchestra, and played a leading role in the revival of the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society. For Barbara, music has always been a hobby. For 11 years, from 1951, she lived and taught with her husband in Ethiopa and Uganda. In the absence of professional orchestras, amateur orchestras flourished. Addis Ababa had an active expatriate community that organised regular chamber music sessions; and there was an annual Gilbert and Sullivan opera with many British, Canadian and American participants. The chorus was made up of non-English pupils of the local school, who - like the Ethiopian government censor looked perpetually baffled by the whole experience. There were also concerts with visiting artists such as pianists Kendall Taylor, Irene Kohler and Peter Katin, and opera singer Norman Bailey. On returning to England in 1962, Barbara and her husband were content to soak up the professional music on offer in Manchester. Barbara took up the cello again about five years ago and is enjoying being part of the friendly Alderley Edge Orchestra: as in the days of the Bolton Youth Orchestra many years ago, rehearsals and concerts are once again a rewarding part of her musical life.
Joan Wilkinson (left) with sister Barbara Wingard at the piano
Thomas Beecham Thomas Beecham was born just 130 years ago, on 29th April 1879, and we’ll be marking the occasion by playing his well-loved English Folk Song Suite at our next concert on 30th May. The anniversary gives us a convenient excuse to include in this issue a few of his many memorable observations on the world of music. On Vaughan Williams ‘Vaughan Williams made the cardinal error of not including in ALL his compositions a theme by Thomas Tallis.’
To a player: ‘We cannot expect you to be with us all the time, but perhaps you would be good enough to keep in touch now and again.’
To the orchestra: ‘I see we’re rehearsing the Pathetique this morning. Let’s see what we can do to cheer it up.’
To an audience: ‘It has seldom been my good fortune to find the programme correctly printed. Tonight is no exception and, with your kind permission, we will now play the piece which you think you have just heard.’
About Bruckner’s Symphony No 7: ‘In the first movement alone I took note of six pregnancies and at least four miscarriages.’
To a player called ‘Ball’: ‘How very singular.’
At the end of Vaughan Williams’s: Pastoral Symphony ‘The city life for me!’
Who was Harold? We’re planning to learn more about Berlioz’s Harold in Italy at our Workshop in November. So who was this guy Harold? Childe Harold was the creation of the poet Byron in 1812; he was the subject of an extraordinary poem about imaginary travels around the world which created such a sensation that Byron woke up one morning to find himself famous. Berlioz’s work - a ‘symphony with viola obbligato’ - was composed at the request of Paganini who had just acquired a priceless Stradivarius viola and was keen to have a new composition on which to demonstrate its qualities. In the
event, Paganini - never a man to hide his light behind a bushel - was a bit peeved to discover that the viola often played a supportive rather than a central role, and the work was premiered on 23 November 1834 with Chrétien Urhan playing the viola part. We’re delighted to welcome Mary Anderson as the solo viola at the Workshop. Born and raised in Sedbergh, Mary learned the violin and viola from her father, and then became a member of the National Youth Orchestra which she found to be a wonderful training ground. Whilst a medical student, she received her LRAM diploma. Later leaving Medicine for a while, Mary played professionally in the Hallé, the Manchester Camerata and Northern Ballet Orchestras. Currently a part-time GP locum, she plays the violin in a number of orchestras and other groups, sometimes as leader. As viola player in the Deconet String Quartet and the Bright String Trio, she enjoys taking part in chamber music performances including quartets by Janacek, Brahms and Mendelssohn; quintets by Schubert and Hummel; trios by Finzi and Beethoven; as well as viola recitals with piano, voice and clarinet. Mary is studying viola with Ruth Parker, who for many years played in the BBC Philharmonic. ‘I try to combine music and medicine, and despite all this and an untidy house I am blessed with an understanding family’ says Mary.
‘Like many of us I get a great ‘buzz’ from music and I’m delighted to be taking part in the Harold in Italy workshop.’
Lymm 2010 Our thanks again to all players who made the journey to Lymm for the annual concert on behalf of the Arthritis Research Campaign. These concerts have now raised over £5,000 for this excellent cause. Looking ahead to 2010, the concert will be substantially a repeat of our Alderley Edge concert on 6th March, except that the Beethoven Choral Fantasy will be replaced by a concerto (possibly Weber’s First Clarinet Concerto). The provisional date of the 2010 concert is Saturday, 20th March.
Welcome to Rachel … Rachel Chandler joined the orchestra in January and has already become an indispensable member of the cello section. Born
in Doncaster, she lived in Leeds for some years before moving to the North West; she currently lives in Handforth. Her day job is with the Alzheimer's Society where she is a dementia support worker, and she is also a volunteer counsellor in occupational health at Trafford General Hospital. Rachel has played the cello since she was 12 but was unable to play for some years because of a back injury. ‘It’s really great being back in an orchestra,’ she says. ‘I particularly enjoy Beethoven, Elgar and Vaughan Williams - in fact,
TIP OF THE MONTH Here are two more tips for those seeking musical scores and parts on the internet. For orchestral scores, try the free Petrucci Music Library (formerly the International Music Database Project): http://tiny.cc/igl98. This is online library which aims to include all public domain music scores and/or sheet music, as well as scores from composers who are willing to share their music with the world without charge. Scores can be browsed under composer name, composer period or genre. All material is stored as good quality downloadable pdf scans of original publishers’ scores. For choral music, try the Choral Public Domain Library at www.cpdl.org. Entries can be downloaded as either pdf files of original scans or as midi files.
most romantic or baroque music.’
… and au revoir to Paul We’re very sorry to have lost Paul Silverman, who has left the orchestra to back to London. Paul has been a vital member of the viola section for as many years as most of us can remember, invariably cycling in at the very last moment from his home in distant Wilmslow. Paul was a keen chamber music player and was also a member of the Wilmslow Symphony Orchestra. Newer players may not know that Paul had an eminent father, the MP Sydney Silverman, whose achievements in Parliament included successfully piloting the Bill that abolished capital punishment in Britain.
from his Concerto Symphonique No 4 in D minor, a jaunty, catchy scherzo that never fails to lift the spirits.
As an encore piece next March, we’re planning to play, with pianist Simon Conning, the sparkling Scherzo by Henry Litolff. No
composer ever had a more astonishing life story. Henry was born in London in 1818, the son of the Alsation violinist Martin Litolff who ended up in London as a prisoner while fighting for Napoleon in the Peninsula War. His mother was from Scotland. Young Henry had piano lessons from an early age and was giving concerts by the time he was 14. But clearly he had his mind on other things than playing the piano, for three years later he eloped to Gretna Green to marry his girl friend Elizabeth Etherington, setting up home in France. Elizabeth’s charms wore a bit thin after four years, so they parted. Henry travelled around Europe giving concerts and teaching, his pupils including the eminent conductor and pianist Hans von Bülow. In 1845, he decided to return to England and divorce his wife, but the plan misfired when a lawsuit resulted in huge financial damages as a result of which poor Henry was locked up in a debtor’s prison. At this point, he enterprisingly used his charms on the gaoler’s
daughter, thereby managing to escape and flee to Holland. Eventually he secured a divorce and married the widow of Gottfried Meyer, a music publisher and became a successful music publisher himself; his company was eventually sold to Peters of Leipzig. By 1858 he had divorced for a second time and settled down in Paris with his third wife, Louise de La Rochefoucauld, the daughter of a count. Louise died in 1873, whereupon Henry - by now 55 years of age - had a final fling by marrying the seventeen-year-old girl who had nursed him through poor health the previous year. In his final years, Henry devoted himself to conducting and composition, frequently plagued by mysterious maladies and rumours about his former flamboyant lifestyle. His memory is kept alive by a single movement
Please note that the rehearsal schedule for the final concert of the current season has changed. Rosie Lomas (soprano) will be joining us for the second half of the rehearsal on 14th May to run through Mozart’s Exsultate Jubilate and Handel’s I know that my Redeemer Liveth. There will, of course, also be the normal rehearsal on the afternoon of the concert on 30th May. The other works in the concert are Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony.
Rehearsal schedule for June Tim Kendal has been exploring our music library and has produced this schedule for the final rehearsals of the season. It could be an excellent opportunity to welcome new players who want to have an informal play without the pressure of an imminent concert - so please spread the word. 4th June 2009
11th June 2009
18th June 2009
25th June 2009
BEETHOVEN Overture: Prometheus
MENDELSSOHN Overture: Fingal’s Cave
BEETHOVEN Overture: Leonora No 3
STRAUSST Waltz: The Blue Danube
ROSSINI Overture Italian Girl in Algiers
MASSENET Scènes Pittoresques
DVORAK Symphony No 9 in E minor, Op 95 ‘From the New World’
HAYDN Symphony 94 in G ‘Surprise’
SCHUBERT Symphony 6 in C
HAYDN Symphony 99 in E flat, ‘Imperial’
MOZART Symphony 35 in D ‘Haffner’ MOZART Symphony 41 in C, ‘Jupiter’