Leader: Brian Howells
Conductor: Robin Browning
Music for String Orchestra
Simple Symphony for Strings – Britten
Romance in C major for Strings, Op 42 – Sibelius
Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten – Pärt
Concerto in D minor for two violins – Bach
(Soloists: Brian Howells and Cathy Mathews)
Chamber Symphony in C minor, Op 110a – Shostakovich
We so enjoyed our string concert in Emsworth last year that we just had to return!
In this concert we present a wide range of music for strings spanning more than 300 years. The oldest piece will be the Concerto for Two Violins by Bach in which two of our section leaders, Brian Howells and Cathy Mathews, will take the solo parts.
Opening the concert will be a 20th century work by the British composer Benjamin Britten. His ‘Simple Symphony’ (which the players will tell you is anything but simple!) includes two baroque dances, a Bourrée and a Sarabande, alongside ‘Playful Pizzicato’ and ‘Frolicsome Finale’ and is a gorgeously lighthearted piece using tunes that Britten wrote when he was just a teenager.
A short ‘Romance’ by 19th Century Finnish composer, Sibelius, will be followed by the ‘Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten’ by Arvo Pärt. Pärt felt a close connection to Britten but could not fully access his music until he was able to leave Estonia in 1980 – four years after Britten’s death. The ‘Cantus’ was written to honour Britten and is written for strings and a bell.
The second half of the concert will consist of the intense ‘Chamber Symphony’ by Shostakovich – a transcription of his String Quartet no. 8 which was written in 1960 and dedicated to ‘the victims of fascism and the war’. Our Musical Director, Robin Browning, will give an introduction to this before we play it.