For the latest amateur classical music listings in and around Portsmouth, including Fareham, Petersfield, Chichester, Havant and Hayling Island

Chantry Quire Passiontide Meditation 30 March 2021

For several years now the Chantry Quire has performed an annual Passiontide Meditation – a programme of music and thought-provoking readings – in Boxgrove Priory.

The concert has been sponsored by Rathbones, which has enabled us to give the proceeds to support the Aldingbourne Trust, a local charity that does remarkable work with young disabled people; over the years the choir has raised over £5000 for the Trust.  As those of you who have attended previous performances will recall, we have always included a short presentation from a member of Aldingbourne’s staff, and from one of their young clients themselves, to remind us what it’s all about. We feel a special connection with the Trust as the mother of two of our singers was instrumental in setting it up.

But of course Covid-19 has changed everything.  We had to cancel last year’s concert, and we won’t be able to perform this year’s either – or not in the normal way.   We did, however, want to honour our commitment both to Aldingbourne and to Boxgrove.  So our musical director, Peter Allwood, came up with the idea of performing a rather shorter programme of music and readings, which we would all record separately at home, and then have combined – by technical wizardry – into a single video concert.

We are giving it our best efforts: learning the music, following the guide tracks pre-recorded by a group of four young soloists at the beginning of their careers so as to get our timing exactly right, and then recording ourselves at home.  It feels very strange, but it is still wonderful to get back singing together, even if virtually.

This all costs money, of course – the soloists, the musical director and the video producer all need to be paid.  So we appealed to everyone we could think of for help, and the response was amazing!  In fact, we have raised more than we needed, from more than 30 different sponsors – local companies, friends and family, choir members past and present …   We are so grateful to everyone who has helped to make our video dream a reality.

The video will actually be launched at 6pm on the Tuesday of Holy Week, 30th March.  You will be able to access it via the Chantry Quire website, so do please watch it, either then or later – it will remain freely available.  It will include a short introduction from Aldingbourne, and viewers will of course be warmly encouraged to make a generous donation to the Trust.  You may even spot – among the postage-stamp-sized faces – a few faces you recognise!


Chichester Cathedral lunchtime concerts resume

At 1pm on Tuesday 23rd February, Chichester Cathedral’s weekly lunchtime concert series will resume, online, for five weeks. Details of programmes and performers can be found on the cathedral website or by downloading the Chichester Cathedral spring 2021 lunchtime programme.

Each concert will be preceded by a short talk on the programme led by the Cathedral’s assistant organist Tim Ravalde. You can register for these by following this link: Register for pre-concert talks on Zoom.

Future concerts:
Tuesday 23 February, 1.00pm – Charles Harrison, organ – watch this on YouTube
Tuesday 2 March 2021, 1.00pm – Tim Ravalde, organ – watch this on YouTube
Tuesday 9 March 2021, 1.00pm – David Alexander, piano
Tuesday 16 March 2021, 1.00pm – Louise Salmond Smith, recorder, and Charles Harrison, piano
Tuesday 23 March 2021, 1.00pm – Maria Luc, piano

Tim says, “We look forward to welcoming our community and beyond back to the Cathedral’s Nave for the irreplaceable experience of enjoying live music in person. Until then, we invite you to join us online for music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy, Franck, Handel, Liszt, Mendelssohn, Telemann, Widor and more.”


The Organ Project: Organ Recital Series – Brian Moles

Our 2021 monthly Organ Recital series continues with a recital given by Brian Moles on March 4th, which will premiere on our YouTube channel at 19.30.

Brian Moles is Director of Music at St Mary’s Church, Portsea. His work as an accompanist covers a variety of fields, from classical to popular; accompanying solo recitals through to forming and leading bands in shows for theatre in all different genres. As an organist and recitalist, he is often in demand, most recently playing at Durham Cathedral. His work as a composer and arranger is widespread, with a variety of works for sacred and non-sacred genres, performing across the UK and abroad.

Our J.W. Walker & Sons pipe organ is currently being restored by Nicholson & Co. Ltd, and we hope to celebrate its re-dedication in late 2021. We still have some way to go on our fundraising; please consider sponsoring a pipe: https://orgproj.co/MxTC.

Programme

This recital will use the New English Hymnal as a starting point. Churches like St Mary’s, Portsea, would normally resound to the strains of great and glorious hymnody during the church year, with congregations and choir in chorus with the organ, singing the great songs of old throughout the seasons. Unfortunately that isn’t possible at present, so Brian Moles presents a different way of approaching these familiar tunes and melodies.

As with the New English Hymnal, this recital takes us on a journey from Advent, through Christmas and Epiphany, into Lent, Passiontide and Easter.


St Richard Singers: Come & Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion

Here we are in a New Year with new challenges, almost a full year after we entered the first national lockdown! Things are definitely looking up now with vaccines available and some of you possibly having received a first dose. Unfortunately, in-person gatherings and concert performances appear still some way off. However, we have a treat for you this Lent.

Last year we planned a ‘Come & Sing’ with Stainer’s Crucifixion at the end of March. It had to be called off to everyone’s disappointment just a few weeks before the event. Having sampled the possibilities, and indeed opportunities, which virtual music-making has to offer with our Christmas Carols project (now up on our very own YouTube channel), we would like to invite you to our first Virtual Come & Sing Stainer’s Crucifixion.

If you wish to be part of this project, and enjoy singing a few familiar pieces of great music, please head to our website for more information and payment details.

For £5 you can join SRS for this Virtual Performance of some pieces from Stainer’s ever-popular work in your own time and at your own pace. Please encourage others to join in, as we are no longer limited by time and space.

The edited “performance” will be released online on Palm Sunday 28 March, exactly a year after the original planned event would have taken place. Once your payment has been received (BACS or cheque) the resources and instructions will be made available to you. Any profits will go to Parkinson’s Disease Association.

Think of the finished product as a TV programme that features yourself which you can re-play and re-play, and which will thrill & impress family & friends the world over.

If you have any question prior to booking, please use the contact form on our website. Please also revisit our website for further updates regarding the Festival of Chichester 2021.

We hope to “see” you at our virtual Come & Sing. Stay Safe and Keep Singing!


Jess Gillam and Adam Kay to headline this year’s Petworth Festival

Classical saxophonist Jess Gillam and doctor-turned-author and comedian Adam Kay will be among the headline acts at this year’s Petworth Festival.

Festival artistic director Stewart Collins has confirmed a number of the acts heading to West Sussex this summer.

There is no confirmed box office opening date yet, but at the very least Stewart and the team are offering a statement of intent.

It remains to be seen precisely what format the festival will take, but Stewart is determined that the festival will happen in some shape or form this July, within whatever the prevailing Covid restrictions are.

Read more at the link below.


Live online music appreciation course: exploring the music of Brahms – 13 February 2021

With Roy Stratford.

Johannes Brahms stands outside the mainstream of the Romantic movement. His music is a fascinating combination of traditional forms and powerful, romantic harmony, often creating a profound emotional effect in his chamber music repertoire.

In many ways, Johannes Brahms stands outside the mainstream of the Romantic Movement. His interests lay far more in abstract music, sonatas, symphonies, variations and concertos rather than opera or program music, although he did, of course, compose many wonderful Lieder.

His music is a fascinating combination of traditional forms and powerful, romantic harmony, the often-profound emotional effect that his music exerts perhaps arises from the tension between these two forces. On this course you will look at the huge range of his output with particular emphasis on his extraordinary contribution to chamber music.

Roy Stratford was very lucky to have had a music teacher at school who had been a student of the great Austrian modernist composer Anton Webern and who inspired in him a great love of music and a particular interest in the Austro-Germanic tradition from Bach to Stockhausen. He went on to study music at Reading University and then the Royal College of Music ( conducting with Norman del Mar) and has since developed a very varied musical career as pianist, conductor, composer and lecturer.

Visit the link below for the exact timings and costs.


Battleship Potemkin – the greatest film ever made?

Battleship Potemkin will be screened, in full, at the University’s Chichester Campus, in the Showroom on 5th March at 7:30pm with a short introduction by Crispin Ward. The orchestral soundtrack uses a virtual orchestra of computer samples.

In 1925 Sergei Eisenstein was commissioned to produce a film celebrating the 20 years anniversary of the 1905 pre-revolution in Russia. His masterpiece, Battleship Potemkin, has become a cinematographic icon and remains one of the most influential films ever made.

The story follows the sailors of the Battleship Potemkin and their mutiny against the cruel captain and his sadistic officers. One of the most famous scenes, the massacre in Odesa, during which the baby carriage tumbles down the steps, has been much quoted by subsequent film-makers.

Eisenstein developed his theories of montage during the shooting of Potemkin, which are still to be seen in film making technique today. The quick-moving shots create a rhythm and tension that catapult the action forward and even today the exhilaration and excitement can be felt despite the fact it is shot in black and white, with no sound.

Crispin Ward, Senior Lecturer in Orchestral Studies at the University of Chichester Conservatoire, has had an obsession with the film for 30 years. He suggested a screening as part of the 1996 Southwark Festival on HMS Belfast. Even then he wanted a new musical score to be produced. Eisenstein himself had suggested that a new score might be produced every 20 years or so to keep the film fresh. “I have never been satisfied with the music put to Potemkin. The premier, at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, was shown to Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.”
For the Berlin premiere in 1926 a bespoke score for small orchestra was commissioned and Edmund Meisel wrote an ambitious and effective accompaniment. Later offerings by various other composers, including a patchwork of the music of Shostakovich, have had varying degrees of success.

Over the past 25 years, Crispin has built a strong musical relationship with Eastern Europe, conducting in Russia, Ukraine and Moldova on many occasions. He believes that his in-depth knowledge of East European orchestral music puts him in a strong position to understand what is needed in the composition of a new and innovative score for this masterpiece.


Chichester Chamber Concerts are now being livestreamed from its own Youtube channel

We now have our own Youtube Channel where you can find the video of Ariel Lanyi’s piano recital on 3rd December. The forthcoming concerts by The Bach Players on 28th January and the Armida Quartet on 25th February will also be available there. In addition, if you have bought a streaming ticket from Chichester Festival Theatre, or if you write to Kevin Maynard at kevinmaynard@hotmail.com to register your interest, we will send you the link to a specific concert in advance.

If you are looking for classical music in Chichester look no further than The Assembly Room in the Chichester Council House in North Street, where you will find a rich variety of music from Bach to Stravinsky performed by world-class musicians.

Chichester Chamber Concerts is the name of the society which organises these concerts in October, November, December, January, February and March each year.

Founded in 2006 by Michael Nott this series of classical chamber music concerts has gone from strength to strength and has become a popular feature of the musical life of Chichester. String quartets were Michael’s particular love and the Skampa, Danish, Arcadia, Doric, Sacconi, Allegri and Heath Quartets have all appeared in CCC seasons.


The Portsmouth Chamber Series is back!

I am finally able to confirm full programme and booking details for our delayed 2020-21 season – please see the listings in the link below.

The concerts won’t look the same because while the distancing requirements remain in place we have to seat you in the main auditorium. At the point of booking, seating will be unreserved as usual, to allow the flexibility to seat twos, threes, fours etc together, but prior to the concert seating will be allocated by Guildhall staff to ensure we keep to the rules. I have already been to an event at the Guildhall and was very impressed both with how careful they are being, and by how smoothly things went despite being different from usual. They have various procedures in place to help ensure everyone is safe – please see the details below.

The concerts won’t look the same, but they will sound every bit as good! We open with an exciting programme by our ‘resident’ Ensemble 360, containing some less familiar repertoire which I think you will really enjoy. Then we have the Doric Quartet who last played in 2015.

The Arcadia Quartet is new to Portsmouth, but they won the Wigmore competition back in 2012, and I was bowled over by their recent recording of the Bartok quartets. Martin Roscoe needs no introduction, but this is one of the concerts we had to cancel six months ago.

Ensemble Perpetuo is a collective based in London and as such is not a usual candidate for our series except that these particular musicians are of the very highest calibre, and have performed together many times under this umbrella name. I was really attracted by the programme, put together by Fenella Humphreys, who last played here in 2012, the first time we had the Lawson Trio.

We have decided not to do a brochure this year, so I hope you will help me to spread the word, and look forward to resuming ‘live’ music.

Here are the Guildhall procedures:

– Your temperature will be checked on arrival. Should this be 37.8 degrees or higher, you will not be permitted entry.
– Masks will be mandatory to be worn for the duration of the time in the venue.
– If you are showing any symptoms of Covid-19 (high temperature, loss of taste/smell or a new continuous cough), we ask that you refrain from attending.
– There is a maximum of 6 tickets per booking.
– Name and contact details will be collected for Track and Trace on arrival.
– To keep you safe in the venue, further information is available here: https://portsmouthguildhall.org.uk/your-visit/covid-safety/


Chichester Chamber Concerts series update

We are delighted to announce that our new season of concerts will take place in the Assembly Room starting on 1st October. The concerts will also be live-streamed by MD Music Production, directors David Greenlees and Mark Mawson.

Seats in the Assembly Room will be limited to approx. 40, so hurry to get one from Chichester Festival Theatre via https://www.cft.org.uk/chichester-chamber-concerts – tickets can be ordered online or by post (Chichester Festival Theatre, Oaklands Park, Chichester, PO19 6AP); no telephone or in-person bookings at the moment.

We will be live-streaming a rescheduled concert on 10th September by the Trinity Ensemble (seats in the hall sold out) – see CCC website for programme details – live stream tickets £9: https://www.chichesterchamberconcerts.com/trinity-10thseptember2020.

We are thrilled to be welcoming our audience back to hear wonderful musicians live in the Assembly Room, and to welcome the musicians themselves who have been deprived of their livelihood and the joy of sharing great music with their audience.

We look forward to the day when restrictions will be lifted and we can welcome everyone back to the Assembly Room.

 


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