Our next meeting is on 21st October when a new presenter to us, Rosemary Baldwin, presents Memories through Music. We shall be meeting in the smaller hall to see how that works. United Reform Church Hall, corner of Orwell Road, meet at 7.30pm. Guests £2.50 whicih includes tea nd biscuits!
A rare event last week: Norman Sennington was booked again on 30th September 2015
OLD THEMES – NEW TUNES
When Norman agreed to remain as chairman, he had already been pencilled in to present a programme. So having presented his Chairman’s Choice at the previous meeting, this evening could have been what the American baseball player, Yogi Berra, who died the other day, called “Dej-vu all over again”.*
Only it wasn’t. A very different programme from his all-Mozart fest a fortnight earlier. Norman explained that his original conception of playing different artistes had been somewhat modified when he started working his way through his selected CDs. Nonetheless, he hoped we would enjoy his choices.
He began not with an overture as usual but a prelude: the Prelude to Act 1 of La Traviata by Verdi, which gives a wonderful foretaste of what’s to come in the opera.
He followed this with some passages from Act II, with Pavarotti the singer.
Another great Italian opera composer came next – Puccini and Tosca. The duet from Act 1 with Montserrat Caballe and Jose Carreras, “Ah Quegli Occhi. Mia gelosa.” We also heard the finale to Act 1 with the Te Deum.
Then a further offering from Puccini, La Boheme, and a duet from Act 1. This was followed by an extract from a third opera by Puccini – Madama Butterfly. The love duet from the first Act, “Bimba dagli occhi” with Jussi Bjorling and Victoria de Los Angeles. A truly classic recording.
Der Freischutz made Weber famous, impressed Beethoven, and inspired Richard Wagner (who later arranged for Weber’s remains to be disinterred from London and brought back to Dresden). We heard the lovely cavatina from Act 3 sung by the Finnish soprano, Karita Mattila.
And to end Part I an unusual offering, a Korean traditional song, arranged by Young-Ha Yoon and sung by the Korean Sumi Jo: Boribat, the Barley Field.
When I walk along a path through a barley field
A calling voice makes me stand still
Old memories bring me some loneliness
And I whistle
Lovely songs greet my ears in response
But no one is seen when I turn around,
Just the sunset glow and empty sky
Fill my sight.
The second half was all orchestral. Norman described his choices as self-indulgent but hoped they would also be enjoyed by us as much as he does. First was the Good Friday music from Wagner’s Parsifal. The passage that has been described as a duet for clarinet and oboe. Parsifal was described by Wagner as not an opera but “Ein Bühnenweihfestspiel” (!) (“A Festival Play for the Consecration of the Stage”). Originally performances were restricted to Bayreuth.
Max Bruch’s violin concerto No. 1 in G minor came next, the melodious adagio (the second movement). The soloist was Anne-Sophie Mutter.
Albinoni’s Adagio arranged for organ and strings followed played by I Solisti Veneti, conducted by Claudio Scimone (the founder of the orchestra).
Norman ended his selection with the finale from Schubert’s symphony No. 9, the Great C Major. Played by the Concerrtgebouworkest Amsterdan conducted by Leonard Bernstein, it provided a rousing finish to an entertaining evening.
*“Yogi” Berra was also responsible for “Baseball is 90% mental – the other half is physical” and about a restaurant “Nobody goes there any more – it’s too crowded”.
Our next meeting is on 21st October when a new presenter to us, Rosemary Baldwin, presents Memories through Music. We shall be meeting in the smaller hall to see how that works.
Supplied by Mike Fowle, FRMS Committee Member