Felixstowe Recorded Music Society

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


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

Felixstowe Recorded Music Society


The Felixstowe Recorded Music Society (FRMS) meets on selected Wednesdays at 7.30 p.m.in the United Reformed Church Hall Tomline Road, Felixstowe
(near junction with Orwell Road)

The next meeting is on 30th September “Old Themes – New Tunes”. Not as I had thought the use of classical music in popular music (along the lines Bob Meadows is doing on 18th November) but fresh versions of classics. Guests £2.50 including tea and biscuits.

Norman Sennington, the Chairman presented a programme on 16th September 2015

(An Evening with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)

Norman had kindly agreed to remain as chairman in the absence of any volunteers, and thus presented another Chairman’s Choice programme, (which he had not planned to do). We were rather thin on the ground, or a select few, as Norman preferred to say. Last time his choice had been an all Elgar programme; this time it was the turn of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

As usual with Norman he started with an overture: the RPO playing the overture from The Marriage of Figaro (D major – Presto). He followed that with Susanna’s aria from the same opera, Giunse alfin il momento (The Moment has Finally Arrived), sung by Barbara Bonney with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Then the lovely larghetto from the Clarinet Quintet in A, played by Karl Leister and the Berlin Soloists.

That was followed by the allegro from Eine Kleine Nachtmusik. This is often translated as a little night music, though apparently a better rendering would be little serenade. Yuri Bashmet conducted the Moscow Soloists.

The short but dramatic Dies Irae from the Requiem followed, sung by the Goldsmiths Choral Union, conducted by Owain Arwel Hughes. (The Goldsmiths Choral Union is actually an amateur group, although a leading one.)

Il Mio Tesoro from Don Giovanni came next. The Tenor, Ian Bostridge, writing in The Guardian in January 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth, had some interesting thoughts about this aria:

“But it’s Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni who is the most revealing example of my problem with Mozart. Critics and audiences alike complain of his passivity. He stands as the virtuous and ineffective opposition to Giovanni’s demonic life force, and is bound to suffer in comparison. But in fact, Act One makes sense for Ottavio in terms of storytelling and dramatic pace. His duet with Donna Anna after her father’s murder by Giovanni is powerful and affecting; the aria Dalla Sua Pace is a touching and economical moment of stasis, theatrically highly effective.

“It is the second-act aria, Il Mio Tesoro – a piece of exquisite time-wasting – that can do for Don Ottavio. This is an aria that explicitly admits it is holding up the action.

“Meanwhile, go and console my beloved,” Ottavio sings as he prepares to alert the authorities to Giovanni’s miscreancy. It sounds like a beautiful and irrelevant serenade, and it has had, rather revealingly, a healthy life as a concert aria without dramatic context.

“In fact, Mozart only ever intended Ottavio to have one aria. Il Mio Tesoro was written for the original Prague production, Dalla Sua Pace as part of the revision for a subsequent run in Vienna. This is often presented as a matter of horses for courses – different sorts of aria for different singers. But it was also, evidently, a case of second thoughts being better than first. Without Il Mio Tesoro, Ottavio disappears rather in Act Two, but that is in the nature of the plot, which focuses at that stage on Don Giovanni’s supernatural comeuppance.

“It’s no use worrying that Don Ottavio in his delayed vengeance isn’t fleshed out into an operatic Hamlet surrogate. Act One’s drama and tenderness and the extraordinary ensembles in both A cts should be enough for any tenor. The problem is that many contemporary productions, anxious to placate an underused singer or maximise the use of an expensive tenor, encourage the singer to do both arias. Being one of the tenors all too eager to be placated – if I’m offered a lovely aria to sing, who am I to refuse? – I can’t really complain. More beautiful music, less effective drama: it’s a commonplace operatic dilemma.”
Placido Domingo was the singer here, with the Munich Radio Orchestra, conducted by Eugene Kohn.

Nearly two years ago in November 2013, we celebrated our diamond anniversary. On that occasion we had attempted to recreate the first meeting of the society and Norman now played a work that had been played then and again two years ago – the Divertimento for Strings in D. It was played by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Cleobury.

The first half ended with Ave Verum Corpus (Behold the True Body) sung by the Arnold Schoenberg Choir accompanied by the Concentus Musicus Wien conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

In the second half Norman realised a wish that he has often expressed – to play complete works rather than extracts (and there’s a subject for discussion) and we heard one work, the Jupiter Symphony, No. 41 in G. This was played by The English Concert on original instruments directed by Trevor Pinnock.

Polemia 001: Russia & China this week

maxresdefaultThis is the start of an old series! Years ago, when the Internet was young I used to produce a regular column – having a little go at the weaknesses in our world. I thought it should come to life again – perhaps repeat some of the original gems, certainly get some of the rubbish off my chest.

It’s a bit like coughing, it provides relieve provided if it’s not overdone.

This first chat looks at such riveting subjects as the $dollar standard and China remembering the Sino/Japanese war of 1940s.

Not really polemics for the masses just of-the-cuff comments about this news this week.

BACS payments

I have just sold a house, bought an apartment and my lawyers took their money before sending me a statement, with the statement saying I had surplus money from these transactions, which would be paid by BACS – and that would take 48 hours.

How do they manage to complete such a sleight of hand?

July Taxcast

Naomi Fowler of TaxcastNaomi Fowler looks at Greece and the unity within Europe ‘a race to the bottom’.

A look at the crisis in Greece and ask whatever happened to European unity? Also: we discuss the European Parliament’s vote for multinational corporations to report their activities on a public, country by country basis: the push to give poorer nations a say in international tax rule-making fails after three days of three days of bullying in Addis Ababa BUT Tax Inspectors Without Borders gets the green light. Plus more scandal and unique analysis.

@Naomi_Fowler for the  @TaxJusticeNet and featuring John Christensen on the Tax Justice  Network, Professor of International Politics and Economics from the
University of East London, Vassilis Fouskas, @VassilisKFouska,
investigative journalist, economist, lawyer and Tax Justice Network
senior advisor James Henry @submergingmkt

Hemlock by Joyce Dore

Hemlock book coverThe daughters of Boudica, Queen of the Iceni, were raped, sparking off an uprising that led to the sacking of Camulodunum (now Colchester). The people of East Anglia rose up against the Roman dictators led by their brave Queen. Boudica was captured and taken before Seutonius, Britain’s Roman ruler. He decides her fate. This fictional tale provides a very plausible answer to a mystery that has never been resolved.

Joyce Dore, the author, says thia book came to her in a series of dreams. She’d been driving across the Fens in East Anglia when she came across a woman, dressed in rags. She believed she was Boadicea, Queen of the Iceni.

Available as a ‘real book’ and an ebook: http://astore.amazon.co.uk/braiswick-21

Listen to an excellent review from a group of ladies in Felixstowe.

Felixstowe Forward

Helen Greengrass Change Director

This is the first of many pieces we shall include about Felixstowe Forward.

Immediately the impact of the launch of this great new intiative: Felixstowe Foward was confused by a local Councillor saying that the cliff is too unstable to support any funincular. That’s very unlikely.

A very good first meeting, over 100 people attended, all full of ideas. It shows there is real energy in our town, and we need to get started.


Felixstowe Forward

Spa Pavilion

Spa Pavilion FelixstoweGenerations of local people have been entertained at this theatre. Hardly maintained for years now the Council appear to have washed their hands of the place.

Recently it has been announced that NRG THEATRES LTD, a company formed on the 25th February 2015 , who are based in 20-22 Wenlock Road, London N1 have taken over the Spa. No other details have been announced

When 20 Felixstowe residents applied to manage the Spa Pavilion in 2006 we were told we didn’t have any financial history as a group.

Our group was packed full with the professionals needed, theatre folk, people from TV and radio, bankers, lawyers, accountants, local amateur dramatists. We wanted to take over the theatre this time but were not even considered

How does NRG Theatres, based in Tottenham, London with no track record qualify?

We need to see the contract SCDC has signed. Already there’s a strong rumour that NRG has other intentions. The centre picture below shows three of our Councillors and two people from NRG Theatres Ltd. To the left is a picture of how the gardens once looked. Pictures 1 & 3 are courtesy of Ipswich Star

What do you think should happen? Do you want a theatre? Would you rather see it converted to apartments?