Archive for October, 2015

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St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

Season Listing | Program | Program Notes | Biography

Academy of St. Martin in the Fields

The celebrated London chamber orchestra!  Civic Music opens its season in magnificent fashion with the classic elegance of a premier chamber ensemble. The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is renowned for its wide-ranging studio work, sold-out concerts and expressive soundtracks for Hollywood films including “Amadeus” and “The English Patient.” With a 50-year history, more than 500 recordings and a dozen gold discs on the Billboard Classical Chart, the Academy is one of the best-selling classical groups in the world, famous for impeccable musicianship and a polished and refined sound.

Civic Music has booked The Academy of St. Martin of the Fields Chamber ENSEMBLE, which is 8 musicians.

Below is a video of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble playing Felix Mendelsssohn Octet for Strings in E-flat Major, Op. 20 Fourth Movement (Presto).

Oct. 2015 E-notes – St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
Sunday, Oct. 18, 2015 • 7:30 p.m.

Season Listing | Program | Program Notes | Biography

We eagerly anticipate the start of our 2015-2016 season in magnificent fashion with the classic elegance of a premier chamber ensemble. The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields is famed for its wide-ranging studio work, sold-out concerts, and soundtracks for such Hollywood films as “Amadeus” and “The English Patient.” The 50-year-old group has released more than 500 recordings, including a dozen gold discs. The Ensemble is made up the orchestra’s principal players who play in various configurations including winds. We’re in for an evening of impeccable musicianship and sheer delight!

BCCMA on WBAY

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

BCCMA co-president Tony Staley will turn the spotlight on our 2015-2016 season as an in-studio guest this Thursday, Oct. 15 for the Noon Show with Kevin Rompa on WBAY, channel 2. We invite you all to tune in and to tell your friends.

St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble – Program Notes

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Season Listing | Program | Program Notes | Biography

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756–1791)

Divertimento in D, K.136/125a (1772)

By the age of 16, when he wrote this D major Divertimento, Mozart had already spent over two years away from his home town of Salzburg. He had lived in London and Paris and travelled throughout Austria, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy. In addition to giving concerts at court in order to fill his family’s pockets with gold rings, snuffboxes and watches, he met many of the famous musicians of the time and had opportunities to study and hear their music. Musical styles and traditions were different in every country and Mozart’s early compositions are often case-studies in where his travels had most recently taken him. He wrote the three Divertimentos, K.136-8 in Salzburg, after the second of three extended trips to Italy. A final trip to Italy was already in the planning and the Italian influence on Mozart’s writing is strong. We can’t be certain whether he wrote the Divertimentos for a specific occasion and even the title ‘Divertimento’ was added by another hand, probably that of his father, Leopold. The three divertimentos are published in the complete Mozart Edition as a sort of appendage to the string quartets and their performance either by a one-on-a-part string quartet, as today, or by a larger string ensemble, work equally well. The three-movement structure follows the pattern of the Italian Sinfonia, while the writing also nods in the direction of the widely respected Joseph Haydn and Johann Christian Bach – whom Mozart had met in London and whom he regarded as both friend and mentor. The sparkling violin virtuosity of the opening movement is deftly drawn. The slow movement unfolds gently with the melodic interest more equitably shared between the violins. The finale has a playful spirit even in the central development when Mozart shows off his contrapuntal skill.

— Program notes © 2015 Keith Horner. Comments welcome: khnotes@sympatico.ca

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949), arr. Franz Hasenöhrl (1885-1970)

Till Eulenspiegel – einmal anders!, for violin, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and double bass (1894-5/1954)

Till Eulenspiegel is the eternal joker of German folklore, constantly at war with pompous authority. Sometimes he is the irrepressible underdog, sometimes the unfeeling practical joker. Till Eulenspiegel is Strauss’s fifth orchestral tone-poem, written at the age of 30. In it, Strauss’s Till sails too close to the wind. He’s punished on the scaffold, with a savagery reflective of late 19th century Wilhelminian Germany. The orchestral work’s first performance in Cologne in 1895 was a great success and it has remained the most popular of the composer’s tone-poems ever since. Strauss writes for a large orchestra that includes quadruple woodwinds, eight horns, five trumpets and much more. He casts his 20-minute piece into a closely-knit rondo, with a short introduction and an epilogue.

The humor of the version of Till Eulenspiegel to be played today is captured in the einmal anders! (‘with a difference’) of its title and in the subtitle Grotesque musicale lurking inside its cover. Franz Hasenöhrl (1885-1970) was the practical joker who scaled down Strauss’s huge orchestral tone poem to just five instruments, at half its original length. Little-known beyond this witty deconstruction of Till Eulenspiegel’s merry pranks, this Viennese composer came by his craft the honest way, with a thesis on the piano music of Czerny and a portfolio of symphonies, concertos, chamber music and songs. His score ingeniously preserves the humor of Strauss’s mediaeval prankster and was published in 1954. It was first performed by members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

— Program notes © 2015 Keith Horner. Comments welcome: khnotes@sympatico.ca

FRANZ SCHUBERT (1798-1828)

Octet in F, for for clarinet, bassoon, horn, two violins, viola, cello, and bass, Op. 166, D.803 (1824)

When Ignaz Schuppanzigh, the portly Viennese violinist whom Beethoven called ‘Falstaff,’ brought together eight musicians to give the première of Schubert’s Octet, he chose much the same group who gave the première of the Beethoven Septet almost a quarter century earlier. The clarinetist, however, was now Ferdinand, Count Troyer, who is reported to have commissioned the Octet from Schubert with the stipulation that it closely resemble Beethoven’s Septet – that composer’s most popular work during his lifetime. Both works are in the divertimento tradition, with six rather than four movements and an overriding feeling of well-being and relaxation. Schubert maintains a similar key relationship between movements to those in the Beethoven. Like Beethoven, he includes both scherzo and minuet (though reversed in order) and choses a theme and variations as the fourth movement. He follows Beethoven’s lead by including a slow introduction to both first and last movements. Schubert does, however, add a second violin to Beethoven’s single violin, completing the string quartet foundation to the ensemble of mixed strings and winds.

Schubert took the month of February 1824 to fulfill the commission, delivering a work designed to appeal to its listeners yet, despite its outward resemblance to the Beethoven Septet, still speaking with his own voice. Imitation here is, indeed, the sincerest form of flattery. (Schubert worshipped Beethoven and – like Schuppanzigh – was to be a pallbearer at his funeral in 1827). Both works open with an 18-measure Adagio introduction to the opening movement. Schubert builds anticipation for what is to follow and adds unity by incorporating a short dotted figure in both sections. Indeed, the dotted rhythm continues to bring a feeling of unity throughout each of the movements of the Octet. The luxuriant, seamless melody that opens the first slow movement is given to the clarinet. The modulations that ensue could only have come from Schubert’s pen. An exuberant scherzo follows, rustic and unbuttoned, maybe even a little prophetic of Bruckner. The melody of the variation movement that Schubert provides next is shared by both violin and clarinet and is drawn from a love duet from his comic opera Die Freunde von Salamanka (The Friends from Salamanca). Schubert here provides seven variations to Beethoven’s five. A graceful minuet then leads to the somber, mysterious introduction to the finale. This culminates in a vigorous march-like theme which is given a thorough working through. It’s a fitting conclusion to a piece that is conceived on a symphonic scale yet which maintains the cheerful grace of a true piece of chamber music played among friends.

— Program notes © 2015 Keith Horner. Comments welcome: khnotes@sympatico.ca

St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble – Biography

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Season Listing | Program | Program Notes | Biography

Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields was formed in 1958 from a group of leading London musicians. Working without a conductor, the Academy gave its first performance in its namesake church on November 13 1959. Their first three recordings led to a succession of long-term contracts and the Academy quickly took their place among the most recorded ensembles in history.  As the repertoire expanded from Baroque to Mozart, Bartok and Beethoven, so it became necessary for the principal violin, Neville Marriner, to conduct the larger orchestra. Today, the Academy’s partnership with Sir Neville Marriner remains the most recorded pairing of orchestra and conductor. This partnership was celebrated by Marriner at 90 – a series of concerts in 2014 in honour of his 90th birthday.

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble was created in 1967 to perform the larger chamber works—from quintets to octets—with players who customarily work together instead of the usual string quartet with additional guests. Drawn from the principal players of the orchestra, the Chamber Ensemble tours as a string octet, string sextet and in other configurations to include winds.  Its touring commitments are extensive, with regular visits to France, Germany and Spain and frequent tours to North and South America, Australia and New Zealand.

Contracts with Philips Classics, Hyperion, and Chandos have led to the release of over thirty CDs by the Chamber Ensemble.

Individual member bios

Tomo Keller (violin, guest leader) was born in Stuttgart, Germany and studied at the University of Music Vienna and the Juilliard School New York. After winning prizes at international competitions he made his debut at major European concert halls and festivals. Furthermore he appeared on Radio and TV in Europe and Asia. A CD with solo violin works followed. He has performed with the Radio Symphony Orchestra Berlin and the Vienna and London Symphony Orchestras and has appeared in most of Europe as well as in Asia and the US. He is currently Assistant Leader of the London Symphony Orchestra and Leader of the Swedish Radio Orchestra.

Harvey de Souza (violin) has been a member of the Academy since 1993 and has led the orchestra on tours with Sir Neville Marriner and soloists including Joshua Bell and Julia Fischer. As a member of the Chamber Ensemble he has performed extensively throughout South America, Europe and the USA.

Harvey has been a member of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, and a member of the Vellinger String Quartet, who were winners of the 1994 London International String Quartet Competition. He has been Principal Guest Director of the Lancashire Sinfonietta, and is co-artistic director of the Sangat Chamber Music Festival, now in its seventeenth year in Mumbai. Harvey plays on a Carlo Bergonzi, kindly lent to him by the Beare’s International Violin Society.

Martin Burgess (violin) began playing with the Academy in 1992, taking up the position of Principal 2nd violin in 1998. Having studied with Emmanuel Hurwitz and the Amadeus Quartet he brought with him the love of chamber Music. He leads the Grammy nominated Emperor Quartet (winners of the prestigious Evian International String Quartet Competition). The Quartet has released critically acclaimed CDs of music by Britten, Walton, Martinu and James MacMillan. They have also performed on several Film soundtracks, notably “There will be blood” and “Norwegian Wood” (both written by Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead).
Martin enjoys a wide variety of playing away from both these ensembles, most recently recording and then touring the world with Peter Gabriel.

Robert Smissen (viola) won a scholarship to Chethams School of Music at the age of 14, and went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music with David Takeno. While there he won prizes for chamber music and solo playing. After college he was appointed principal viola with the Northern Sinfonia, a post he held until 1986. He currently plays with the Academy, as well as other London chamber orchestras.

Stephen Orton (cello) was born in Ripon, Yorkshire, and studied with William Pleeth at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He has been principal cello with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and the City of London Sinfonia and was also a member of the Delmé Quartet for ten years. He has acted as guest principal cello with the London Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonia. Stephen has wide experience of chamber music and has often played the Schubert Quintet with the Chilingirian Quartet. In 1985 Stephen became principal cello with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and has played concertos with the orchestra. He is also a member of the Academy Chamber Ensemble, touring internationally and making numerous recordings. He has recently joined the Chilingirian Quartet in 2013.

Will Schofield (cello) was born in London to Australian and Italian parents. He read music at Edinburgh University and went on to study with Radu Aldulescu in Rome and at the Menuhin Academy in Gstaad, Switzerland. Will has been cellist with the Grammy nominated Emperor String Quartet since the group was formed in 1992. He started playing with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields the following year and membership of these two groups has been the primary focus of his playing career ever since. He has also played as a guest with the Allegri and Maggini Quartets and with the Schubert Ensemble of London. As a freelance cellist Will has played as guest principal cello with many of the UK’s top orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra, as well as orchestras in Ireland and Spain.

Lawrence O’Donnell (bassoon)

Lawrence O’Donnell started playing the bassoon aged 12 and played in the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. He studied with Graham Sheen, Meyrick Alexander and Dan Jemison at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and at the Royal College of Music with Julie Price and Andrea de Flaminneis, where he won the RCM Bassoon Prize. Lawrence is a keen chamber musician and has appeared at Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral, and the Barbican and has taken part in the Cheltenham Festival Academy, Paxos Music Festival and Perth Festival of the Arts.

Lynda Houghton (double bass)

Lynda Houghton is Principal Double Bass with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and has been playing with the orchestra for over 25 years. Having studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts in Canada, she rapidly established a reputation as a talented exponent of contemporary music. Invited to play with the London Symphony Orchestra – the first female bassist in that orchestra – Lynda enjoys playing with a number of chamber orchestras, including as Principal Bass in the City of London Sinfonia and Orchestra of St. John’s, and as a guest in many other ensembles including the Nash Ensemble and Fibbonacci.

Stephen Stirling (horn)

Stephen Stirling is a renowned soloist who has appeared at almost every major British venue and with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, BBC NOW, BBC SSO, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestra of St John’s. He has a world-wide reputation as a chamber musician, in constant demand at festivals in the UK and abroad, as well as being a founder member of Endymion, The Fibonacci Sequence, the Audley Trio, Arpège, and the New London Chamber Ensemble. Principal of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and the City of London Sinfonia, Guest Principal Horn with the Capella Andrea Barca, Orquestra de Cadaques and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and a Guest Principal of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Stephen is privileged to have worked with many of the world’s finest chamber orchestras.

Timothy Orpen (clarinet)

Timothy Orpen is the Principal Clarinet with two of the UK’s leading chamber orchestras, Royal Northern Sinfonia and Aurora Orchestra, and is also a member of the London Chamber Orchestra. He is a previous overall winner of the Royal Over-Seas League and has been described as a ‘blazing talent’ by The Times and as ‘one of the best young British musicians today’ by The Telegraph. As a chamber musician Timothy has performed with many of today’s leading string quartets and sopranos Elizabeth Watts, Lucy Crowe and Sally Matthews. Timothy, who spent his early years in Australia, studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London and at the Hochschule für Musik Karlsruhe, Germany with Wolfgang Meyer.

May, 2015. Please destroy all previously dated material.

St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble – Program

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Season Listing | Program | Program Notes | Biography

Sponsor: Brown County Civic Music
Concert Date: October 18, 2015
Artist:

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble

Tomo Keller, violin and leader
; Harvey De Souza, violin
; Robert Smissen, viola;
 Stephen Orton, cello; 
Lynda Houghton, double bass
; Timothy Orpen, clarinet
; Lawrence O’Donnell, bassoon; 
Stephen Stirling, horn

Program credits:

The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble appears by arrangement with David Rowe Artists, www.davidroweartists.com

Chandos, Philips, Hyperion recordings

Program

Divertimento in D, K.136/125a (1772)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart 1756-1791

Allegro
Andante
Presto

Till Eulenspiegel – einmal anders!, for violin, clarinet, horn, bassoon, and double bass (1894-5/1954)
Richard Strauss 1885-1970

–intermission–

Octet in F, for for clarinet, bassoon, horn, two violins, viola, cello, and bass, Op. 166, D.803 (1824)
Franz Schubert 1798-1828

Adagio – Allegro
Adagio
Allegro vivace
Andante con variazioni
Menuetto: Allegretto
Andante molto – Allegro

Opportunities to get involved

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

The Brown County Civic Music Association is a volunteer-driven organization that relies heavily on its leaders to orchestrate the numerous behind-the-scenes  efforts it takes to fulfill its mission of making excellent live classical music accessible to our community. BCCMA offers wonderful opportunities to get involved with some particularly influential roles on the horizon including President, Talent Selection Committee Chair, and Executive Secretary.

President

Last year exceptional volunteers, Tony and Jackie Staley, stepped up to the challenge of leading BCCMA as co-presidents for two seasons, and they did so with excellence and integrity. Their term will conclude with the 2015-16 season and BCCMA is looking for a passionate music-lovers and dedicated leaders to consider filling their shoes in September 2016. Responsibilities include conducting board meetings, appointing and advising committee chairs, introducing concerts, delegating tasks to volunteers, and being a community representative for BCCMA.

Talent Selection Committee Chair

BCCMA extends tremendous thanks to Roger Bintz for his decades of service filling the essential role of Talent Selection Committee Chair. It is thanks to Roger’s leadership and appreciation for high-quality musicians and diligent coordinating of contracts and schedules that our organization has been able to bring world-class concerts to Green Bay at a price our members can afford.

Executive Secretary

Sydney Goddard, who has done an outstanding job as BCCMA’s executive secretary since fall of 2012, will be completing her term June 1, 2016. This critical position earns a monthly stipend of $500 and is responsible for being the central contact for the organization, handling ticket sales, and supporting officers and committee chairs. BCCMA Officers seek to have a replacement secured by late April so Sydney could help in the transition. BCCMA owes a great debt of gratitude to Sydney for keeping things running smoothly and making our organization look good for three seasons.

Get Social!

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Follow us on Twitter

The Brown County Civic Music Association is thrilled to be on Twitter!

Follow us at @BCCivicMusic and encourage your friends to do so too!

 

Like us on Facebook

If you’re on Facebook we invite you to Like us on Facebook where you’ll find plenty of news about Brown County Civic Music and other music news of importance.

We’re at https://www.facebook.com/bccivicmusic.

Dine to Donate

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

dine-to-donate

Perkins Restaurants will donate 10% of all sales between 5 and 8 pm to Brown County Civic Music Association on the evenings of Wednesday, Oct. 21 and Nov. 18, at Perkins on the corner of Military and Shawano. All diners (not just BCCMA members) are included in the donation! Tell your family and friends and invite them to participate in this easy, delicious fundraiser.

Classics by Request

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on WPNE, 89.3, WPR Host Ruthanne Bessman plays listener’s classical requests on Classics by Request.

Listeners can submit their requests online at www.wpr.org/classics-request or call in toll free during the show at 800-442-7106. This is a great chance to get the word out about Brown County Civic Music Association and hear the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Ensemble. Be sure to mention that they will be performing in Green Bay at the Ralph Holter Auditorium, West High School, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 18.