Concerts Galore! November has been such Fun!

Concerts Galore! November has been such Fun! December promises to be just as good. 

Royal Northern Sinfonia, Maltings Berwick, 2nd Nov

The programme opened with the RNS wind section playing Amy Beach ‘Pastorale’, Grazyna Bacewicz ‘Wind Quintet’ and Leos Janacek ‘Mladi’. Loved the programme choices!

Then they handed over to the string players for ‘Mendelssohns String Octet in E Minor’. Maria Wloszczowska was mesmerising. The players stood (cellists seated).….which I love to see. They were on the main stage in the Maltings……why aren’t they always? The acoustics aren’t great in there, but for once it didn’t matter. Nothing could detract from this exceptionally engaging performance. These guys know exactly what they are doing; this could not have been bettered.

Memorial Bells, Bamburgh 4th-18th Nov

John Casken introducing the event

An amazingly thought-provoking installation. The idea of Helen Mason’s, her offering of remembrance. Helen delivered such harmonious creativity around our art form. She combined ‘Caporetto’, a sculptured artwork of bells, with ‘Memorial’ by English composer John Casken. The private opening, hosted by Helen and John, was emotive and weighed heavily on us all. The candle lit nave of St. Aidans Church displayed the 9 huge broken/fractured bells by artist Keith Roberts, marking the battle of Caporetto in Italy 1917. The tongueless bells, without voice, evoked a sense of loss, shame even, and a need to make sense of the brutality of war and a desire to mend/awaken. John Caskens ‘Memorial’ is about 12 men/soldiers from Upper Coquetdale, lost during WWI, who lie with no graves. As the choral work resounded throughout the church out thoughts could only be with those who gave their lives for us. This was an evening I know I shall reflect on, time and time again, and always on each future Nov 11th. Thank you Helen.

York Minster The Eucharist 19th Nov

A visit to York was rewarded with the choir at York Minster singing ‘Gloria in Excelsis’.

A friend and I were visiting York for the weekend and couldn’t resist a service at the Minster. We were there to sing and to hear the choir, who did not disappoint. They treated us with ‘Gloria in Excelsis’. Our hearts were lifted and gave us the strength to carry on with our Christmas shopping!

New Tyneside Orchestra Autumn Concert 25th Nov

A little warm up with Arvo Part’s ‘Cantus In Memoriam Benjamin Britten’, and then Iona Brown steps onto the floor to perform the Sibelius ‘Violin Concerto in D Minor’. I drove 1.5hrs each way, I paid £12 for my ticket, and what small price to pay as I sat just 8ft from this extraordinary player. The quality of Ionas playing combined with the responsiveness of the violin transported me to a place where only good things happen. The sense of control, the ease that Iona displayed, her awareness. The adagio, the icing on the cake, oh so good. I was blown away, really blown away.

Iona Brown performed with the New Tyneside Orchestra

After a short interval the orchestra displayed its full weight with the Bruckner Symphony no.7. Helen Harrisons command evident, present, asking, encouraging, creating the shapes we need to hear in this huge work. Super conductor. Fingers crossed she can maybe stay on?

Bravo!..…well done to you all!!

Concert Season is Upon Us

Royal Northern Sinfonia at Berwick Parish Church

‘Christmas by Candlelight’ Tues 5th Dec

Check out the Maltings Link for tickets

‘The Berwick Baroque Players’ at Berwick Baptist Church

Recently formed ‘The Berwick Baroque Players’ including Rachel Sutherland, violinist, and Hetty Chapman, cellist, are joining the ‘Golden Square Singers’ (incidentally set up by me many years ago for my friend Catriona!) for a Christmas Concert, 7.30pm Wed 13th December, Berwick Baptist Church, Golden Square, Berwick upon Tweed. FREE Entry, donations appreciated. Come along and support the players and singers.

Christmas Stocking Filler

Set of Strings, a cake of rosin, or a mute! Stocking fillers are here in abundance!! So, give me a ring and we can have a chat about what would suit the player in your family, and I’ll pop items in the post for you. A small musical gesture can be the gift that is completely unexpected……..and the gift that just keeps giving!!

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