Wednesday 17 November 2021, 7pm
Saturday 16 June 2018, 6.30pm
The Goldberg Variations
Written for harpsichord by Bach consisting of an aria and a set of 30 variations performed by international keyboard player Mahan Esfahani.
Sunday 17 June 2018, 3.30pm
Stars of the Future
Les Laurentines perform Les Trois Lecons des Ténèbres
Raynham Hall near Fakenham, Norfolk has been the seat of the Townshend family for over 400 years. Raynham Recitals is a programme of chamber music held in what used to be the great hall of this Jacobean house designed and built by Sir Roger Townshend with his Master Mason William Edge. Later paved in marble by William Kent and embellished in C18th style, the Marble Hall epitomises the dual spirit of Raynham Hall. Lofty, elegant and flooded with light, it also has a clear but gentle resonance which is perfect for the intimate chamber music presented at the Raynham Recitals.
Musical Advisor: Michael Chance CBE
Tickets £18 to £40 including a glass of champagne.
www.raynhamrecitals.co.uk or ring 01328 862133
Raynham Hall, Fakenham Norfolk NR21 7EP
Tel 01328 862133 email firstname.lastname@example.org
Today I have been invited to a recital at Raynham Hall. I have not been there before, nor really been aware of the Hall as a concert venue but it seems that the owners of the hall, Lord and Lady Townshend are keen to use their stately home to help raise money to repair some of their works of art which are in desperate need of restoration. In particular, they are trying to raise the fund of £48,000 to restore three invaluable 17th century paintings of the children of King Charles I.
They have spent the last 5 years restoring the fine art works and decor of the hall which has been in the Townshend family since 1620. Sir Roger Townshend started the building and then in the 1720s, the 2nd Viscount Townshend commissioned William Kent who later went on to design both Holkham and Houghton Halls which are nearby – and well-recognised as treasures of Norfolk.
Kent’s design work was ornate and included elaborate carvings and mosaics, decorated doorways and lanterns most of which are intact today.
Tonight’s concert will be held in the Marble Hall of Raynham which apparently has astonishing acoustics. It is part of a series of concerts to bring world-class musicians to perform in the house so that people can experience the atmosphere created by the works which the money will help to maintain.
I am looking forward to hearing acclaimed violinist Rachel Podger who is a leading musician in the Baroque and Classical style and Maggie Cole who is also internationally acclaimed for her virtuosity on piano, fortepiano and harpsichord.
I think this will be a rare opportunity to recreate the atmosphere of an 18th century drawing room, and will possibly signal the emergence of Raynham as a distinctive concert venue – I will report back!
Tickets are £50 with proceeds going to the restoration fund and I believe are still available – the phone number is 01328 862133 if you would like to check
Marion de Mello Catlin
editor Music in Norwich
Saturday 17th September 2017 – The C18 Sound
Regular ticket holders of Raynham Recitals will remember an electrifying evening last June with Rachel Podger & Maggie Cole performing JS Bach. For the September recital Rachel & Maggie have chosen the following programme for violin & fortepiano:
CPE Bach – Sonata in C minor
W A Mozart – Sonata for violin & piano KV454 (1784)
L van Beethoven – Sonata for violin & piano No.7 in C Minor, Op.30 No.2 (1801-02)
The Saturday recital is nearly always the mega-star concert and September 17th is no exception as Rachel Podger is, as many of you know, a violinist of world class who performed JS Bach here 18 months ago with Maggie Cole in their first recital together. Maggie, famed not least for her recording of the Goldberg Variations, is a regular at Raynham and we are thrilled to have her here again with Rachel.
Download pdf file here MiN autumn 2015 to email
Click on the link below the image to download a pdf version (approx 4 MB) of the Music in Norwich calendar with concerts from April to September (and a bit beyond). Please feel free to distribute it to your networks. Hard copies will be available from Tourist Information Centre, Prelude Records, St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich Cathedral and many other venues in Norwich and surrounding area
The Bach Players at the Octagon Chapel, Norwich
Thursday 10 July 2014 7.30pm
From Venice to Hamburg
Italian and German music in the ‘Stylus Phantasticus’
works by Schmelzer, Marini, Froberger and others
Unusual music for unusual instruments!
A summer concert of instrumental music presents a fascinating programme exploring seventeenth-century links between Italy and Germany, in the exuberant style known as Stylus Phantasticus.
Many of the composers are not well known, but it is wonderfully imaginative music and you know by now the Bach Players’ knack of putting together marvellous programmes of top quality lesser known works. Nothing dusty or straight-laced here!
It is also a chance to discover the exciting sounds of the cornetto, sackbut and dulcian. The concert has been entitled ‘seventeenth-century jazz’ because in the course of the tutti pieces each instrument also has a virtuosic solo demonstrating the skill of the player and the special sound of the instrument.
Do not miss this uplifting concert, warm sounds and catchy rhythms uniting to create a perfect summer entertainment, with drinks in the Octagon garden at the interval.
Thursday 10 July 2014 7.30 pm
The Octagon Chapel
Norwich NR3 1BN
also at St John’s Downshire Hill,
Saturday 12 July 2014
Tickets: £17.50 & £12.50
Students: £5 (on the door only)
online, from Ticket Source
or from Prelude Records
25B St Giles Street
Norwich NR2 1JN
phone 01603 628319
and on the door
100 voice choir to present Christmas music and visual splendour in Norwich Cathedral.
Norfolk’s internationally renowned Voice Project Choir will be joined by the solo voices of Human Music and percussionist Derek Scurll for two brilliantly atmospheric Christmas concerts with a difference in the beautiful Presbytery of Norwich Cathedral on Saturday 14 December at 7pm and 9pm.
The music, specially written by Jonathan Baker set to words by Norfolk poet Andrew McDonnell, will celebrate the season with themes of music, metaphysics, spirituality and the supernatural – haunting music that will evoke the ghosts of Christmas’ past present and future. Voice Project Choir concerts always provide visual as well as musical spectacle and this will be no exception. Tim Tracey, who so skilfully lit Ideas of Flight at this year’s Norfolk & Norwich Festival, will spectacularly illuminate the Cathedral with imaginative lighting and visuals
The 100-voice choir, is co-led by conductor Sian Croose and composer Jonathan Baker. It is completely open access and the singers have been has been rehearsing since early October for the concert. Past Voice Project compositions have gone on to be performed on BBC Radio 3 and at international jazz festivals in Coutances, France, Sage Gateshead and the London Jazz Festival.
There is a Feast of Chamber Music in Norwich this weekend when the Britten Centenary celebrations reach their climax. Cellist Natalie Clein will be leading a starry cast of musicians including Michael Chance and the Carducci Quartet in a special three part concert. The preceding evening at the Chapel, Park Lane Michael Chance & Paul Beier (lute) will be giving a recital of music which Britten himself loved including songs by John Dowland and Henry Purcell.
On Sunday 22nd the highly respected Elias Quartet given the fifth in their series of the complete Beethoven Quartet cycle – this concert incudes the famous A minor Quartet Op 132 – a weekend with plenty for everyuone! Hope to see you with us, Roger
Details below but other enquiries at 01603 621169 or email email@example.com.
Friday 22 November 7:30pm
The Chapel, 64 Park Lane, NR2 3EF
Michael Chance – counter-tenor
Paul Beier – lute
Tickets £10.00 (members) £12.00 (non-members) on the door
Oh Fair Cedaria
The Queen’s Epicedium (Incassum Lesbia rogas)
“Come sweet love”
Flow my teares
Come way, come sweet love
I saw my lady weepe
Lute Fancy Nr.6
Eyes look no more
Lady if you so spite me
In darkness let me dwell
Lute Fancy Nr.2: Forlorn hope
“A pilgrim’s solace”
Thou mighty God
When David’s life
When the poor cripple
Lute Fancy Nr.1
Music for a while
Saturday 23 November 6:30pm
(please note start time)
John Innes Centre, Norwich NR4 7UH
Box office Prelude 01603 628319 or on the door
BRITTEN BIRTHDAY CONCERT
Natalie Clein – cello
Julius Drake – piano
Michael Chance – counter-tenor
This concert will be in three parts, each of which will start with a movement from Blyth Postcards, a newly commissioned quartet by Gordon Crosse which is intended to be a complementary work to Britten’s ‘Divertimenti’.
• Part 1:
• Gordon Crosse: Blyth Postcards 1 – Blythburgh Church
• Purcell: (realised Britten): Chacony in G minor
• John Dowland: “Weep you no more, sad fountains”
• John Dowland: “Can she excuse my wrongs with virtue’s cloak”
• Bridge: Cello Sonata
• Part 2:
• Gordon Crosse: Blyth Postcards 2 – Blythburgh Estuary
• Schubert: Quartettsatz in C minor, D703
• John Dowland: “Come heavy sleep”
• John Dowland: “In darkness let me dwell”
• Britten: Cello Sonata in C major, Op.65
• Part 3:
• Gordon Crosse: Blyth Postcards 3 – Knucklebones Walberswick
• Britten: Three Divertimenti for String Quartet (1936)
• Henry Purcell: “Incassum Lesbia rogas” (The Queen’s Epicedium)
• Henry Purcell: “Music for a while”
• Britten: Third Cello Suite, Op.87
This concert is expected to finish at around 9.30pm
Sunday 24 November 2013, 5:30pm
(please note start time)
John Innes Centre, Norwich NR4 7UH
Box office Prelude 01603 628319 or on the door
- Quartet in F major, Op.18, No.1
- Quintet in C, Op.29
- Quartet in A minor, Op.132
Free pre-concert talk by Misha Donat at 4.15pm
Happy 100th Birthday to Britten, written by Michael Nutt for the EDP
Next month sees the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lowestoft-born composer, Benjamin Britten, and the climax to over a year of musical celebrations around the world. I have been privileged to coordinate the local celebrations, Familiar Fields (the name is taken from a line in Peter Grimes), which has seen almost 300 performances of Britten’s music across Suffolk and Norfolk since September 2012.
Britten was born on 22nd November 2013 – the patron saint of music, St Cecilia’s Day. He was still alive when I was a young horn-player in the Norfolk Youth Orchestra and I was still a music student when he died aged only 63 in 1976. But he loomed large in the musical world I was eagerly discovering as a young musician, all the more so because of his deep-seated roots in nearbyAldeburgh.
And he seems such a strangely familiar figure to me still, the abundant photos from his extensive archive somehow chiming with my own black and white memories of the 60s and early 70s. A major figure of British music celebrated around the world, both as composer and performer, a beacon of the East Anglian cultural community, creator of Snape Maltings Concert Hall and the Aldeburgh Festival.
Yet he has always been regarded as a rather controversial character. He lived with his life-long partner, the tenor Peter Pears (for whom he wrote so much of his music) at a time when homosexuality was positively suppressed, and, a firm pacifist, he was famously a conscientious objector during the Second Word War. His precocious talent and artistic success also provoked jealousy and resentment among contemporaries and many erstwhile acquaintances found themselves excluded from his select circle of intimate friends.
Remnants of this resentment and animosity perversely somehow persist in some quarters today and yet his legacy – so wonderfully showcased by the centenary celebrations over the past year or so – stands any scrutiny. If anyone chooses to question his convictions for example, then look no further than the War Requiem, his remarkable protest against the futility and tragedy of human conflict.
Written for the consecration of the new Coventry Cathedral (built in 1963 alongside the shell of the original cathedral destroyed in the Blitz), its setting of the war poetry of Wilfred Owen struck such a chord at its premiere that a staggering 200,000 copies of the first recording were sold in a year. Its emotional impact remains as powerful today.
The role of great art, it seems to me, is to awe and to move us, but it must also challenge and discomfit us, make us think and ask questions. Britten’s music does all this. Yes, some of his music may seem challenging to the casual listener, perhaps a little strident or difficult on the ear even. But if there is a reason for that at times, there is also so much more that is really approachable. Britten’s music can be lyrical and sensuous, uplifting and life-affirming – try my Top 10 below and see for yourself.
Britten didn’t enjoy the esoteric circles of cultural life in London; he preferred the tranquillity and home-comforts of his beloved Aldeburgh. And as a composer he didn’t live in an ivory tower. He wanted his music to be ‘useful’ – “I would rather my music used than write masterpieces that are not used”, he said. His vast output for young people and for amateur musicians – people of East Anglia whose community he shared – reflects that wish. (Reminiscences of people who took part in some of those early performances and thoughts of others recently coming to his music for the first time are captured in a new audio-visual exhibition showing at the Forum in Norwich from 18th November to 7th
As much as in his great works for the opera stage or the concert hall, his true legacy lies in the children’s songs ‘Friday Afternoons’ or his children’s opera Noye’s Fludde, both of which are delighting schoolchildren and their audiences in performances next month. Britten was a great man as well as a great composer. I urge you to seize the opportunity to enjoy the final few weeks of his remarkable centenary year and listen to his music with open ears.
A Top 10 of Britten’s Music
1. Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra – Perhaps the most popular of Britten’s works, his introduction to the instruments of the orchestra is a set of variations on a theme by Henry Purcell, a composer he much admired. It features in a special Family Concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at Snape Maltings on 23 November.
2. Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings – try the Nocturne, a setting of words by Tennyson, including the line ‘Blow bugle blow, Set the wild echoes flying’ which features on the Royal Mint’s new commemorative 50p coin marking the centenary. Hear it played by Britten Sinfonia with tenor Mark Padmore and horn player Stephen Bell at the Theatre Royal Norwich on 17 November.
3. Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes – Depicting the changing moods of the sea around Aldeburgh, these orchestral interludes reflect the ever-present force in the story of Peter Grimes and his fishing community. ‘Sunday Morning’ is a good place to start. Hear all four played live by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a special centenary tribute concert at the Marina Theatre, Lowestoft on 29 November
4. War Requiem – Britten’s intensely moving anti-war masterpiece. The Dies Irae or ‘Day of Wrath’ will knock your head off! You can hear it live at St Andrews Hall Norwich on 9 November when Norwich Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus are joined by three soloists, two conductors plus the Academy of St Thomas, UEA Choir and Norwich Cathedral choristers.
5. A Hymn to the Virgin – One of his best-loved pieces for unaccompanied choir, written when Britten was still at Gresham’s and supposed to be resting while ill. It is performed in a St Cecilia’s Day Concert at Gresham’s School Chapel, Holt on Britten’s 100th
6. Friday Afternoons – Written for his schoolmaster brother’s school, this delightful set of 12 songs have been the focus of a major national educational project this year and they will be performed by school children on the anniversary date, Friday 22nd and locally at St Andrews Hall, Norwich and Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh.
7. Three Divertimenti – Britten wrote a huge amount of chamber music for all kinds of different combinations of instruments. This piece for string quartet is a light-hearted early work which the Carducci Quartet play live at the John Innes Centre on 23 November.
8. Noye’s Fludde – Although there are parts for professional musicians and adult voices, this Chester Miracle Play is performed almost entirely by children to enchanting effect. Judge for yourself with performances by local school children conducted by Britten scholar Paul Kildea in St Margaret’s Church, Lowestoft, on 21, 22 and 23 November.
9. Violin Concerto – Given a superb performance by Lorraine McAslan with Academy of St Thomas in Norwich earlier this year, this work combines sparkling virtuosity with an elegiac sorrow that reflects Britten’s despair at the onset of war in Europe.
10. Funeral Blues – This is one of four Cabaret Songs which Britten wrote for the soprano Hedli Anderson, a setting of W. H Auden’s poem ‘Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone’, famously used in the film ‘Four Weddings and A Funeral’.
For extensive clips of Britten’s music go to http://www.britten100.org/new-to-britten/the-music
Other performance highlights in Norfolk*
Friday 15 November – a lecture by the composer’s nephew John Britten and a concert of Britten’s school compositions, ‘A Joy to Us All’, at Big School, Gresham’s School, Holt
Mon 18 Nov-Fri 14 Dec – ‘Britten at the Forum’ – a major new audio visual presentation of people’s memories and experiences of Britten with a programme of supporting events, The Forum, Norwich.
Tues 19 November – ‘Into your satisfaction’ A presentation of Britten’s diaries and letters at the Auden Theatre, Gresham’s School, Holt
Wed 20 November – BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong from Norwich Cathedral featuring Britten’s choral music
Saturday 23 November – Hymn to St Peter (written for St Peter Mancroft Church in Norwich) in a concert by North Norfolk Chorale at the Auden Theatre, Gresham’s School, Holt
Saturday 23 November – Mont Juic Suite – Wymondham Symphony Orchestra at Wymondham Abbey
(* There is also a major centenary weekend of events in and around Aldeburgh as well as performances at St Edmundsbury Cathedral and elsewhere in Suffolk – go to http://www.familiarfields.org for details)
The new Music in Norwich booklet is ready with a pdf to download from here and free hard copies later this week from usual outlets. Download a pdf here MiN autumn 13 to email
First concerts are:
September 6/7th Norwich School : Salomé : The Garage Chapelfield North, Norwich
7th NN Chamber : Roderick Williams : John Innes Centre 7.30pm
7th Norwich Baroque : Emma Kirkby & Michael Chance 7.30
15th Norwich Pops Orchestra : 10th Anniversary : The Halls, Norwich 3pm