Cambridge Philharmonic Shostakovich 5 Programme Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 20 minute interval Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

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  • Cambridge Philharmonic 2013-14 Season Programme

    Saturday 9th November 2013 BACH: Toccata in F Major BWV 540

    FAUR: Cantique de Jean Racine BACH: Chaconne BWV 1004 FAUR: Requiem Soloists: Steve Bingham (Violin), Alex Berry (Organ), Emily Vine (Soprano), Sam Queen (Baritone)

    Sunday 15th December 2013 BRITTEN: Peter Grimes Soloists: Daniel Norman (Peter Grimes), Elisabeth Meister (Ellen Orford), Mark Holland (Captain Balstrode), Yvonne Howard (Auntie), Kristy Swift (First Niece), Christina Haldane (Second Niece), Jeffrey Stewart (Bob Boles), John Molloy (Swallow), Jean Rigby (Mrs Sedley), Ted Schmitz (Rev. Horace Adams), Oliver Dunn (Ned Keene), Simon Wilding (Hobson)

    Saturday 11th January 2014 Family Concert ASH: Music from The Golden Ticket MINCHIN: Music from Matilda PATTERSON: Little Red Riding Hood Presenter: Chris Jarvis

    Saturday 15th March 2014 MAHLER: Symphony No. 3 Soloist: Sarah Castle (Mezzo Soprano)

    Saturday 3rd May 2014 HAYDN: Die Schpfung (The Creation) Soloists: Cline Forrest (Soprano), Nicholas Scott (Tenor), Bozidar Smiljanic (Bass baritone)

    Saturday 5th July 2014 Ely Cathedral BERLIOZ: Grande Messe des Morts

    Soloist: Bonaventura Bottone (Tenor) With the Cambridge and Norwich Philharmonic Choruses

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    Shostakovich 5

    Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2 Shostakovich Symphony No. 5 Conductor Timothy Redmond Violin Matthew Trusler Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra

    Sunday 20 October 2013 at 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge

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    Programme

    Britten Four Sea Interludes from Peter Grimes Prokofiev Violin Concerto No. 2

    20 minute interval

    Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

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    Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the opening concert of our 2013/14 season. We begin the year with three twentieth century masterworks, all written within a decade of each other. Brittens Four Sea Interludes offer the perfect introduction to his opera Peter Grimes which we are very excited to be performing in December. Prokofievs Second Violin Concerto, a soulful as well as virtuosic showpiece, is an ideal work for the exceptional violinist Matthew Trusler, who we are delighted to be welcoming back to the Cambridge Phil once more. And Shostakovichs Fifth Symphony, one of the best-loved works in the symphonic repertoire, takes us from sublime moments of delicate chamber music to shattering cries of full-voiced orchestral brilliance. We hope you enjoy tonights performance and look forward to welcoming you back to many concerts this season.

    Timothy Redmond

    Principal Conductor Cambridge Philharmonic

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    Four Sea Interludes Op.33a Benjamin Britten from Peter Grimes (1913-1976)

    Turn to the watery world! but who to thee (A wonder yet unviewd) shall paint the sea?

    Various and vast, sublime in all its forms, When lulld by zephyrs, or when roused by storms,

    Its colours changing, when from clouds and sun Shades after shades upon the surface run

    (George Crabbe, The Borough) The first performance of Brittens opera Peter Grimes at Sadlers Wells in June 1945 marked a rebirth of British opera. The composers attention had been drawn, while in America, by E.M. Forsters 1941 Listener article on Crabbe to the poets tale of the sociopathic fisherman in The Borough, a narrative poem describing Aldeburgh which reawakened Brittens homesickness for the Suffolk coast. Grimes in the opera is a far more complex and rather more sympathetic character than Crabbes sadistic thug. His fate is equally determined by two forces: exclusion from the small-minded, inward-looking community of the Borough, and the sea. It is the latter which provides his living as a fisherman and suggests his self-deluding fantasies of a bumper catch which would allow him to buy the communitys respect. Equally, it is its fickleness which drives him off course and causes the first apprentices death from sickness and thirst, while later battering away the cliffside which leads to the second boys fatal fall. Finally it claims his boat and his life. The opera gains considerable momentum and continuity from the linking of scenes by orchestral passages. This has the practical effect of covering scene changes but also provides evocative images of the dominating environment beyond the capability of stage representation, and psychological insight into Grimess turmoil. Britten extracted the four interludes which directly relate to the sea as an independent suite which he conducted at the Cheltenham Festival only a week after the operas premiere. It is a wholly effective concert work, more than worthy of comparison with such orchestral seascapes as Debussys La mer or Brittens teacher Frank Bridges The sea (also in four movements which depict rather similar facets of the seas character). It necessarily sacrifices, however, the significant penetration of the music of the interludes into the operas wider structure (to appreciate this you will need to attend the Phils performance of the whole work in December). For example, the lull in the storm episode consists of music just used to accompany Grimess words What harbour shelters peace? Away from tidal waves, away from storm, repeated at the end of the opera before his suicide. So there coexists a revelation of a characters inner yearning with an onomatopoeic depiction, perhaps of slackening rain or of waves receding through shingle.

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    The interludes comprise Dawn, the link between the prologue and the first act, atmospheric and expectant; Sunday morning, the introduction to Act 2, with the sun on the water and church bells represented in a way which recalls Brittens interest in the Balinese gamelan; Moonlight, the link to Act 3, an interval of ominous stasis, interrupted in the opera by a dance in the Moot Hall and in the suite by Storm, taken out of its chronological place between scenes in Act 1 to provide a turbulent finale.

    Stephen Hills Violin Concerto No. 2 Sergei Prokofiev In G minor, Op. 63 (1891-1953) Allegro moderato - Andante assai - Allegro ben marcato Born into an affluent and cultured household in pre-Revolutionary Russia, Prokofiev rose to fame as a precocious composer and performer and was admitted to the St Petersburg Conservatory at the age of 13 where he spent the next 10 years. When he finally graduated, he was determined to win the coveted Rubinstein Prize and instead of offering the usual classical piano concerto he performed his own 1st Piano Concerto, having worked out that my [piece] might impress the examiners by the novelty of the technique; they simply would not be able to judge whether I was playing it well or not!. Immediately after graduation, he left to tour Europe, coming into contact with Russian expatriates such as Stravinsky and Diaghilev, for whom he wrote several ballets. After 1918 he lived abroad, first in the USA and later mainly in Paris, where he renewed his association with Stravinsky and Diaghilev, and several key compositions from this period have a tortured, Expressionistic character. However, in the early 1930s he started to make more frequent trips back to the Soviet Union and in spring 1936 became a permanent residence in Moscow. Prokofiev spent the last 17 years of his life working under the increasingly political constraints of the Union of Soviet Composers and the recommended general guidelines for composers from the Party Central Committee. He died of a brain haemorrhage on the same day as Stalin; an irony that would not have escaped him. The Violin Concerto No.2, written during 1934-5, was a commission for the Franco-Belgian violinist Robert Soetens, who had premiered Ravels Tzigane (in the version for violin and p