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Concert Programme for the 2015-2016 season

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Saturday 10th October 2015 − 6pm (Rehearsal 2-5pm) Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Cambridge
MOZART: Requiem (Come and Sing)
Soloists: Holly Czolacz (Soprano), Beth Moxon (Mezzo-soprano), Will Blake (Tenor), Michael Mofidian (Bass)

The season begins with an invitation to join us – not just as audience members, but as members of the chorus! Mozart’s Requiem is one of the great masterpieces of all time and the chance to sing it with full orchestra, chorus and four exciting young soloists is not to be missed.

Mozart received the commission to compose what would prove to be his final work from a mysterious figure acting on behalf of an anonymous patron. As his health began to fail, the ever-superstitious Mozart feared that he was writing his own requiem and left the work incomplete at the time of his premature death in 1791, aged only 35.

“Mozart combines serenity, melancholy, and tragic intensity into one great lyric improvisation. Over it all hovers the greater spirit that is Mozart’s – the spirit of compassion, of universal love, even of suffering – a spirit that knows no age, that belongs to all ages.” Leonard Bernstein

Related links: Poster (PDF 96 kB); Programme (PDF 540 kB)
Sunday 25th October 2015 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
GRIEG: Piano Concerto − Soloist: Alexandra Dariescu
SIBELIUS: Symphony No. 2

Alexandra Dariescu comes to the Cambridge Philharmonic for Grieg’s Piano Concerto directly from New York. Named by BBC Music Magazine as a rising star, she featured in Forbes Magazine’s ‘30 under 30’, won the Prix Maurice Ravel in France and has received outstanding reviews around the world.

Framing the programme are two contrasting works by the Finnish master, Jean Sibelius. “En Saga is the expression of a state of mind… In no other work have I revealed myself so completely,” said Sibelius of his early tone poem.

“Alexandra Dariescu blew their minds… sheer quality.” Financial Times

“Music begins where the possibilities of language end.” Jean Sibelius

Related links: Poster (PDF 148 kB); Programme (PDF 427 kB); Review (Cambridge News)
Saturday 19th December 20156.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
JONATHAN DOVE: The Adventures of Pinocchio
Soloists: Victoria Simmonds (Pinocchio), Jonathan Summers (Geppetto), Rebecca Bottone (Cricket), Stephen Richardson (Fire-eater), Mary Plazas (Blue Fairy), Mark Wilde (Cat)

Jonathan Dove’s brilliant, captivating and profoundly moving music has delighted audiences throughout the world. Now, for the first time in Cambridge, the Philharmonic is proud to present one of the most successful operas of recent times, The Adventures of Pinocchio – an opera for all the family.

Dove’s retelling of the Pinocchio story is as exciting, witty and poignant as you would expect from one of today’s most prolific and popular composers. This perfect introduction for all ages to the world of opera is led by members of the original award-winning Opera North cast and promises to be yet another unforgettable Cambridge Philharmonic production.

“Not since Benjamin Britten has a British composer succeeded in writing operas which communicate with such clarity and coherence to their audience as those by Jonathan Dove.” The Gramophone

Related links: Press release; Poster (PDF 128 kB); Programme (PDF 1 MB); Review (Cambridge News)
Saturday 23rd January 2016 − 2pm and 4pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Family Concert − Roald Dahl 100
Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes

This year’s family concerts are part of the Roald Dahl 100 celebrations, so you can be sure of some amazing musical adventures at West Road: there will be music to excite, to surprise and to inspire. As the BFG once put it, “sometimes human beans is very overcome when they is hearing wonderous music. They is getting shivers down their spindels.”

We promise that, in the words of Willy Wonka, “Tremendous things are in store for you! Many wonderful surprises await you!” But like all the best surprises, you’ll have to wait and see what they are!

This concert will feature amazing life-size puppets from award-winning Dutch company Theater Gnaffel.

“Matilda said, ‘Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…’ ” Roald Dahl, Matilda

Related links: Poster (PDF 381 kB); Programme (PDF 507 kB)
Saturday 20th February 2016 − 3pm Royal Festival Hall, London SE1
Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs
(This concert is a repeat of our January family concert)

Award-winning Dutch puppeteering company Theater Gnaffel comes to London for the first time.

They present a double-bill adaptation of Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes, ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘The Three Little Pigs’, set to music by Paul Patterson and starring life-sized puppets. Prepare to be amazed and entertained as they take us into the woods for a hilarious musical adventure.

Theater Gnaffel has been drawing children and adults alike into its idiosyncratic world of imagination and wonder for over 25 years, performing in theatres and schools across Europe. The company’s puppets are completely equal partners with the actors and together they create a magical and captivating theatrical experience.

Composer Paul Patterson’s settings for ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘The Three Little Pigs’ have delighted audiences around the world with their witty orchestration and faultless musical storytelling. This performance sees his work combined with that of Theater Gnaffel, each amplifying the enchanting effects of the other.

Related links: Programme (PDF 354 kB); TimeOut preview
Saturday 5th March 2016 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
DAVID WILLCOCKS: Ceremony of Psalms: Psalm 98 (O Sing Unto the Lord a New Song), Psalm 130 (Out of the deep) and Psalm 65 (Thou, O God, Art Praised in Sion)
Soloists: Bethan Langford (Mezzo soprano), Josep-Ramon Olivé (Baritone)

Arvo Pärt and Maurice Duruflé were both profoundly inspired by the evocative sound of Gregorian plainchant. In the case of Duruflé, his whole life was infused with the music of the church: first as a chorister and then as one of France’s foremost organists. The Requiem, his most celebrated work, was written as a memorial to his father and, like Fauré’s Requiem, on which it is based, offers tranquillity, comfort and peace to the listener.

Estonian composer Arvo Pärt began his career as a modernist, but a radical reappraisal of his style came about when he discovered the austere beauty of early church music. Now one of the most successful of all living composers, he has inspired countless others from Keith Jarrett to Björk. From his extraordinary and mystical sound world emerges music that is at the same time ancient and modern, sacred and secular.

“The human voice is the most perfect instrument of all.” Arvo Pärt

Related links: Programme (PDF 526 kB); Review (Cambridge News)
Saturday 21st May 2016 − 7.30pm West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
LEOŠ JANÁČEK: Žárlivost (Jealousy)
BELÁ BARTÓK: Bluebeard’s Castle
Soloists: Christopher Cull (Spring, Baritone), Jade Moffat (Judith, Mezzo soprano), Milan Siljanov (Bluebeard, Bass baritone)

Based on the Perrault fairy tale Bluebeard, Bartók’s one-act opera is a sinister and gripping psychological thriller. Judith, newly married to Bluebeard, arrives at her husband’s castle for the first time. Finding seven locked doors she insists, against Bluebeard’s wishes, that they be opened to let light into the gloomy and forbidding interior. “Are you afraid?”, asks Bluebeard as one by one, six of his dark secrets are revealed. Judith insists that despite the rumours about him, her love for her husband outweighs the fear she feels. But then comes the seventh door…

Rachmaninov’s cantata Spring was written immediately after the Second Piano Concerto. Its lush romantic sound world underscores a tale of jealousy, a cuckolded husband’s wish for murderous revenge and the redemptive power of spring.

“A nation creates music – the composer only arranges it.” Belá Bartók

Related links: Poster (PDF 85 kB); Programme (PDF 1 MB); Review (Cambridge News)
Saturday 9th July 2016 − 7.30pm Ely Cathedral
WILLIAM WALTON: Coronation Te Deum
RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: The Lark Ascending − Soloist: Steve Bingham (violin)
Soloists: Eleanor Dennis (Soprano), Mark Stone (Baritone)

The season ends with the great choral masterpiece, A Sea Symphony. Setting poetry by Walt Whitman, Vaughan Williams paints a symphonic picture on a vast Turneresque canvas. His orchestration, inspired by lessons with Ravel, bursts with colour and invention and his writing for voices is rooted in the English choral tradition from which he was so proud to spring.

Vaughan Williams’ violin concerto in miniature, The Lark Ascending – regularly voted to be the nation’s favourite piece of music by Classic FM listeners – evokes tranquility, natural beauty and nostalgia for a world that no longer exists. The soloist is Steve Bingham, distinguished leader of the Cambridge Philharmonic and Artistic Director of the Ely Sinfonia.

“Parry once said to me: ‘Write choral music as befits an Englishman and a democrat.’ We pupils of Parry have, if we have been wise, inherited from him the great English choral tradition... He has passed on the torch to us and is our duty to keep it alight.” Vaughan Williams

“Steve Bingham – this extraordinary performer.” The Independent

Related links: Poster (PDF 626 kB); Programme (PDF 1 MB); Cambridge 105FM Podcast with Tim and Jan Moore, Review (Cambridge News)