Jump to main page text 

Concert Programme for the 2011-2012 season

[Hide programme details]
Sunday 13th November 2011 − 7.30pm[Picture: Heather Shipp] West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
BORODIN: Polovtsian Dances
PROKOFIEV: Alexander Nevsky − Soloist: Heather Shipp (Mezzo soprano)
STRAVINSKY: The Rite of Spring

When Stravinsky began composing Le sacre du printemps a century ago, little could he have imagined the impact it would have. The Rite of Spring embodies 20th-century music. It is gripping, exhilarating, theatrical and daring − and despite famously causing a riot at the premiere, it quickly established a place in the repertoire. From the high bassoon solo which heralds the cracking of the winter ice, to the breathtaking rhythmic complexity of the final Sacrificial Dance, Stravinsky depicts ancient rituals through an utterly original and enthralling sound-world.

In 1939, Walt Disney chose music from The Rite to include in his classic film Fantasia; at exactly the same time, Prokofiev was writing his greatest film score for Eisenstein’s masterpiece, Alexander Nevsky. Described by the great Russian maestro, Valery Gergiev, as “the best music ever composed for the cinema”, Prokofiev’s score has inspired countless others and the Cantata he drew from it remains one his most popular works.

Don’t miss this stunning programme which launches our season of Twentieth Century Classics.

Related links: Press release; Programme (PDF 488 kB); Audience comments; Review
Saturday 10th December 2011 − 7.30pm[Picture: Angharad Lyddon][Picture: Jennifer France] Emmanuel United Reformed Church, Cambridge
J S BACH: The Christmas Oratorio: Parts 1−3
Soloists: Jennifer France (Soprano), Angharad Lyddon (Alto), Christopher Lemmings (Tenor), John-Owen Miley-Read (Bass)

Bach’s telling of the Christmas story opens with a heaven-storming timpani stroke and a glorious burst of orchestral colour; in fact, the Christmas Oratorio contains some of the most jubilant music Bach ever composed. Originally intended to be performed over six days, the Christmas Oratorio was premiered in December 1734 in Leipzig, where Bach held the post of Cantor for more than a quarter of a century. Along with Handel’s Messiah, the Christmas Oratorio has a special place in the musical calendar and the Cambridge Philharmonic invites you to begin the Christmas season in the company of Bach’s moving, inspiring and uplifting masterwork.

Related links: Press release; Programme (PDF 1 MB)
Saturday 21st January 2012 − 2pm and 4pm[Picture: Chris Jarvis] West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Family Concert − “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt”
With special guest Chris Jarvis
MANCINI: The Pink Panther
SAINT-SAËNS: The Carnival of the Animals: The Tortoise and The Elephant
PROKOFIEV: Music from Peter and the Wolf
IAN STEPHENS: We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
SHERMAN & SHERMAN: Music from The Jungle Book

We are delighted to be joined again by CBeebies’ Chris Jarvis for this year’s animal-inspired concert.

Ian Stephens’ brilliant setting of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt has become an absolute hit since its premiere in 2009 and we’re thrilled to be introducing it to Cambridge audiences for the first time. Be prepared to travel with us through the swishy grass, the sticky mud and even through a samba band!

All our family concerts sell out, so make sure you book early for an afternoon of animal antics!

Related links: Programme (PDF 403 kB); Preview (Cambridge News)
Sunday 11th March 2012 − 7.30pm[Picture: David Timson][Picture: Edward Lee][Picture: Bonaventura Bottone][Picture: Daniel Norman] West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
Soloists: Daniel Norman (Candide), Prudence Sanders (Cunegonde), Beverley Klein (Old Lady), Geoffrey Dolton (Pangloss/Martin), Bonaventura Bottone (Governor/Vanderdendur/Ragotski), Jonathan McGovern (Maximilian/Captain), Elizabeth Powell (Paquette), Patrick Ardagh Walter (Doctor/Bear Keeper/Inquisitor III/Judge III/Tsar Ivan), Edward Lee (Cosmetic Merchant/Inquisitor II/Judge II/Charles Edward), Leandros Taliotis (Junkman/Inquisitor II/Judge II/Hermann Augustus/Croupier/Señor II), Adam Crockatt (Alchemist/Inquisitor I/Judge I/Sultan Achmet/Crook/Señor I), David Timson (Narrator/King Stanislaus)

Bernstein’s Candide, like West Side Story, has become one of the best-loved works of 20th-century American musical theatre. The high-energy, effervescent overture explodes into life and sets the mood for an evening of comedy, tragedy, love and high drama. Featuring an all-star cast, who between them have performed Candide at the National Theatre, La Scala, the Châtelet and ENO, and narrated by Cambridge Phil favourite David Timson (Henry V, Die Fledermaus), you are promised a show to remember.

Music by Leonard Bernstein. Lyrics by Richard Wilbur. Additional lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, John La Touce, Lillian Hellman, Dorothy Parker & Leonard Bernstein. Book adapted from Voltaire by Hugh Wheeler. Orchestrations by Leonard Bernstein and Hershy Kay with additional orchestrations by John Mauceri. Narration for concert version by Erik Haagensen. Performed with the permission of Boosey and Hawkes Music Publishers Limited

Related link: Programme (PDF 699 kB)
Saturday 14th April 2012 − 18:30 St Andrew’s Street Baptist Church
Performance with Bochum choir
and other works
Saturday 19th May 2012 − 7.30pm[Picture: Cordelia Williams] West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge
COPLAND: Fanfare for the Common Man
BRAHMS: Piano Concerto No. 1 − Soloist: Cordelia Williams
RACHMANINOV: Symphony No. 2

Since first appearing with the Cambridge Philharmonic in 2007 whilst still an undergraduate at Clare College, Cordelia Williams has forged an enviable international career. Now a Fellow at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, she has performed at the Wigmore Hall and the Barbican, in China and Italy and works extensively with the London Mozart Players. After her stunning performance of Mozart’s B-flat concerto last season, she returns for Brahms’ epic First Piano Concerto in a programme of high romanticism.

The programme begins with Copland’s iconic Fanfare for the Common Man, a work which has the rare distinction of having become part of popular culture the world over. Rachmaninov’s ever-popular Second Symphony is steeped in Russian passion, angst and emotional turmoil. With its achingly beautiful melodies and sumptuous orchestration, it wears its heart proudly on its sleeve and has proved to be one of the best-loved symphonies of the twentieth century.

Related link: Programme (PDF 807 kB)
Saturday 30th June 2012 − 8pm[Picture: Bonaventura Bottone] King’s College Chapel, Cambridge
PARRY: I Was Glad
PARRY: Blest Pair of Sirens
PUCCINI: I Crisantemi
ELGAR: In the South
PUCCINI: Messa di Gloria − Soloists: Bonaventura Bottone (Tenor), Dean Robinson (Bass)

The season ends in the unbeatable setting of King’s College Chapel with a celebration of Parry and Puccini. Parry’s profile received an international boost when his music was performed at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge last year and included in this programme are his two most celebrated anthems: Blest Pair of Sirens and I Was Glad.

Puccini’s Messa di Gloria was lost soon after its premiere in 1880 and only re-discovered in the 1940s. Recognised today as one of the composer’s greatest non-operatic works, it contains several themes which Puccini was later to include in operas such as Manon Lescaut and Edgar. The haunting I Crisantemi, for strings, was written by Puccini in a single night in response to the death of the Duke of Savoy.

In 1904, Elgar spent an extended holiday in Alassio on the Ligurian coast − an afternoon’s drive from Puccini’s home in Lucca − and In the South is a musical souvenir of his time in Italy. Sumptuous and romantic, heartfelt and exciting, it is a brilliant showpiece for the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra.

Related links: Programme (PDF 1 MB); Review (Local Secrets)