New Bristol Sinfonia - Archive
Tonight’s concert starts with Britten’s Four Sea Interludes from his opera, Peter Grimes. Britten wrote Peter Grimes in the aftermath of World War 2, an event which had brought out his strong views as a conscientious objector. As a result he spent the early years of the war in New York but returned to his native Suffolk in 1942 and settled in a house on the coast at Aldburgh. The North Sea, and Suffolk landscapes pervade the music he wrote during this time, and the story of Peter Grimes, “the individual against the crowd” reflected his own experiences amongst his countrymen during the war. The Four Sea Interludes were extracted from the opera as a stand-alone concert piece and bring the setting of the sea into strong focus. “Dawn” evokes a desolate, freezing seascape; “Sunday Morning” reflects the church and its bells. “Moonlight” rises in small surges like the waves of the sea with silver flashes across its swell. The final movement “Storm” starts with thunderous timpani and raging brass, which give way to falling rain. The sun appears and Sun and Storm compete, with Storm being the eventual winner.
Our second piece is Sammartini’s Concerto in F Major for recorder, and introduces the talents of Jacob Warn - winner of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year Competition 2010. Sammartini was a younger contemporary of J S Bach, and was one of the most significant composers of concertos and sonatas during his time. He was principally an oboist, although it’s likely that he also played the flute and recorder. This work is one of his most famous compositions.
Our final work tonight is Shostakovich Symphony No. 5. The piece was written in 1937 at a time when Shostakovich was suffering creatively and personally under the rule of Stalin. He had fallen from favour after his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District, and he was under pressure to simplify his music, and comply with the heroic classicism that the socialists demanded. Many of his friends and family had “disappeared” and for many months, Shostakovich feared that he would suffer the same fate. So he had little choice but to comply to these restrictions on his creativity, and create a work that would mark his political rehabilitation. On its premiere, the work received an ovation half an hour long, and was acclaimed by both the public and the political giants of the day although the two undoubtedly saw different things to praise in the same work. The public saw the work as a Requiem, cherished as an expression of the immeasurable grief they endured during Stalin’s regime. For the political heavyweights, the work satisfied their demands for monumentality and classicism, but the Symphony has long provoked the question “is it a Stalinist victory hymn, or a parody of one?”
Date: Saturday 5 February, 2011
Venue: Victoria Rooms, Clifton, Bristol. Click here for a map
- Britten - Four Sea Interludes from 'Peter Grimes'
- Sammartini - Recorder Concerto in F major
- Shostakovich - Symphony No 5
Conductor: John Traill
Recorder: Jacob Warn, winner of the 2010 Rotary Club of Bristol Young Musicians' Competition
Leader: Mark Bunker
We recommend booking in advance with our Box Office: 07796 573869.
Cheques are accepted and there is no booking fee.
Pre-booked tickets will be posted to you or can be picked up at the door.
Most seats for this concert are numbered and can be reserved in advance. Click here to see a seating plan of the Victoria Rooms. The Box Office can advise on which seats are available and which have the best view.
The ticket prices are:
- £15 (£13 concessions) balcony
- £11 adults (£9 concessions) stalls
- £5 students
- £2 children/school parties
John will be presenting a pre-concert talk at 6.45pm. This is open to all and entry is free.
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