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Concert by Charnwood Orchestra – 25th May, 2015

On Monday 25th May, 2015, the Charnwood Orchestra will be giving a concert at St. Stephen’s Church. Please see below for details;


Glinka: “A life for the Tsar” Overture

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto with soloist Ruth Rogers (ex-leader of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra)


Brahms: Symphony No 4

Conductor: Nic Fallowfield

Leader: Jon Barwell

Tickets: £10 (£8.00 concessions)

Contact for tickets and information: Adrian Scott, or 07718153117 or by Paypal

The Charnwood Orchestra is based near Loughborough and performs several concerts a year across Leicestershire. With a rich variety of programmes and the regular participation of superb solo artists from all over the country the orchestra is popular among players and audiences alike.

The Orchestra has around sixty regular musicians, most of whom live in the Charnwood area. Since its founding it has been a focal point for local musical talent, and today attracts players of all ages who perform together with infectious enthusiasm and musicality.

The orchestra was founded in 1973 by Joseph O’Reilly, Director of Music at Rawlins College in Quorn (of Quorn Hunt fame). Since that time it has enjoyed the direction of several conductors, each of whom has brought something new to the orchestra in style and taste.

As well as performing regularly around Leicestershire, the orchestra has also made many successful tours to France, Scotland and Ireland as well as to different parts of England, all of which have been very well received.

Currently under the direction of Nic Fallowfield, the orchestra performs  a very wide range of exciting and imaginative programmes and continues to grow in reputation.

The programme:

Glinka: Overture  “A Life for the Tsar”

Glinka, a hugely influential Russian composer  had no formal musical training. However, his family had a strong interest in music and as a youngster he gained invaluable musical experience as a result of being allowed to play in and even conduct his father’s private orchestra – an opportunity not available to many budding composers! He was fascinated by the songs of workers on the family estate and established his unique style by using ‘western’ musical techniques to build a new Russian nationalist school of composition. The overture comes from his opera of the same name about Ivan Susanin, a seventeenth century peasant who misled a band of invading Polish troops far out into the wilds so that they all, including Susanin, died of cold and hunger, thereby allowing the Tsar to escape.

Tchaikovsky: Violin Concerto

In 1877, Tchaikovsky married one of his pupils. It was a disaster – hardly surprising considering his homosexual tendencies – and Tchaikovsky fled from his wife after just nine weeks. He came close to mental collapse and to help his recovery he spent some time travelling. He resided for a while in Switzerland where, early in 1878, he was visited by one of his pupils. They spent time playing various pieces together and this inspired Tchaikovsky to compose a violin concerto. He worked quickly and the concerto was scored in under a month. Tchaikovsky took the completed work to the virtuoso Leopold Auer, who pronounced it unplayable. The concerto finally received its premiere in Vienna on 4th December 1881 but it was not well received – there was uproar in the hall with demonstrations against the concerto. A distinguished critic wrote “…. the violin is no longer played : it is yanked about …….(it) brings to us for the first time, the horrid idea that there may be music that stinks in the ear.” Auer eventually relented and subsequently played the concerto with great success. He taught it to some of his best pupils which helped establish it in the repertoire as a favourite of both players and audiences alike.

Ruth Rogers

Our soloist needs no introduction to the people of Bournemouth. As a prize-winning violinist of international standing, Ruth was co-leader of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra  from 2008 to 2012. She has been guest leader for most of the great orchestras of the UK and worked under the baton of many of the world’s greatest conductors. She has performed as soloist and chamber musician at the Proms and other musical festivals including  Aldeborough and Bath.  In March 2015, Ruth was appointed Leader of the London Mozart Players.

Brahms’ Symphony No 4

I shall never write a symphony! You can’t have any idea what it’s like to hear such a giant marching behind you!” Brahms was 39 and a well-established composer when he wrote these words. He saw the symphony as the musical form in which a composer had to prove himself but was haunted by the shadow of Beethoven. He eventually produced his 1st Symphony but even when he started work on the 4th, he was reluctant to admit what he was really working on. Shortly before completing it he commented “perhaps it will not get much of an audience.” Friends and critics were, at first, not sure what to make of the symphony – some at first found it “very difficult” and one critic described the first movement as “like being beaten up by two tremendously intelligent people”. Brahms conducted the symphony’s first performance in 1885. Like its predecessors, it was an immediate success. He was worrying for nothing!

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