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17/09/2021

Campden and District music society with a Russian Connection

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The Campden and District Music Society launches its 47th season on Tuesday 9th October 2007 with a concert by the Fitzwilliam string quartet. Lucy Russell, Jonathan Sparey, Alan George and Andrew Skidmore founded the group in 1968 when they were Cambridge undergraduates and became well known through their close association with Dmitry Shostakovich, who entrusted them with the Western premieres of his last three quartets. With a busy concert programme across the world, many recordings and international awards, Campden Music Society is delighted to have them launch their concert series. They will be joined by another well known musician, the principal cellist of the London Symphony Orchestra, Moray Welsh, whom some will have seen at the Campden music festival in May. Moray studied cello under Rostropovich at the Moscow Conservatoire and has enjoyed a long music career of solo performances, recordings and teaching at the Royal Northern College of Music for 18 years.

The concert opens with a short work, “More Fools than Wise” by Jonathan Rathbone who was musical director and arranger for the Swingle Singers for twelve years. It is inspired by the words and music of the seventeenth century composer Orlando Gibbons’s madrigal “The Silver Swan”, which tells how a swan, having been silent all her life, reportedly sings most beautifully just before she dies. The title comes from the last line – “More geese than swans now live, more fools than wise.” – a line particularly important to Rathbone, as it expresses a dilemma in music today. Borodin’s 2nd string quartet in D, written between 1881 and his death in 1887 is one of the most beloved works in the entire quartet literature. Written on a summer holiday and dedicated to his wife, this tuneful work exudes contentment. Some of its glorious melodies were made even more popular over sixty years later as songs in the Broadway musical “Kismet”. The concert ends with the string quintet D.956 in C major of Schubert, written in 1828 with two cellos, just one of many astonishing compositions dating from the composer’s final months. Every moment in this, his last and greatest chamber work, completed only seven weeks before his death, is magnificent in its tragic beauty.

This not-to-be-missed concert takes place in Chipping Campden School Hall, Cider Mill Lane. Chipping Campden at 8pm on Tuesday 9th October. With an annual membership subscription of £40, members have free access to the season’s five concerts and may introduce a guest. Members also have opportunities to join group visits to ballet, operas and concerts at different venues and bookings for these have now opened. New members (£40 for five concerts, i.e. ONLY £8 PER CONCERT) are warmly welcomed. To ensure that you receive full details of membership, contact Campden Music Society, c/o Treasurer, Saxfeld, Hoo Lane, Chipping Campden, GL55 6AZ or phone 01386 841520.

The Society thanks its commercial sponsors: Cutts of Campden, Cotswold House Hotel, Martin Gotrel, Andrew Greenwood, Robert Welch, Mark Annett Estate Agents and Graphic Print Partnership.

(From the Chipping Campden Bulletin. included with kind permission of Jeremy Green)

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