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1 day ago

Haslemere Musical Society
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A huge thank you to Meta Powell for a beautiful and moving performance of Wagner's Wesendonck Lieder with Haslemere Symphony Orchestra at St Christopher's Church on Saturday night: a great privilege for the orchestra and audience to enjoy her artistry and beautiful singing, and congratulations to all the musicians for their sensitive and attentive accompaniment in this marvellous music, and especially to Victoria Small for a great cor anglais solo in the Tristan Act III Prelude than preceded the songs. ... See MoreSee Less

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5 days ago

Haslemere Musical Society

Our music director, James Ross, explores Beethoven's Egmont Overture, opening tomorrow night's concert at St Christopher's Church, Weyhill:Beethoven's Egmont Overture opens Saturday night's concert with Haslemere Symphony Orchestra, 7.30pm at the beautiful Arts and Crafts St Christopher's Church in Weyhill.

Count Lamoraal van Egmont (1522–68) was the leader of the Dutch resistance against Spanish Habsburg rule in the sixteenth century, whose execution in the Grand-Place in Brussels helped inspire the uprising that would lead to the independence of the Netherlands.

Egmont’s life and death was the subject of Goethe’s play of 1788 – re-interpreted in the context of Enlightenment values of political liberty. The emphasis is on Egmont’s refusal to abandon his ideals when faced with arrest and death, and the efforts of his mistress, Klärchen, to save his life. These themes were close to those of Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, and it is not surprise that the composer responded so eagerly to a commission to compose an overture and incidental music for a new production of Goethe’s play in Vienna in 1810.

From Beethoven’s incidental music, only the stirring overture is a performed regularly, although the remainder, which also uses a soprano soloist and narrator, also contains outstanding work. The overture is a study in concentrated dramatic intensity, from the massive first chord, the pathos of oppression in the opening bars’ lament, and the striving for freedom in the driving rhythms of the main triple-time allegro section, at whose end the capture and execution of Egmont is evoked. From silence, then a quiet sustained woodwind chord, there emerges entirely new music that soon builds to a massive, triumphant climax, as if to say that Egmont may be dead, but ultimately the spirit of liberty he embodies will be victorious.

Here is the great Wilhelm Furtwängler conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in 1953: www.youtube.com/watch?v=ONDQHSy7aEs
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Convivium Records
Discover this beautiful peace by Clive Osgood we've been recording with Rob Lewis & Excelsis last week! All aprt of a project we'll be completing with the London Mozart Players on Saturday 13th October at St John the Evangelist, Upper Norwood, with Adaq Khan and George Richford for release in 2019!
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