Please note: This concert is in the past and has already taken place.

Then Only the Empty Spaces

Part of the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra 2014-2015 Season

Add to my Calendar 31-10-2015 19:30 31-10-2015 21:30 36 Then Only the Empty Spaces This concert by the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra features works associated with the First World War, in one respect or another. The works of George Butterworth, who was killed on the Somme in 1916, occupies a position in music equivalent to that inhabited by Wilfred Owen in poetry. His orchestral rhapsody A Shropshire Lad, which opens the programme, acts as a postlude to Butterworth’s settings of A E Housman’s poetry cycle of the same name, and uses themes found in those songs. The Banks of Green Willow has become, for Butterworth, his "anthem of remembrance", for want of a better term.  In saying this, the work not only seems to paint an image of Butterworth himself, in music, but has also gained a position as a piece which somehow encapsulates so much of what the First World War meant for many.  It achieves this through a number of musical devices from the loan simplicity of the opening clarinet, via the agitated and impassioned central section to the reflective nature of the close. Love Blows as the Wind Blows is a short and beautiful song cycle, setting words by W E Henley for which the orchestra is joined by the excellent, Shropshire-based tenor, John Bowen. The remaining work in the first half of the concert is by Michael Turner, a resident of South Shropshire and Music Director of the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra. Then Only the Empty Spaces aims to depict in broad terms the dark days before the declaration of war, the early triumphalist attitude to the war, followed by the realisation of the horrors that beset those on the front line, and receives its London premiere at this concert. The orchestra is again joined by John Bowen for this work. The second half is given over to A Pastoral Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Vaughan Williams had served as an ambulance driver in France and this work, written in 1923, serves as a reminiscence in music of what he witnessed. The second movement includes a passage where the orchestral trumpet imitates the practicing of a bugler, that the composer encountered in France, whose attempts always included a wrong note. For the two vocalises for solo voice that appear at the end of the work, the orchestra will be joined by John Bowen once again. St James's Church, London DD/MM/YYYY

Details

St James's Church
Sussex Gardens
Paddington

London
W2 3UD
England


Programme

George ButterworthA Shropshire Lad (Rhapsody for Full Orchestra)
George ButterworthThe Banks of Green Willow
George ButterworthLove Blows As The Wind Blows
Michael TurnerThen Only The Empty Spaces
~ Interval ~
Ralph Vaughan WilliamsPastoral Symphony (Symphony no.3)

Performers

John Bowen – tenor
Michael Turner – conductor

Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra

Programme Note

This concert by the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra features works associated with the First World War, in one respect or another. The works of George Butterworth, who was killed on the Somme in 1916, occupies a position in music equivalent to that inhabited by Wilfred Owen in poetry. His orchestral rhapsody A Shropshire Lad, which opens the programme, acts as a postlude to Butterworth’s settings of A E Housman’s poetry cycle of the same name, and uses themes found in those songs.

The Banks of Green Willow has become, for Butterworth, his "anthem of remembrance", for want of a better term.  In saying this, the work not only seems to paint an image of Butterworth himself, in music, but has also gained a position as a piece which somehow encapsulates so much of what the First World War meant for many.  It achieves this through a number of musical devices from the loan simplicity of the opening clarinet, via the agitated and impassioned central section to the reflective nature of the close.

Love Blows as the Wind Blows is a short and beautiful song cycle, setting words by W E Henley for which the orchestra is joined by the excellent, Shropshire-based tenor, John Bowen.

The remaining work in the first half of the concert is by Michael Turner, a resident of South Shropshire and Music Director of the Bloomsbury Chamber Orchestra. Then Only the Empty Spaces aims to depict in broad terms the dark days before the declaration of war, the early triumphalist attitude to the war, followed by the realisation of the horrors that beset those on the front line, and receives its London premiere at this concert. The orchestra is again joined by John Bowen for this work.

The second half is given over to A Pastoral Symphony by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Vaughan Williams had served as an ambulance driver in France and this work, written in 1923, serves as a reminiscence in music of what he witnessed. The second movement includes a passage where the orchestral trumpet imitates the practicing of a bugler, that the composer encountered in France, whose attempts always included a wrong note. For the two vocalises for solo voice that appear at the end of the work, the orchestra will be joined by John Bowen once again.

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