Chester Philharmonic at Chester Cathedral 

Showcasing Home Grown Talent

Saturday 23rd April 2022

Press Release

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Duncan Anderson, from Frodsham, joins us as soloist in the virtuosic Concerto for Viola by Bartok. Duncan studied viola and physics at the Royal College of Music and at Imperial College as a joint degree and followed this with postgraduate study on viola at Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After a period of freelancing with major orchestras in the UK he is now co-principal viola at English National Opera. Bartok’s Viola Concerto was specially commissioned as a challenging work by William Primrose who was soloist in the first performance with the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1949. It was the last work that Bartok wrote.

Malcolm Arnold’s English Dances Set 2 consists of four dances inspired by country folk tunes. They were premiered by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1951 and present a lighter classical style. Some of the themes will be recognised as signature tunes to BBC programmes in the past.

The concert concludes with the Elgar’s celebrated Enigma Variations which portray musical sketches of Elgar’s friends and wife. They include the variation Nimrod which is often played for solemn occasions and another variation depicting Dan the dog as he chases up and down the banks of the River Wye in Hereford and falls in!

The orchestra is delighted to welcome back local conductor, Daniel Parkinson, who is currently Associate Conductor of the Northern Ballet.

The Chester Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the North West’s premier non-professional orchestras. Further details of upcoming concerts, including a concerto appearance by Sheku Kaneh-Mason, can be found on the Orchestra’s web site:

www.chesterphilorchestra.co.uk

chesterphilharmonicorchestra@gmail.com

Chester Philharmonic at Chester Cathedral 

Saturday 5th March 2022

Press Release

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Please join us for our second concert of the 21-22 season, featuring a welcome return of cellist Findlay Spence to perform Dvořák’s much loved Cello Concerto in B minor. Findlay gave a dazzling performance of Shostakovich’s First Cello Concerto with us back in June 2019. We are thrilled that he joins forces with us once again, providing another fabulous opportunity to enjoy his virtuosity.

Mozart’s Magic Flute Overture (K620) opens the concert to give a thrilling and magical atmosphere from one of the greatest operas written. Although now widely acknowledged to be one of Mozart’s finest overtures, it was not a great success at its first performance with a critic deeming the content and language to be ‘too low’. It was crafted more in the style of a modern-day musical with spoken dialogue as opposed to the traditional recitatives that comprised the acknowledged operatic style of the day.

It is incredible to think that Dvořák was initially reluctant to write a cello concerto, as he felt that a solo cello could be easily overwhelmed by an orchestra! However, after much persuasion from his cellist friend Hanus Wihan, he completed the work and it received its first performance in London on 19th March 1895. Composed during his time in America, it is one of his last symphonic works and conjures up Bohemian folk melodies reminiscent of his childhood in Czechoslovakia. Brahms' grumble-cum-compliment is well known: "If I'd known it was possible to write a 'cello concerto like this I'd have written one long ago."

The second symphony of Sibelius was written following the success of Finlandia and at a time when Russia was challenging Finland’s independence and culture. It became a further focus of nationalism in Finland. The symphony calls for a large orchestra which is used to the full to colourfully portray Finnish character and countryside.

The orchestra is delighted to welcome Artistic Director and Principal Conductor David Chatwin with his extensive experience from his 44 years with the BBC philharmonic to direct what will be an exciting concert.

The Chester Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the North West’s premier non-professional orchestras. Further details of upcoming concerts, including a concerto appearance by Sheku Kaneh-Mason, can be found on the Orchestra’s web site:

www.chesterphilorchestra.co.uk

For other information please contact Andrew Ball by email on publicity@chesterphilorchestra.co.uk or 07398295239 or 01606 593260

November 2021

Chester Philharmonic Orchestra New Season – Plenty to Sing About!

 

Join us for our first concert of the season where we take a tour around Europe, featuring works by Mahler, Mendelssohn and Canteloube.

Following her critically acclaimed performance of Richard Strauss’ Four Last Songs in 2014, April Fredrick makes a much anticipated return to the orchestra with a double-billing as soprano soloist in Cantaloube’s Songs of the Auvergne and Mahler’s Symphony No. 4. 

The concert opens with Mendelssohn’s Concert Overture Die Schöne Melusine (The Fair Melusine). It is based on a German legend about a water nymph who marries a Count. However, a condition of the marriage is that he must never enter her room on a Saturday, when she takes on the form of a mermaid. Throughout the piece, the effervescence of the overture reflects the movement and fluidity of the river. 

Canteloube travelled extensively across France for the purpose of collecting folk songs. In Songs of the Auvergne, he distills the essence of this landscape and its people, not only in the songs themselves, but also in the orchestration. The evocative language featured in the songs is Occitan, an old French dialect.  

Symphony No.4 is one Mahler’s shorter symphonic works when compared to his other symphonies. It is classically proportioned, featuring a smaller orchestra than his usual symphonic scorings. The second movement depicts ‘Death takes the Fiddle’ with a solo violin tuned a tone above the rest of the orchestra and giving a good natured yet ghostly view of death throughout the movement. The final movement features a soprano solo which presents a child’s vision of heaven: the ’Heavenly Life’. 

Soloist April Fredrick has a passion for nuance and text which gets to the heart of both music and character. She discovered Mahler during her first year at the Royal Academy, where she gained a Masters and Doctorate. She states that she has never found another composer who moves her in quite the same way! 

Chester Philharmonic Orchestra is delighted to extend a warm welcome to Richard Howarth, our conductor for the evening. Richard is highly regarded for his ability to inspire orchestras and audiences alike with the depth of his experience both as a professional violinist and conductor. 

The Chester Philharmonic Orchestra is one of the North West’s premier non-professional orchestras. Further details of upcoming concerts, including a concerto appearance by Sheku Kaneh-Mason, can be found on the Orchestra’s web site:

www.chesterphilorchestra.co.uk

For other information please contact Andrew Ball by email on publicity@chesterphilorchestra.co.uk or 07398295239 or 01606 593260