Spring Masterworks Concert
Dedicated to Steve Dumpleton
Featuring Laurence Perkins, Bassoon
We are delighted to welcome back bassoonist Laurence Perkins as guest soloist for our next concert. Laurence studied at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester joining Manchester Camerata as their principal bassoonist in October 1974. He left in June 2017 to pursue more chamber music and solo playing, alongside his on-going work promoting the bassoon.
He will be playing Carl Maria von Weber’s Bassoon Concerto Opus 75. Only two bassoon concertos are regularly performed (the other is by Mozart) and that alone tells you that it is well worth coming to listen to. Weber, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic era, had a great talent for characterisation, and the bassoon in particular is capable of a wide range of characters and emotions. In this piece Weber captures them all. Opportunities to listen to outstanding bassoonists are few and far between so do come and enjoy this inspiring piece — you won’t be disappointed!
The other major work in our concert is a piece from one of the greats of the early classical era — Haydn and his 99th Symphony in E♭ major. It is the seventh of his twelve London symphonies and it was written in 1793 in Vienna in anticipation of his second trip to London. This piece is notable because it is the very first time that Haydn included clarinets in a symphony. So come and hear what this great classical composer made of this instrument in these four lovely movements — an Adagio/Vivace Assai; an Adagio; a Menuetto and Trio; and finishing with a very lively finale in sonata rondo form.
We start with William Boyce’s 4th symphony in F major. Boyce, an 18th Century English composer and contemporary of Handel, rose to become the master of the Kings Musick in 1757. His music remained largely unplayed until it was rediscovered in the 1930s and more recently part of his first symphony was played at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. This delightful piece, in the Baroque style, and which today we would call a Concerto Grosso, is in three movements (Allegro; Vivace, ma non troppo; and Allegro).
After the break, we continue with Fauré’s Pavane — a very well known tune, and one of his most popular works which enjoyed immense popularity from the outset. It’s a pleasure to both play and to listen to, as almost all sections of the orchestra get to play the haunting, lilting melody so you can decide for yourself who’s rendition you like best!
We close with Sibelius’ Valse Triste which we are dedicating to the memory of Steve Dumpleton who passed away recently. Steve was a stalwart of our orchestra for many, many years and who took on many organisational roles for the orchestra in addition to his being our first clarinettist. This piece was originally part of the incidental music Sibelius composed for his brother-in-law’s play “Kuolema” (Death), but is far better known as a separate concert piece. It was an instant hit with the public, took on a life of its own, and remains one of Sibelius’s signature pieces.
The programme for the evening is: –
Boyce — Symphony #4
Carl Maria von Weber – Bassoon Concerto
Fauré — Pavane
Joseph Haydn – Symphony 99 in Eb Major
Sibelius (arr McEwan) — Valse Triste