Ask your average music-lover to name half-a-dozen Germanic or Italian or Russian composers and he or she will rattle off a list with ease. But Scandinavian composers? Hmm. Well, Sibelius, of course, and Grieg, then, let's see, Nielsen, er ......
On the cold northern fringe of Europe, Scandinavia tends not to be thought of as a fully paid-up part of the continent's culture, at least as far as classical music is concerned. Except for the justly well-known Sibelius and Grieg, concert planners don't often give prominence to Scandinavian composers or help audiences discover the richness and variety of their work.
The next concert presented by the Winchmore String Orchestra will be a modest attempt to redress the balance. Seven composers will be featured – two Finnish, two Norwegian, two Swedish and one Danish -- and the concert will put to the test Grieg's belief, as a Norwegian nationalist, that the music of the various nationalities in Scandinavia differs as much as they themselves do.
Finland's SIBELIUS, of course, will figure, with a short Romance, as will the man widely seen in Finland as his natural successor, Einojuhani RAUTAVAARA, with a Divertimento. Norway's GRIEG, with his folk-inspired Two Nordic Melodies, will be joined by his compatriot and contemporary, Johan SVENDSEN, who will be represented by Two Icelandic Melodies.
Attesting to Sweden's long tradition of classical music will be two composers separated by two centuries. One is the man regarded as "the father of Swedish music", 18th-century Johan ROMAN; we shall be playing a Sinfonia by him, written in the Baroque style. The other is the 20th-century Kurt ATTERBERG (one of whose works is nicknamed the "dollar symphony" because it won an international prize of $10,000); his Suite No 3 for violin, viola and strings will be our concerto, with soloists Lisa Ueda (who first appeared with the WSO four years ago) and Ian Byrne-Brito. Alas, the programme will not include Denmark's leading composer, Karl Nielsen, but there will be a work by his teacher at the Copenhagen Royal Conservatory, Niels GADE – three lyrical pieces called Novelettes.
So join Winchmore Strings for a display of "northern lights" at the Winchmore Hill Methodist Church, N13 on SATURDAY, 29 November 2014 at 7.30 pm
Tickets at the door will be £9, with concessions at £7.50, though if bought in advance the prices are £8 and £6.50; children under 12 are admitted free. Proceeds of the customary raffle held during the interval will be donated to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CECT).
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