Churchill Music

Promoting musical excellence in Somerset since 2007

Music for Lockdown 3

On this absolutely beautiful day and following on from last week’s quotation from Jane Swan featuring how music evokes our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations, this week’s quotation comes from the American composer, Michael Torke,  Why waste money on psychotherapy when you can listen to the B Minor Mass?   So true.  
It is Easter, so instead of the B Minor Mass, what could be more fabulous and certainly an antidote to the need for psychotherapy, than Bach’s Easter Oratorio (for the less techno, simply click on the blue links) conducted by Sir John Elliot Gardiner at the Proms in 2013.  Suzie Klein talks to Sir John about dancing to the music.  Sir John thinks that this is a great thing to do – now there’s a thought – no one is watching……. dance is so incredible at lifting the spirits!
Michael Torke (b.1961) writes music that is influenced by jazz.  My suggestion this week for something completely different but fabulously lively to get us all going is his Sky, Concerto for Violin 1   9 minutes of brilliant bounce! Perfect to “rid us of the tyranny of conscious thought”.

This week’s coffee ‘concertissimo’ from Peter Hewitt (thanks for your fantastic feedback which I have passed on to Peter) he performs a “humourous little movement” from Beethoven’s Pastoral sonata Op 28 – Scherzo.   I really enjoy his very short introductions which put the work in context. 
It’s ‘Family Friday with the London Mozart Players‘ led by our very favourite violinist, Ruth Rogers – who is also the leader of the Aquinas Piano Trio whose concert sadly, had to be sadly cancelled.  Being Easter, Ruth has produced a fabulous version of Ferdinand the Bull, from Peter and the Wolf for the LMP.  This is utterly enchanting so I highly recommend passing this on to your children and grandchildren. 

We are bombarded with news featuring endless predictions of doom about the dreaded word.  Our solution lies in last week’s song, ‘E lim in ate the negative’ by listening to this absolutely gripping TED talk by Michael Tilson Thomas ‘Music and emotion through time’.  Enlightening and reassuring, I promise – an absolute ‘must’ to fit in this week. 

Starting TONIGHT streaming on YouTube is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Super Star .   Sir Andrew is going to allow us all access to all of his shows but they are only accessible on Fridays for 48 hours. 
As we continue to lock ourselves down, a very funny Stilgoe and Skellern song comes to mind.  ‘We never go out any more based on Alan Titchmash and Charlie Dimmock’s BBC programme when they transformed people’s homes to the owner’s supposed and often genuine delight!  It comes from a brilliant CD ‘A Quiet Night Out’.
Gerrard Hoffnung was the most amazingly talented artist and musician.  He provides this week’s touch of humour.  Many may remember when his widow, Annetta came to Churchill Music to present an evening entertainment featuring all her late husband’s most hilarious cartoons and performances.  One that I well remember as a child is his very famous ‘Bricklayer’s Lament‘ .  It is an absolute MUST.  Gerrard saw the story in The Manchester Guardian in 1957 recalling a bricklayer’s misfortunes when raising some bricks in a barrel to the top of a building. The derivation of the story was a letter from a naval officer who had supposedly received it from an enlisted man explaining his late return from leave. I was in fits of giggles listening to it again – I never tire of it!!

Classical music gets the 'spoof' treatment in Gerard Hoffnung ...

Don’t forget the National Theatre Live productions – this week it was Jane Eyre – available until 15th April.  Coming up is Treasure Island from 7pm 16th April.
Very best wishes to you all for a fabulous happy Easter, Jan