Churchill Music

Promoting musical excellence in Somerset since 2007

Music for Lockdown 9

Someone hadn’t heard of Churchill Music!!

Continuing on last week’s theme of solitude during the lockdown (and to avoid becoming ‘Mona’) this week’s quotation comes from the German poet, writer and literary critic, Heinrich Heine, whose early lyric-poetry was set to music in the form of lieder by composers such as Robert Schumann and Schubert.  Heinrich said, “When words leave off, music begins”…….This week we aim to focus on friendship through music.

Start the day with an inspirational 4-minute video of the Premiere of the 5-song cycle, ‘The Same Flame’.  CM commissioned this with funding from Arts Council England to celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic values for the London 2012 Olympics which are all listed in the video and well worth revisiting as they are more relevant now than ever. The video includes snippets of the works performed at the premiere as well as interviews with composer, Thomas Hewitt Jones and poet and lyricist, Matt Harvey!The idea was to encourage all levels of choirs to sing with one that is more experienced, starting at primary school and finishing with Bristol’s Exultate Singers, all led by the incredible Conductor/director, David Ogden.In other words an opportunity to up their ‘game’ and have fun doing so!   One of the songs (specifically for primary school children but can be sung by all choirs) is particularly enchanting, “All Weather Friends” sung by the combined primary school choirs of Sandford, Churchill and Wrington Primary (words attached).  I have a few free copies of the professionally recorded CD to give to the first five people who write in and request one.  The music is published by Boosey & Hawkes, no less.

Continuing on our theme, I draw your attention to a beautiful and poignant song, ‘Can you hear me’ featured on ClassicFm this week composed by… yes you’ve guessed it, Thomas Hewitt Jones with lyrics by……… Matt Harvey. This was written especially for Mental Health Week.  Please excuse a touch of pride here – it was Churchill Music who introduced Thomas to Matt in 2011 and they have been collaborating like two peas in a pod on fabulous works ever since!! 

Now for a bit of a workout:  De Falla – Spanish Dance No 1 performed by the legendary Itzhak Perlman.  A joy to watch, this recording sees him start off in witty mode (always appeals to me) and then ………….! 

Time for the coffee concertissimo by Peter Hewitt – perhaps a drop of ‘Mother’s Ruin’ should go into that coffee mug!!  This week he brings us Beethovern’s Piano Sonata No. 8 Op13 Pathétique, slow movement.  Peter tells us, “Something slow and beautiful this week – one of the most well-known Beethoven tunes and rightly so!   A perfectly proportioned and very beautiful movement. To think that this sort of thing can be created by man surely gives us all lots of hope and inspiration.”   This movement never fails to bring a tear to my eye, it is sooo beautiful.

Exploring the link between music and sociability in the 18th century with musicologistDr Katherine Hambridge, PhD, Associate Professor of musicology, Durham University fits well with our quotation.
Dr. Hambridge’s talk focuses on the social and conversational aspect of concert-going and music making. My thanks go to CM trustee, Alice for sending this. Highly recommend sparing just 10 minutes to listen to it.

Many CM ‘Champions’ will remember the fabulous visit from the Gesualdo Six, directed by Owain Park.  Whilst with CM, Gesualdo also worked with Churchill Academy.  A great time was had by all!  During the lockdown they have recorded the perfect sundowner – John Tavener’s Hymn to the Mother of God.  Performed remotely by Gesualdo with the Sixth Form Choristers of Truro Cathedral.  The music, the setting and the colours uplifts the soul!

AND Finally, Richard Eyre’s full length, classic production of Guiseppe Verdi’s La Traviata from the Royal Opera House  starring René Flemming and Joseph Calleja, has been released under the ROH’s series ‘Our house to Your House’ on YouTube. Click here for a synopsis.

Before I go – I cannot resist a good flashmob – This one features “Funiculì, Funiculà” a Neapolitan song composed in 1880 to commemorate the opening of the first funicular railway on Mount Vesuvius of all places!  It was presented by Turco and Denza at the Piedigrotta festival the same year a far cry from a supermarket in London.  People’s reactions are hilarious! 

Q.  Why did Mozart kill his chickens?
A.  Because they all went round going, BACH Bach Bach back Bach, BACH Bach Bach back Bach!

Enough I hear you cry! STOP!  OK – until next week…

Keep safe, happy and healthy.