Churchill Music

Promoting musical excellence in Somerset since 2007

Music for Lockdown 10

“Music is sunshine. Like sunshine, music is a powerful force that can instantly and almost chemically change your entire mood.  Music gives us new energy and a stronger sense of purpose”. Michael Franti.  American rapper.  

During this fabulous weather, I cannot resist including one other quotation from Charlotte Brontë’s ‘Jane Eyre’ in which Jane says, “Even for me life had its gleams of sunshine”.  I have just been re-reading this masterpiece of English literature and marvel again at Charlotte’s use of language, emotional depth and wisdom.  

With sunshine in mind, we recommend getting the day off to a fabulous start to the day with Morecambe Wise’s epic song, Bring me sunshine.  

Time for the coffee ‘concertissimo’ with Peter Hewitt so two clicks – kettle and the link.  This week he is exploring another little gem – Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 22 Op.54 in F second movement.  Peter comments in his email to us, “This wonderful little piece is quite a rarity and I cannot think why.  The second movement is really fascinating as it winds away on its non-stop journey – listen to all the keys we pass through…fabulous.” Whilst on the subject of Beethoven in this 250th anniversary year, we can now bring you Part two of Reiko Fujisawa and Crawford Logan’s series, Beethoven – pianist, prophet and dreamer Part 2  their exploration of Beethoven’s extraordinary contribution to musical development.  It is 10 minutes of fascinating dialogue with delightful snippets from Muzio Clementi, Carl Czerny and Franz Schubert (just look at his spectacle’s)!! 

Now for something completely different.  Klezmer music!  Many of you will remember the winner of our Churchill Young Musician of the Year 2020 Junior prize, Clarinettist, Chloe Phipps. Chloe was particularly taken with the Klezmer dances composed by Göran Fröst and performed by his brother, clarinettist, Martin Fröst  Klezmer was originally two words, Kli Zimur meaning ‘instrument of song’.  The word ‘Klezmer’ was originally used not to describe the kind of music, but to describe the musicians who played it. In Eastern Europe where most of the Jewish people were living at the time, musicians were heavily influenced by the music of those areas – Romania, Poland, Hungary, Russia Bulgaria etc.  It appears that what we now know as Klezmer music was derived from the songs and dance music of those countries.  The Jewish musicians played a lot of their own Jewish music for Jewish ceremonies – weddings, bar mitzvahs, funerals etc however they also performed for non-Jewish celebrations too, so they absorbed a lot of different types of folk music which combined becomes Klezmer music. The Fröst brothers are Swedish – just to add a touch of Scandinavia into the mix.  Göran is actually a violist – well, forgive him after you have heard this amazing composition!  Chloe wrote of Göran’s brother, Martin, “He is an amazing clarinettist and conductor. He is widely recognised as an artist who constantly seeks new ways to shape, challenge and rebuild the classical music arena and, together with Miles Davis, the only wind soloist to have received one of the world’s highest music honours; the Léonie Sonning Music Prize”.  Enjoy this wonderfully uplifting video – just 3 minutes!

Robert Hollingworth’s ‘Sing the Score’ series is well worth a new click!  This week’s informative and amusing 11-minute video features a delightful work by Anchieta ‘Con amores, mi madre’ – my mother’s squid!!  Very funny.

If like me, you find that Pachelbel’s Canon has been completely massacred by being performed as if it is a funeral dirge – deadly dull (excuse the pun), here is one of two antidotes – Rainer Hersch has changed it all – utterly brilliant.  Rainer is a British conductor, actor, writer and comedian known for his comical take on classical music.  He has toured in more than 30 countries and has broadcast extensively, principally for the BBC. For those who would like to hear it performed at its original delightful pace, flautist and Churchill Young Musician of the Year Audience prize winner Ruth Harrison kindly sent this version via her father, Paul Harrison.  Ruth went on to graduate from the Guild Hall School of Music and Drama. Nearing the end, it is time for a joke.  Thomas Beecham was conducting a concert when there were animals on stage. One of the elephants disgraced itself. ‘Ah’, he said, ‘critic as well as performer’!!  Love it!

It’s story time so ‘settle down’ and listen to tonight’s bedtime story which is just beautiful and poignant. The Great Realisation | Tomfoolery