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Ferneham Hall,

Programme Notes

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Saturday 19th May 2012  7.30
Here is a brief introduction to each work in the concert, consisting of an extract from the programme notes in the Havant Orchestras Programme book for the 2011-12 season, which is available in the foyer at concerts for £3

Sinfonia in Eb major, Opus 18 No 1
Johann Christian Bach  1735 – 1782

Johann Christian Bach, the youngest son of the great Johann Sebastian, enjoyed a highly successful international career and eventually settled in London.  He was a prolific composer, writing in all the main forms of the day.  From the stylistic point of view he is one of the most important representatives of the rococo style, which was in many ways the bridge between the baroque era and the classical.  This style is characterised above all by its dancing rhythms, lightness of texture, and gracefulness of melody.  One of Bach’s chief admirers was the young Mozart, whom he encountered in London in 1764.

Bach composed four sets of symphonies, and the last of these, his Opus 18 group of six – the undoubted peak of his output – was published shortly before his death, when he was resident in London. …

Terry Barfoot

Water Music Suite No 2 in D
Georg Frideric Handel  1685 – 1759

Handel was the most cosmopolitan of all the baroque composers, a German who came to London primarily to compose Italian operas.  By the time he arrived in London towards the end of 1710, he was an international celebrity.  But the accession in 1714 of his former employer, the Elector Georg Ludwig of Hanover, to the English throne as George I might have been an embarrassment, had not the King recognised both Handel’s genius and the fact that a fellow German-speaker would be useful to him in London society.

Handel composed the Water Music in 1717 and the celebrated occasion of the first performance was duly recorded in the Daily Courant of 19th July …

Terry Barfoot

Piano Concerto No 17 in G, K 453
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  1756 – 1791

Having walked out on his despised employer Archbishop Hieronymous Colloredo of Salzburg, married, and set up home in Vienna, Mozart needed a steady income.  Already well known as an infant prodigy and admired as a keyboard performer, he was soon earning one as a piano and composition teacher to members of the aristocracy and the affluent middle class.

Among the most talented of Mozart’s Viennese pupils was Barbara Ployer, daughter of a provincial timber merchant, who had come to live with her uncle and his wife after the death of her mother.  Mozart’s Piano Concerto in E flat, K449 was written for the 19-yearold Barbara and performed by her at a private party in her uncle’s home.  Mozart wrote to his father that she had paid handsomely for it.  He soon had another one ready for her – the marvellous Concerto in G, K453.

Surely there can be no finer example of classical poise in all music than this concerto …

Lance Dearsley

Symphony No 1 in C
Carl Maria von Weber  1786 – 1826

Weber is remembered for his pioneering work in the field of Romantic Opera and for his scintillating concertos and concertantes for wind instruments.  Apart from the latter, his forays into symphonic music were few and far between – a couple of early symphonies, two piano concertos, four piano sonatas, a clarinet quintet and a handful of other chamber works – all of which struggle to find performers in this modern age.  The more successful movements within this limited collection are undoubtedly the atmospheric slow andantes and brilliant rondo finales, whereas the traditionally more heavyweight sonata-form opening movements gave Weber structural troubles.

The two symphonies date from 1807 when the composer had secured a post with the Duke of Württemberg, a keen musician and proficient oboist.  …

Peter Craddock

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