Nottingham Harmonic Choir

Walton Belshazzar's Feast

Grieg Piano concerto

Elgar In the South

The Hallé Orchestra

nottingham classics

Saturday 27th May 2017 7:30pm

Further information on Belshazzar's Feast

Previous Concert

Nottingham Classics - The Hallé
Elgar Music Makers

Sibelius The Bard & Symphony No 2

Conductor Sir Mark Elder

After Hours: (approx. 9:30pm)
Conductor Richard Laing
Lauridsen O Magnum Mysterium
Purcell Hear My Prayer
Rütti Requiem excerpts

Saturday 6th April 2013 7.30pm
Royal Concert Hall

Review of Concert

Saturday 6 April 2013
by Mike Wheeler (Sound and Vision)

The more I hear Elgar�s The music makers the more unjustly underrated it seems. Agreed, there are moments that go off the boil somewhat, but they are only moments in a work that can be deeply poignant in the right hands.

Conductor Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra are unquestionably the right hands, and their performance with Nottingham Harmonic Choir conveyed a total belief in the piece. Impassioned playing in the orchestral introduction paved the way for a choral contribution whose sharply focused tone and unflagging energy were hugely impressive. Catherine Wyn-Rogers, standing in at short notice for an indisposed Christine Rice, made an impact right from her first entry, and led Elgar�s tribute to August (�Nimrod�) Jaeger at the words �But on one man�s soul it hath lightened� in as profoundly moving a way as any I�ve heard.

The concert opened with Sibelius�s The Bard. If ever a work illustrates the �less is more� principle, this one surely does - rarely can so few notes have said so much. The music�s spareness and concentration were gripping, and the brief moment in the spotlight for the trumpets and trombones at the end was spine-tingling.

Sibelius�s Second Symphony is often described as his farewell to the big romantic symphony, but Mark Elder�s conducting presented an unexpectedly modernist take on the work, pointing up the fact that it looks forward just as much as back. This was particularly true of the second movement, where the abrupt contrasts of mood were emphasised to the point where dislocation rather than continuity was the dominant tone. The first movement was purposeful, with a finely-judged control of pace; the third had terrific driving energy, offering, again. maximum contrast with the expansive treatment given the trio section.

In the finale Sibelius presented his interpreters with a huge interpretative challenge: after a sweeping transition into the finale the energy level drops almost to a standstill before having to generate even greater excitement a second time. Elder and the Hallé kept a firm grip on the current, maintaining and even surpassing the initial level of excitement the second time round.

Review of Concert

Saturday 6 April 2013
by Mike Wheeler (Sound and Vision)

The more I hear Elgar�s The music makers the more unjustly underrated it seems. Agreed, there are moments that go off the boil somewhat, but they are only moments in a work that can be deeply poignant in the right hands.

Conductor Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra are unquestionably the right hands, and their performance with Nottingham Harmonic Choir conveyed a total belief in the piece. Impassioned playing in the orchestral introduction paved the way for a choral contribution whose sharply focused tone and unflagging energy were hugely impressive. Catherine Wyn-Rogers, standing in at short notice for an indisposed Christine Rice, made an impact right from her first entry, and led Elgar�s tribute to August (�Nimrod�) Jaeger at the words �But on one man�s soul it hath lightened� in as profoundly moving a way as any I�ve heard.

The concert opened with Sibelius�s The Bard. If ever a work illustrates the �less is more� principle, this one surely does - rarely can so few notes have said so much. The music�s spareness and concentration were gripping, and the brief moment in the spotlight for the trumpets and trombones at the end was spine-tingling.

Sibelius�s Second Symphony is often described as his farewell to the big romantic symphony, but Mark Elder�s conducting presented an unexpectedly modernist take on the work, pointing up the fact that it looks forward just as much as back. This was particularly true of the second movement, where the abrupt contrasts of mood were emphasised to the point where dislocation rather than continuity was the dominant tone. The first movement was purposeful, with a finely-judged control of pace; the third had terrific driving energy, offering, again. maximum contrast with the expansive treatment given the trio section.

In the finale Sibelius presented his interpreters with a huge interpretative challenge: after a sweeping transition into the finale the energy level drops almost to a standstill before having to generate even greater excitement a second time. Elder and the Hallé kept a firm grip on the current, maintaining and even surpassing the initial level of excitement the second time round.

Review of Concert

Saturday 6 April 2013
Capturing spirit of Elgar proves special
Monday, April 08, 2013 Nottingham Post

It was enough to hear the opening bars of Elgar's The Music Makers to know that Saturday night's performance was going to be something special: an ideal marriage of composer, conductor and performers.
There is no finer Elgar conductor than Sir Mark Elder and both the Hallé and the Nottingham Harmonic Choir have his great choral works flowing in their veins.
The subtle shading of the choral sound was not only highly responsive to the letter of Elgar's careful scoring but also sensitively alive to its spirit.
Whether as 'dreamers of dreams' or as 'the movers and shakers of the world' the Choir left the audience in no doubt of music's power.
Standing in for an indisposed mezzo soloist was Catherine Wyn-Rogers, rich and firm of voice as well as urgently dramatic, especially in sections in which she had to battle against the full strength of choir and orchestra.
Sibelius' elegiac tone poem The Bard and his 2nd Symphony made up the rest of the programme, as Sir Mark demonstrated his unerring sense of the symphony's architecture.

Elgar's The Music Makers

was first performed at the Birmingham Festival on 1 October 1912, conducted by the composer, with Muriel Foster as the soloist.
The text of the work is the 1874 poem Ode by Arthur O'Shaughnessy, which Elgar set in its entirety. He had been working on the music intermittently since 1903, without a specific commission.
The words of the poem celebrate the dreaming artist - a character with which Elgar identified. The music and the words depict the isolation and the wonder of the creative artist.

After hours concert

Rütti Requiem
Carl R�tti is a Swiss composer, specialising in choral and liturgical music. His work is characteristically filled with soaring melodies, exuberant rhythms and lush harmonies. Inspired by the English choral tradition, as well as by jazz and blues, his music has been performed across England and America, including at the BBC Proms and the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at King�s College, Cambridge. The Requiem was commissioned by the Bach Choir in 2005 and exemplifies the harmonic invention and expressive power that makes Rütti's music unmatched in contemporary choral music.
The after hours concert will include four movements from the work. The whole work will be performed in our May concert;
Purcell Hear My Prayer might be assumed to lie at the opposite end of the musical spectrum, yet the works share harmonic similarities, in texture and complexity of chord progressions. It is a monumental eight-part anthem based on the words �Hear my prayer, o Lord, and let my crying come unto thee� from Psalm 112. Possibly the first part of a longer work that was never completed, this expressive three-minute vocal crescendo remains one of Purcell's finest achievements.
Lauridsen O Magnum Mysterium
American composer Morten Lauridsen was born to a family of Danish immigrants in 1943 and his music has become some of the most frequently-performed in the contemporary choral repertoire.
O Magnum Mysterium dates from 1994 and is based on a short adulatory text on Christ's birth and the veneration of the Virgin Mary. In the composer�s words, �I sought to impart a transforming spiritual experience within what I call �a quiet song of profound inner joy.�

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