Hadleigh Choral Society and John Lill
Saturday 24 Mar 2018 7:30pm
Elgar The Spirit of England, Op.80
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No.2 in C minor, Op.18
Elgar The Music Makers, Op.69
Hadleigh Choral Society
with The Kelvedon Singers
Stephanie Corley and Muriel Kwint soloists
John Lill piano
Colchester Symphony Orchestra
Christopher Phelps conductor
Hadleigh Choral Society returns to Snape Maltings to perform Edward Elgar’s last two cantatas. The Music Makers (1912) is a setting of O’Shaughnessy’s ode which begins ‘We are the music makers, And we are the dreamers of dreams’. It perfectly summarises Elgar’s attitude to his art and inspired some of his most heartfelt music, as well as some of his most colourful, with appropriate references back to his earlier works. The Spirit of England (1915-17) was the composer’s response to the Great War, comprising settings of three poems from Laurence Binyon’s The Winnowing Fan, including the famous ‘For the fallen’. That it became necessary to go to war with his beloved Germany upset Elgar beyond words, and the resulting work is a powerful mixture of patriotism, anguish, anger, drama and homage to the dead which deserves to be better known.
Sergei Rachmaninoff’s masterful second piano concerto, one of the most popular in the repertoire, needs little introduction. The composer was one of the greatest pianists of his age, and his astonishing gift for melody and orchestra colour ensured this work’s success – with a little help from the film Brief Encounter.
A long-established Suffolk choir, Hadleigh Choral Society has been led since 1991 by the experienced conductor and arranger Christopher Phelps, and is accompanied by organist and conductor John Cooper. Recent performances have included Dvořák’s Te Deum, Janáček’s Otče náš and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.
Colchester Symphony Orchestra has been conducted by Christopher Phelps since 1983.
John Lill, an old friend of Hadleigh Choral Society, needs no introduction to Snape audiences as one of Britain’s finest interpreters of Beethoven, Brahms and Rachmaninoff.