October Newsletter

We are well into our rehearsal schedule for our forthcoming concert on Saturday 30th November. We are performing pieces by three very familiar composers – though the compositions themselves may be less familiar. Taking them in the chronologically reverse order, there is Begrabnisgesang by Brahms. This can be translated as “Funeral Song” and is a setting of the text of a hymn by Michael Weise (1488-1534), a Protestant theologian. In this the words reflect on the funeral service as the body is consigned to the earth and then look forward to its resurrection, though reminding us at the end of the inevitability of death. Brahms use of wind instruments rather than strings to accompany the words adds to the impact. It is an early masterpiece, composed in 1858 soon after the death of Robert Schumann, whom Brahms had met and whose burial he had attended. Indeed there is the suggestion that he wrote it as a tribute to Schumann’s memory.
This then links to the Requiem Opus 148 by Schumann which we also feature. Composed towards the end of his life – indeed, he continued to work on it, even after his confinement in the sanatorium at Endenich, it was not performed until eight years after his death. It is not, perhaps, the type of composition most associated with Schumann. Nevertheless, towards the end of his life he became very interested in the music associated with the church, in particular the Catholic church, describing the genre as a composer’s “highest ideal”.
While Schumann and Brahms met, there was no such personal contact with our third composer, Schubert. However, like the Schumann Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in Eflat major is a late work, technically mature, it shows the influence of Beethoven in its composition. Indeed, Schubert had been a torchbearer at Beethoven’s funeral. It was composed in 1828, most likely at the instigation of Michael Leitmayer, choirmaster of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Alsergrund, Vienna. As with the Requiem, it was not performed until after the death of its composer.
The juxtaposition of these three works so different and yet somehow connected , promises a concert that will be exciting to listen to and exciting to sing.
 The Suzy Lamplugh Trust was founded in 1986 by the parents of an estate agent who went missing when showing someone round an empty house. The Trust aims to help people lead safer lives through training, education and campaigning. Thousands of people of all ages have attended talks and courses, used the National Stalking Helpline, and been given leaflets which give them practical guidance on personal safety.
In order to continue the work of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust more funds need to be raised so a  carol concert has been planned from 6.30 to 7.30 on Wednesday 4th December at All Saints Church, East Sheen Ave, East Sheen, London SW14 8AU.  Volunteers to sing carols would be most welcome
See http://www.suzylamplugh.org/ for more information
This term:
Concert Saturday 30th November 7.30pm St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road SW12
Saturday Rehearsals 12th October and 2nd November
Brahms: Begrabnisgesang, Schumann: Requiem, Schubert: Mass in E flat
Spring 2014
Term starts Monday 6th January 2014
Concert Saturday 29th March, 7.30pm St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road SW12
Saturday Rehearsals 8th February and 8th March
Liszt: Via Crucis; Bach: Cantatas 38 and 182
Summer 2014
Term starts Monday 7th April 2014
Concert Saturday 5th July, 7.30pm, St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road
Saturday Rehearsals 17th May and 14th June
Sunday 20th October – 7.30pm,  St Luke’s Church, Ramsden Road SW12 – St Luke’s Music Society – The Sixteen SOLD OUT. Contact 07951 791619 for returns
Thursday 24th October – 7.30pm – Eaton Square, SW1 – Vasari Singers, conductor Jeremy Backhouse
Friday 29th November – 7.30pm St Martin-in-the-Fields, WC2N – Vasari Singers,conductor Jeremy Backhouse. Britten: St Nicolas
Sunday 1st December – 6 – 7pm, The Forge Camden, NW1 – The Metier Ensemble (Elspeth Wylie,Clare Overbury) – Trapeze
Saturday 14th December – 7.30pm –  St Luke’s Church Ramsden Road, SW12, St Luke’s Music Society – An evening of Jazz with Ian Shaw and Guy Barker

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