Carl Nielsen – Progressive Dane, the 150th anniversary in 2015 of Denmark’s most famous composer having been celebrated chiefly by his symphonies, Geoffrey Kinder sets about redressing the balance by examining some of his other eminently worthwhile works for Sheffield Recorded Music Society at Millennium Hall, Polish Catholic Centre, 518-520 Ecclesall Road, S11 8PY, Friday, 1.45 –3.45pm – £3.
Cornucopia of Delights, post-solstice mayhem in the company of Viva Voce chamber choir and another super programme following its recent excursion into things metaphysical – full details under Midsummer Madness at www.bernardleemusic.com. By way of summary, the centre-piece is a reduced version of Handel’s masque Acis and Galatea where choir members take on the guise Shakespeare’s ‘Rude Mechanicals’ to become nymphs and shepherds accompanied by a rustic band of minstrels. Shakespeare is prominent before it, including three of the many settings by Jaakko Mäntyjärvi and two by even more Bard-prolific Matthew Harris. Another contemporary composer Veljo Tormis also has three pieces being performed and more familiar names are: Vaughan Williams, Poulenc, Weill, Gershwin and other composers from the Great American Songbook. David Mellor Visitor Centre and Design Museum, Hathersage, Saturday, 3pm – free and complimentary refreshments!
Endcliffe Orchestra, a late arrival but at least a chance, if so desired, to hear music without a singing voice in sight, just that of a viola in Berlioz: Harold in Italy, with Lindsay Aitkenhead playing it; plus, Beethoven: Egmont Overture; Bax: Tintagel; and Khatchaturian: Adagio from Spartacus, at St Luke’s Church, Blackbrook Road, Lodge Moor, S10 4LQ, 7.30pm – £10, £7 concessions, £4 students, over fours, free under fours.
Escafeld Chorale, bids farewell to its Newcastle-bound music director Ian Roberts in the autumn with an end-of-season performance of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with the season’s associate soloist Lindsey James (a member of Harry Christophers’ Genesis Sixteen scheme) making her last appearance as such as Dido – next season’s associate soloist, Keren Hadas, is Belinda! A former Escafeld MD (now a choir member and Bolsterstone MVC conductor) Francis Wells is Aeneas and one-time Escafeld MD, Peter Dutton, returns as the Sailor. Yet a third ex-MD, Steve Draper, is also there and the three combine for a couple of madrigals by William Cornysh: Ah Robin, Gentle Robin, and Morley: Though Philomela lost her love. Madrigals appear to be prominent pre-interval, among them Henry VIII: Pastime With Good Company; further Cornysh: Blow thy Horn, Hunter; John Bennet: Weep O Mine Eyes; John Farmer: Fair Phyllis and there is talk of more Purcell, including O sing unto the Lord. Amanda Rowden-Martin leads a highly competent quartet of strings, Emily Chaplais, Graham Gillham and Liz Hanks in Dido and George Parsons is the harpsichordist, at St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 concessions, £4 students, free under 16.
War Requiem, Sheffield Oratorio Chorus performance of Benjamin Britten’s great plea for reconciliation on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of one of the bloodiest skirmishes in history, the prolonged Battle of the Somme in 1916, which saw 513 men of the Sheffield Pals Battalion killed on the first day (1st of July). The chorus is apparently swelled with extra singers, the children’s voices being Sheffield Cathedral Choristers and there are three potentially excellent soloists: soprano Laura Mitchell, tenor Mark Wilde, and especially baritone Ross Ramgobin. The orchestra, doubtless augmented, is the generally outstanding Northern Chamber Orchestra with Fraser Wilson playing the organ part, Jonathan Gooing that for the piano and the conductor is Alan Eost assisted by Neil Taylor and Joshua Hales; Sheffield Cathedral, Saturday, 8pm – £20/ £15, £17/ £12 concessions. Pre-concert talk, Mervyn Cooke, head of music at Nottingham University, discusses the work, 6.30pm. ‘The Poetry is in the Pity…’ @ www.bernardleemusic.com
Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra, annual ‘Last Night in the Gardens’ stand and a large selection of pieces that require little introduction, except maybe the recit and aria Or dove fuggo io mai... Ah! Per sempre io ti perdei, a baritone love song from Bellini’s I Puritani, otherwise it is all highly familiar, with Rossini: Barber of Seville Overture and final section of William Tell Overture; Eric Coates: Knightsbridge March (London Suite) and Dambusters March; Bizet: Micaëla’s aria and Toreador Song (both Carmen); Dvořák: Slavonic Dance No 8; Rodgers: You'll Never Walk Alone (Carousel); Puccini: Humming Chorus (Butterfly) and O mio babbino caro (Gianni Schicchi); Mozart: Papageno…Papagena (Magic Flute); Elgar: Nimrod (Enigma Variations); Wood: Fantasia on British Sea Songs; Parry: Jerusalem; and more Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance March No 1. Sarah Blood is the soprano soloist, Matthew Palmer the baritone and George Morton steps in as guest conductor. Botanical Gardens, Clarkehouse Road, Sunday, 7.30pm – £20 on the gate; in advance £15 plus £2 booking fee, 0114 22 33 777, or here.
Polyphony Down the Pub, the London-based come and sing organisation that busks through Renaissance motets while downing a pint or two ventures out into ‘the sticks’ for the first time. Free to take part and anyone who feels they can sight-read their way through 16th century repertoire is welcome, but you need to register (link below); The Fat Cat, Kelham Island, S3 8SA, Tuesday, 7pm.
BRADFIELD FESTIVAL OF MUSIC:
25th of June to 2nd of July at St Nicholas’ Church, High Bradfield.
You are advised to check ticket availability before travelling: 0114 234 1209 or 285 1473.
The Stars Descend on Bradfield @ www.bernardleemusic.com
Tine Thing Helseth/ Kathryn Stott, the Norwegian lass with the golden trumpet and hailed with glowing, not to say blushing praise wherever she performs – rather like this from a German review of a performance of Haydn’s famous Trumpet Concerto in 2014: “Helseth’s trumpet twinkled, beamed, sang, joked, yearned, and strutted about in the self-assured way only the trumpet can.” She makes the instrument talk, which excellent news for her rather appealing concert with the renowned pianist and begins with a song cycle (8) by Grieg: Haugtussa (The Mountain Maid), transcribed as most of the other items appear to be; Glazunov: Albumblatt; Kreisler: Marche Miniature Viennoise and Toy Soldiers March; Piazzolla: Café 1930 and Nightclub 1960 from L'Histoire du Tango; Puccini: Five early songs; Bartók: 6 Romanian Folk Dances; and Weill: Je ne l'aime pas. Wednesday, 29th of June, 7.30pm – £22.
An Evening with Julian Lloyd Webber, with the world famous cellist reflecting on his career and leaving the performing to his cellist wife Jiaxin and Romanian/ Nigerian pianist Rebeca Omordia in a programme of Bach: Adagio in G; Bridge: Scherzetto for cello and piano; Fauré: Élégie Op 24; more Bach: Prelude and Gigue from Cello Suite No 1; Ireland: two of his three Decorations for piano, The Island Spell and Scarlet Ceremonies; and a movement from his Cello Sonata, Moderato e sostenuto; Philip Glass: Tissue No 2; Andrew Lloyd Webber: The Music of the Night; William Lloyd Webber (Julian’s dad): In the half-light; and Rachmaninov: Cello Sonata Op 19, the last two movements, Andante and Allegro mosso. Thursday, 30th of June, 7.30pm – £22.
Philip Dyson, extremely popular British concert pianist, at least on mainland Europe and, especially, America – but, curiously, a virtual stranger on these shores! Here, he book-ends half-a-dozen popular classical pieces with jazz items in a programme of Scott Joplin: Elite Syncopations, Maple Leaf Rag and Bethena; Felix Arndt: Nola; Zez Confrey: Dizzy Fingers; Debussy: Clair de Lune; Brahms: Rhapsody Op 79 No 2; Beethoven: Moonlight Sonata; Chopin: Nocturne in E flat Op 9 No 2 and Fantaisie-Impromptu Op 66; Rachmaninov: Prelude in G minor Op 23 No 5; Billy Mayerl; Shallow Waters and Marigold; and Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue. Friday, 7.30pm – £14.
The Woodwind Ensemble of the Band of the Royal Air Force College, a dectet and effectively double wind quintet begin, perhaps not unnaturally, with the National Anthem followed by Mozart: Overture to The Marriage of Figaro; Albéniz: Tango; Gounod: Petite Symphonie (one of two works, three if you count the last, not in arrangement form); Poulenc: Novelette; Sullivan: A Gilbert and Sullivan Suite; Gershwin: Scenes from Porgy and Bess; Fauré: Pavane; Carl Davis: Pride and Prejudice; Adam Gorb: French Dances Revisited (the second non-arrangement); Handel: Music For The Royal Fireworks; and RAF March Past, plus a couple of unspecified vocal items. Saturday, 7.30pm – £14.
For details of Choral Evensong at Sheffield Cathedral and St John’s Church, Ranmoor, and music at daytime services, please see the respective websites of both in the ‘Who’s Doing It’ section of Classical Sheffield.