Vaughan Williams: Symphony No 2 ‘A London Symphony’
Elgar: Enigma Variations
Tickets are £15, Under 25s free.
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2011 Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble Competition in London and the 2012 Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition.
The Quartet gave concerts in London at the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room and broadcast frequently on Radio 3. The Cavaleri Quartet also toured South America, New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Rowena left the Quartet in 2015.
Rowena plays on an 1824 cello by Bernard Simon Fendt, kindly on loan to her by Nicholas Roberts.
Elgar wrote his cello concerto in 1919. He had been appalled and disillusioned by the suffering caused by the Great War and composed very little during this time. He poured his feelings into the works he wrote just after the war, even though at this time his wife, Alice, was in poor health. She was at her husband’s side at the first performance, which had a disastrous premiere in London due to being under-rehearsed. The concerto did not have a second performance in London for more than a year.
Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture gives a very lively and colourful account of Edwardian London. According to the composer’s programme he describes the “sights ..(that) lovers ncounter during an afternoon’s stroll in that city”. These ‘sights’ include the cockneys, church bells, a slightly ragged brass band and a contrastingly grand military band.
The sounds of London are also to be heard in the London Symphony by Vaughan Williams. The composer wrote in a programme note in 1920 that ‘Symphony by a Londoner’ might be a better title for this, his 2nd Symphony. In 1911 George Butterworth had encouraged Vaughan Williams to write a symphony, this resulted in the original version completed in 1913. However, Vaughan Williams revised this Symphony three times. From his study in the attic of 13 Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, Vaughan Williams had a very good view of the river. The sounds of London include the Westminster Chimes, the Lavender Cry, onomatopoeic references to Hansom Cabs in the second movement and piano accordians in the third movement.
We are delighted that Rowena Calvert is returning to play the Elgar Cello Concerto with us. Rowena, with Martyn Jackson, gave an exceptional performance of the Brahms Double Concerto for violin and ‘cello in April 2018. Rowena has performed in the Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall and Queens Hall, as well as making appearances at both the Manchester and Kronberg Cello Festivals. Recent engagements have included performances of the Saint Saens, Vivaldi and Elgar Cello Concertos.
Rowena was a member of the highly acclaimed Cavaleri String Quartet. The Quartet won several prestigious prizes including the 2011 Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble
Competition in London and the 2012 Hamburg International Chamber Music Competition.