HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Posts Tagged ‘week’

Entry for August 09, 2007 – Party Pieces

Posted by HelenEdith on August 10, 2007

Thursday evening of Marlowe Music Week saw us all gathered at Joyce’s house for “Party Pieces”.

Folding chairs arrived with some of the audience and were set up in the front room; and the double doors were thrown open between the front and back rooms, exposing our “stage” for the evening. The evening’s programme was taped over a picture frame.

We settled in for the first half, where we heard a polished performance of a trio sonata, a couple of piano solos, one of which was definitely on the light-hearted side; and some singing. Oh, and I think the horn solo was in the first half as well. The horn player arrived from stage left – actually he appeared through the french windows from the garden!

We had a light supper and enjoyed Joyce’s garden as dusk fell. We returned after our “interval” for some more music, plus a monologue performed by Malcolm. It was all about the Battle of Hastings and it was pretty good.

The evening finished in the traditional way with a rendition of the Four Indian Love Lyrics by Amy Woodforde-Finden. Which reminds me: I must remind Stephen that if any copies of them come through the charity shop that he should purchase them for the Marlowe Ensemble, as we still don’t have quite enough copies for every singer to have their own copy. 🙂


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Entry for August 09, 2007 – Classical Orchestra

Posted by HelenEdith on August 9, 2007

It was Thursday morning, so it had to be Classical Orchestra! It was a good-sized orchestra, and included eight cellos and two double basses. There were no clarinets (this was music written before the clarinet became commonplace) but there were flutes, oboes, bassoons, horns and trumpets. There was also one mandolin player at the back of one of the violin sections.

We read through Schubert’s Symphony No.5 in B major D485, Joseph Haydn’s Symphony 98 (Oxford) and Mozart’s little-known Symphony No.36 KV425. I have to say it isn’t one of the better Mozart symphonies, but the final movement was just about up to Mozart’s usual standards.

We nearly had chaos at one point. People had lost their place and the music ground to a halt and it turned out that the wind players had letters on their parts, the conductor had bar numbers on his, while the string players didn’t appear to have any rehearsal marks at all. It took a lot of discussion to get us all synchronised for the mid-movement restart!

The lady with the mandolin has a trumpet she would like to get rid of and I’d expressed an interest. She brought it along today and one of the horn players (who is also a trumpet player) looked it over for me. He doesn’t think there’s much wrong with it, but suspects that there is an obstruction in it somewhere. Anyway, I’ve brought it home, but wonder whether I’d do better to get Stephen a new or near-new student trumpet rather than spending money on getting the used one fixed.

Most of the assembled company attended a barbecue lunch, but I came home to take it easy for the afternoon. Well, sort-of easy. I’m doing some laundry as I’m running short of clothes! Plus catching up on this blog. I’m having a busy week and there’s lots to write about. 🙂

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Entry for August 08, 2007 – Wind chamber music

Posted by HelenEdith on August 9, 2007

Wednesday evening saw a collection of twelve people in a house (fortunately a detached one!) on the edge of Blackheath. We were playing wind dectets. The extra two people were Malcolm, who was taking a well-deserved evening off (he\’s the main organiser of the week) and Nick, who played his clarinet some of the time and conducted us for the rest of the time.

Two flutes, two oboes, two or three clarinets, two bassoons and two horns sat themselves down in a circle with their music stands touching around the inner circle and proceeded to work their way through a Raff dectet, and arrangement of Carmina Burana for wind dectet (which definitely needed Nick to conduct rather than play) and two Richard Strauss dectets. Actually, I think the Strauss had twelve parts, as there were two spare horn parts which remained unplayed.

Then Terry, our host for the evening, provided a light supper.

The picture is another one from the coffee morning. My music pad ensures that my chubby chin cannot be seen in this photo. 🙂

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Entry for August 08, 2007 – Coffee Morning concert

Posted by HelenEdith on August 9, 2007

Wednesday morning’s Marlowe Music Week activity was a coffee morning, which took the form of a light music concert where the audience enjoyed light refreshments while we played.

Here was the programme:

  • Tik Tak Polka (Strauss)
  • Chanson de Matin (Elgar)
  • George Gershwin Melodies
  • Among the Poppies (Second movement of ‘From the Countryside’ by Eric Coates
  • Stephen Foster Fantasy
  • Second New Sullivan Selection (well it was new about 80 years ago!)


  • Arcadians Overture
  • Capricious Hoe Down (strongs only)
  • The Lost Chord (Sullivan – sung by Carl, who emerged from behind his double bass for this number)
  • Cavalleria Rusticana
  • The King and I
  • The Dam Busters

The audience had a good time and we raised nearly £200 for the church whose hall we have been using all week.

The picture shows Margaret and myself conferring prior to the start of the concert.

The orchestra configuration for this concert was that the string players were at the front of the main hall, with the woodwind players in one line across the front of the stage and the brass players in a second line behind the woodwind players. This configuration does mean that it’s a good idea not to wear a short skirt! As you can see, my yellow outfit covered up the parts that should remain covered up, as did Margaret’s black trousers.

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Entry for August 06, 2007 – Wind Chamber Music

Posted by HelenEdith on August 6, 2007

This evening we had a group of nine wind players: two flautists, one oboist, two clarinettists, two bassoonists and two french horn players.

We actually played octets most of the evening and the two flautists doubled on the same part.

Donizetti was first up. He was a bit weird, and was followed by a modern French composer whose music was more than a bit weird. We struggled to the end of the piece, missing out the odd repeat here and there, and actually enjoying parts of it!

Then out came the Mozart Serenade in C minor for two oboes, two clarinets, two bassoons and two horns. It comes out about this time most years, and although I don’t generally play it in between, I have got to know it. Margaret elected to play first bassoon, and I went along with that. She said afterwards if she’d remembered what was in the Finale she might have given the first part to me to play. 🙂 I think Margaret’s actually in better practice than I am, though, so I didn’t remind her about the Finale when she chose to play first. It’s nice to share the work out.

After that it was the turn of Beethoven, and then we finished up with the Overture to the Marriage of Figaro arranged for wind octet and went and enjoyed the refreshments laid on by the Brocklebanks, whose front room we had been occupying.

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