New Year Concert 2022

7:30pm, Sat, 22 Jan 2022

  • Event Details
  • Type of event: Performance
    Duration: 2 hours
    Venue: Letchworth Free Church
    Norton Way South
    Letchworth Garden City
    SG6 1US
      See map below
    Ticket pricing/options: £12 per ticket
    £6 for under 18's
    Tickets: Book now
    Please book online from this page
    We are very excited to bring you our first concert since the Covid-19 pandemic, and we hope you will be keen to join us.
    There are two wonderful works - one you will instantly recognise, and one which is likely to be new to you.

    The opening bars of Beethoven's 5th Symphony are instantly recognisable, as one of the best known compositions in classical music, adapted now to all sorts of music genres! It was written between 1804 and 1808 in Vienna, when Beethoven in his mid-30's was experiencing increasing deafness.  They were turbulent times, with Napolean's forces occupying Vienna for a time, and indeed the final movement quotes from a revolutionary song by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.  The premierie of the work did not go to plan, due to a lack of rehearsal.  Players had just one session to get to know the music, and even for a great orchestra, things went wrong, to the point that Beethoven had to stop the music and start again. We have quite a number of rehearsals planned, so we hope not to suffer the same fate!

    In contrast to such a well known piece, we are thrilled to be playing a real gem that rarely gets into concert schedules these days: Ethel Smyth's Serenade in D. Also known as a colourful suffragette who was imprisoned for the cause, Ethel became the foremost woman composer of her time. 

    Who was Ethel Smyth?Born in 1858, she had declared by the time she was 12 that she wanted to be a composer.  Her father was not keen.  When aged 19, she announced she wanted to study composition in Leipzig, things became difficult.  In fact Ethel was determined to make things so difficult at home, that her family would have to relent.  She went on to become friends with Clara Schumann, Grieg, Brahms and Tchaikovsky, and spent time travelling alone in Italy with minimal supplies.  The Serenade in D is a significant piece of work - a major undertaking by any composer's standards.  Donald Tovey described it as a 'masterpiece' which demonstrates a conspicuous debt to Beethoven.  Her works were very popular a the time, but slipped from the concert repertoire by the time she died, aged 86 in 1944.

    Tickets are now on sale: £12 each, and £6 for under 18's.  Please buy your tickets online via our secure payment centre. 

    Buying your ticket online via our website, will mean we can arrange seating in booked groups, with space between groups. Our string players will be wearing masks throughout, and we ask that audience members do as well to minimise any risk to each other.

    Unfortunately we will not be offering refreshments for purchase, but please feel free to bring your own (plastic or paper cups only), 

    We will ensure the hall is well ventilated. It may be wise to bring an extra layer in case this is needed.
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