LMP Classical Club

LMP Classical Club

Fairfield Halls’ resident orchestra, the London Mozart Players, was back at the Concert Hall last week to film a wonderful concert for their online series ‘Classical Club’. A socially-distanced audience of just 50 people were appreciated Mendelssohn’s Italian Symphony and Strauss’s Oboe Concerto in the fine acoustics of the hall, and viewers around the world will be able to tune in when the concert goes live on the LMP website on Thursday 15 October at 8pm.

LMP’s Classical Club is a series of 8 online concerts filmed in iconic locations, launched in September in response to the pandemic to support their musicians and bring music to their audience. The concerts feature an exciting and eclectic variety of repertoire, from Mozart and Beethoven, to Walton and Stravinsky, and plenty more besides, including two concerts especially for children.

Tickets are £12 per concert (£5 for children’s concerts) or you can enjoy the whole series for just £50 if you purchase your 8-concert Season Pass before 31 October (full price £60). You can watch each concert on their go-live date and then on demand up until 1 December. There are already three concerts available to watch. Do support this brilliant initiative which keeps Croydon’s resident orchestra performing, even though most venues are closed.

 

“LMP possess an unfailing professionalism, artistry, and commitment to music”

John Suchet

LMP Classical Club

 

Prokofiev Symphony No. 1 ‘Classical’ Op.25
Schumann Cello Concerto in A Major, Op.129 (soloist Maciej Kulakowski)

Ruth Rogers director
Maciej Kulakowski cello
London Mozart Players

7.00pm BST

Classical Club launches with Prokofiev’s effervescent ‘Classical’ Symphony, which cleverly juxtaposes 20th-century style with the traditional four-movement symphony – with some added parody and humour. This is contrasted with Schumann’s masterful Cello Concerto, performed by talented young cellist Maciej Kulakowski. A hugely romantic work, this gorgeous concerto is full of passionate melodies that soar against an unobtrusive orchestral accompaniment. Filmed before a socially-distancing audience at the stunning Church of St John the Evangelist in Upper Norwood – the London Mozart Players’ home venue and rightly famed for its music, this concert will be a real celebration of the best in classical music, and a truly thrilling reunion of players and audience.

 

Weber Clarinet Quintet in B♭ Major, Op.34
Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K.581

Michael Collins clarinet
London Mozart Players

7pm BST

In a treat for woodwind fans (and there have not been many woodwind outings this year, thanks to Covid-19), clarinet virtuoso Michael Collins joins LMP’s Classical Club for a sublime chamber concert direct from the lofty space in the Clock Tower above St Pancras Station. Two clarinet quintets are on the programme: Mozart’s glorious quintet with its melting second movement is one of the earliest and most beloved pieces for clarinet, written especially for his friend, the basset clarinettist Anton Stadler. The Weber quintet, graceful and exuberant by turn, is itself a little masterpiece, full of musical leaps and pirouettes. Michael Collins will bring all his dazzling virtuosity and sensitive musicianship to these delightful chamber works.

 

Walton Façade: An Entertainment

Samuel West narrator
London Mozart Players
Benjamin Pope conductor 

Cello – Sebastian Comberti
Flute – Fiona Kelly
Clarinet – Tim Lines
Alto Saxophone – Shaun Thompson
Trumpet – Alan Thomas
Percussion – Scott Bywater

7pm BST

Two stylish constructions of the twentieth century come together for LMP’s Classical Club with a performance of William Walton’s Façade: An Entertainment filmed in the Art Deco gem that is Freemasons’ Hall (opened 1933). Walton lodged with the literary Sitwell family for many years, with Edith Sitwell becoming his patron and collaborator. Walton composed an instrumental accompaniment to match Edith’s poetry as ‘an entertainment’, and the premiere was notorious for Sitwell’s recitation of her own poetry through a megaphone protruding from a screen. Acclaimed actor Samuel West will bring a more decorous delivery to Freemasons’ Hall with LMP’s chamber group performing Walton’s charming and witty music. Essentially a musical pastiche, Façade has been described as having ‘one good tune after another’, and certainly the combination of fanfare, sea shanty, tarantella, waltz, polka, jazz, foxtrot and a Scottish rhapsody is hugely entertaining and the piece remains one of Walton’s most popular compositions.

 

Strauss Concerto in D major for Oboe and Small Orchestra, AV 144, TrV 292
Mendelssohn Symphony No.4 in A major, Op.90 ‘Italian’

Ruth Rogers leader
Olivier Stankiewicz oboe
London Mozart Players
Mateusz Moleda conductor

7pm GMT

A chance encounter at the end of World War Two between composer Richard Strauss and a young American solider, a professional oboist in civilian life, planted the seed of an idea that flourished into the finest oboe concerto written in the 20th century. Although seemingly light and playful, Strauss’ Oboe Concerto is exceptionally difficult to perform, with circular breathing a pre-requisite. We are delighted to showcase a young oboist who is destined for a great professional career, YCAT artist Olivier Stankiewicz, who performs the solo, under the baton of conductor Mateusz Moleda. The programme also includes Mendelssohn’s jaunty and optimistic Italian Symphony. This concert will be filmed before a socially-distancing audience at Fairfield Halls, Croydon, where the London Mozart Players have enjoyed a 30-year residency.

 

Stravinsky A Soldier’s Tale

Simon Blendis leader
Tama Matheson narrator
London Mozart Players
William Vann conductor

SUNDAY 8 NOVEMBER 3pm GMT

A theatrical work conceived by Igor Stravinsky and Swiss writer C.F. Ramuz, A Soldier’s Tale tells the story of a soldier trudging home, who trades his violin to the devil in return for a magic book which will bring him a fortune. Eventually realising that wealth is meaningless, the soldier deliberately loses a card game with the Devil to win back his fiddle. But the Devil is not so easily beaten…

Actor Tama Matheson narrates this Faustian story, while rhythms of ragtime, tango, waltz and a march jostle for position in Stravinsky’s devilishly original score, performed by an LMP septet of violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion. Written at the end of the First World War, when Stravinsky was recovering from the second wave of the Spanish flu (which delayed early performances of this work), The Soldier’s Tale is a parable for all cultures and times. This Classical Club performance will be broadcast first on Remembrance Sunday from the Royal Hospital Chelsea, to an audience of Chelsea Pensioners, and the concert will end with ‘The Last Post’ as a tribute to all veterans.

 

Beethoven Coriolan Overture, Op.62
Beethoven Violin Concerto in D, Op.61

Simon Blendis director
Jonian Ilias Kadesha violin
London Mozart Players

SUNDAY 15 NOVEMBER,7:00 PM

The musical celebrations to mark Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year were put on hold with the arrival of Covid-19, but Classical Club members will be able to enjoy a late salute in November, when LMP performs Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture and his Violin Concerto. The Overture was inspired by Heinrich von Collin’s play Coriolan, rather than Shakespeare’s tragedy, and the music reflects the contrasting moods in the story – Coriolan’s aggression and his mother’s gentle pleading. Beethoven’s Violin Concerto is one of his most serene works, reflecting the composer’s relative personal happiness at the time. This revolutionary concerto takes us on a journey different from any violin concerto that preceded it: from a lyrical first movement, to a larghetto second movement and finally, a joyous rambunctious finale. It’s a hugely satisfying masterpiece that perfectly displays Beethoven’s genius. We welcome rising star and YCAT artist Jonian Ilias Kadesha as soloist for our final Classical Club concert of the series.

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