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Trunch Concerts - Music in a historic Norfolk Church
Second Concert in September 2017

SATURDAY   30th  SEPTEMBER  at  7.30 pm
‘Vocalise'
ROSAMUND WALTON – Soprano
URSULA PANK – ’Cello
MARY HOWARD - Piano
Mozart: Sonata in B-flat, K292
Rachmaninoff: Vocalise
Rachmaninoff: ’Cello Sonata in G minor
Barber: Hermit Songs
Richard Strauss: Four Songs, Op. 27

Mary Howard
Mary Howard, a stalwart of the concerts since their inception, brings two of Norfolk’s finest musicians in an unashamedly Romantic programme.

The Music

Rachmaninoff’s Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14, is a short wordless song, which has almost become the composer’s signature tune. It lends itself beautifully to arrangements for instruments and for many cellists it has become a mainstay of their repertoire. Composed in 1915, it is the last of his Op. 34 collection.

Rachmaninoff’s  Sonata for ’Cello and Piano was first performed by Anatoliy Brandukov with the composer at the piano in Moscow , on 2nd December 1901, shortly before his Second Piano Concerto. These two works were the culmination of several years of recovery from the nervous breakdown he suffered after the failure of his First Symphony in 1897. The whole sonata is imbued with a classical discipline, which encompasses a vast range of romantic emotion and is a journey of the soul. It is a substantial work of four contrasting movements very much in the tradition established in the two great ‘cello sonatas of Brahms. The sound-world of the sonata owes much to the music and atmosphere of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Samuel Barber’s Hermit Songs was written in 1953 and is a cycle of ten songs for voice and piano. Barber came to public attention at the age of 26 with his remarkably reflective Adagio for Strings of 1936 (known to many in its choral arrangement as Agnus Dei). He remained at the forefront of American music until his death in 1981. The Hermit Songs takes as its basis a collection of anonymous poems written by Irish monks and scholars from the 8th to the 13th centuries, in translations by W. H. Auden, Chester Kallman, Howard Mumford Jones, Kenneth H. Jackson and Seán Ó Faoláin. 

Richard Strauss is known to many as a composer of large-scale orchestral works and operas. However, he is renowned, too, in the German-speaking world as one of the finest song writers of the 20th Century. The Four Songs, Op 27, were written in 1894 and are settings of highly Romantic poems:  Rest thee, my Soul[ (Henckell); Cecilia (Hart); The Lover's Pledge (Mackay); Tomorrow! (Mackay). The songs were dedicated to the composer’s wife, Pauline de Ahna.

The Performers

Rosamund Walton, soprano, trained at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland where she won the Norma Grieg French song prize and a Barcapel Foundation Trust award. Her extensive concert platform experience has seen her perform as a soloist in some of the most prestigious venues in the UK, including major oratorio roles with Norfolk’s top choral societies.  Her operatic roles have included Tytania in Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream; Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas with Norwich Baroque; Despina in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in Vienna; Mrs Noah in Britten’s Noye’s Fludde. 

Ursula Pank studied the cello at the Royal Academy of Music.She worked as a freelance musician in London before moving to Norwich where she became involved in different types of music making playing bluegrass fiddle and Irish traditional music as well as orchestral and chamber music. She is currently principal cellist in the Norwich Phihharmonic and the Mozart Orchestra and the cellist in the Hoffmeister Ensemble.

Mary Howard studied at the University of Victoria in Canada (including study with Bruce Vogt – see Trunch Concert for 10th June 2017), the Royal Academy of Music in London, and with Dario de Rosa in Italy. After working for some years at Bösendorfer Pianos in London, Mary moved to Norfolk, where she has indulged her passion for chamber music, playing with the  Degani Ensemble, Dexterity Trio and Norfolk Winds, as well as accompanying the baritone Bob Arnett in recitals. Mary is also a wonderful rehearsal pianist (e.g. for Claxton Opera) and an inspiring teacher of piano.