Arundel Festival: Hanover Band founder leaves sparkling legacy

Hanover Band founder Caroline Brown leaves behind her a remarkable legacy: the Arundel-based band is fully programmed all the way through until its 40th anniversary in 2021.

Caroline Brown
Caroline Brown

Caroline’s hand will also be felt in the Hanover Band’s contribution to this year’s Arundel Festival, the first festival since her death earlier this year at the age of 64 following a long illness.

Caroline’s husband and the Hanover Band’s general manager Stephen Neiman said: “For the festival there are five concerts at South Stoke which Caroline designed with her long-term friend Colin Lawson who is a clarinettist. They are under the title of Nurturing The Next Generation. They are basically undergraduates of the Royal College joining with principal players from the band playing chamber works. We are encouraging undergraduates to perform with the professionals, giving the undergraduates experience of concert-giving. It is a wonderful experience for them.

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“Caroline for the last six years had been operating either from the office or examining abroad or she has been in hospital, and that is the great thing about email. She had 17 operations or procedures in those six years. Even while she was in the Marsden, she was still emailing, working out the programme for the band. She nearly lost her operating slot on one occasion she so immersed in what she was doing. And that is the thing. Even though she was ill, she has put together three year’s of programming for the band which takes us to 2021 which is the band’s 40th anniversary. All the programming has been done.”

There was never a moment’s doubt that the band would continue without her: “It is her legacy. The band was always going to continue and Caroline wanted to make sure that in our 40th anniversary year we perform all the Beethoven symphonies as we did in our first year that the band was established.”

Carline, a cellist, founded the Hanover Band in 1980 to perform and record the music of Beethoven using instruments from the early-19th century: “She set out with the band to recreate an orchestra which in every way Beethoven would have recognised, the instruments the musicians are using playing an interpretation that Beethoven would have recognised, the size of the orchestra, the original roster that would have been used at the premiere of each of the symphonies. It was about recreating the sound of the original. Caroline had passion – a genuine passion for making sure that everything that the Hanover Band did was as close to the original as possible. If you like, she was like a musical historian. She wanted to show that Beethoven 5 does not need an orchestra of 150 people in the Royal Festival Hall. That doesn’t mean that people don’t want to hear 150 people in the Royal Festival Hall, but it is saying that Beethoven would not have recognised 150 people in the Royal Festival Hall.”

The same priniciples go into the Arundel Festival.

The Hanover Band’s 2018 Arundel Festival programme begins on August 21 at 12 midday with the launch of this year’s South Stoke Series in St Leonard’s Church, South Stoke. The Hanover Band Chamber Ensemble, with members of the Consone Quartet, perform Schubert’s Octet; on August 22 at 12 noon, the series continues at the same venue with Les Nations: Handel – Trio Sonata In G Major Op.5 No.4; Purcell – Chacony In G Minor; Sammartini - Recorder Concerto In F Major; Leclair - Flute Concerto In C Major; Vivaldi - La Follia Trio Sonata Rv63; and Telemann - Concerto in E major for recorder, flute and strings: on August 23 at 12 noon the concert is L’Europe Galante: Vivaldi - Concerto In G Minor; JS Bach - Trio Sonata In G Major Bwv 1038; JS Bach - Quintet In D Major; Fasch - Sonata In B Flat Major; Vivaldi - Trio Sonata In A Minor; and Telemann - Quartet In G Major From Tafelmusik Part 1.