English Music Festival returns to Horsham

The 2021 autumn English Music Festival will take place in Horsham in St Mary’s Church on the evening of Friday, November 12 and all day on Saturday, November 13.

EMF 2021 Em Marshall-Luck_Festival Director
EMF 2021 Em Marshall-Luck_Festival Director

It will move to the Drill Hall on Sunday, November 14.

Festival director Em Marshall-Luck said: “The programme opens on the Friday evening with the young and dynamic Ensemble Hesperi celebrating the release of their debut disc from EM Records with baroque gems.

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“Saturday will commence with Elgar, Britten, Alwyn, Delius and Richard Rodney Bennett, amongst others, from oboist Nicola Hands and pianist Jonathan Pease.

“The afternoon will include Vaughan Williams’ ever popular The Lark Ascending, alongside works by Elgar and Ireland while the Saturday evening recital will be of English solo songs, including music by Gustav Holst, Frank Bridge, Ivor Gurney and John Ireland, with acclaimed tenor James Gilchrist with pianist Nathan Williamson.

“On the Sunday afternoon we welcome back flautist Emma Halnan and harpist Heather Wrighton while the final concert will celebrate Remembrance Sunday with appropriate music from the effervescent New Foxtrot Serenaders.”

Booking is available via www.englishmusicfestival.org.uk or by contacting Em Marshall-Luck on 07808 473889 or email [email protected]

The opening concert on Friday, November 12 at 7.30pm at St Mary’s Church comes from Ensemble Hesperi and includes: James Oswald: Airs for Autumn – The Sweet Sultan; Earl Of Kellie: Trio Sonata in C major; Robert Bremner: Maggie Lauder from A Harpsichord Miscellany; William McGibbon: Trio Sonata in Imitation of Corelli; James Oswald: Sonata on Scots Tunes from A Curious Collection of Scots Tunes; Giuseppe Sammartini: Trio Sonata in D minor; Henry Playford: A Collection of Original Scotch Tunes (Full of the Highland Humours); and Francesco Geminiani: Trio Sonata on The Last Time I Came o’er the Moor

Saturday, November 13 begins with Nicola Hands (oboe) and Jonathan Pease (piano) at 11 in St Mary’s Church. The programme will include: Richard Rodney Bennett: Four Country Dances; William Alwyn: Sonata for Oboe and Piano; Benjamin Britten: Grasshopper from Two Insect Pieces; Sir Edward Elgar (arr Gordon Jacob): Soliloquy for Oboe and Piano; Lamont Kennaway: Watersmeet; Jonathan Pease: Westbourne Nocturne; Ronald Binge: The Watermill; and Jonathan Dove: Music for a Lovelorn Lenanshee.

At 2.30pm in St Mary’s Church Rupert Marshall-Luck (violin) and Nathan Williamson (piano) offer Ralph Vaughan Williams: The Lark Ascending; Frederick Delius: Légende; John Ireland: Sonata no. 1 in D minor; Sir Edward Elgar: Salut d’Amour, Chanson de Nuit, Chanson de Matin, Sonata for Violin and Piano.

At 7.30pm in the church, James Gilchrist (tenor) and Nathan Williamson (piano) offer John Ireland: The Land of Lost Content; Ivor Gurney: Down by the Salley Gardens, Snow, Lights Out, Sleep; Frank Bridge: Four Songs; Doreen Carwithen: Three Songs to Poems by Walter de la Mare; Gustav Holst: A Vigil of Pentecost, The Ballad of Hunting Knowe; and Madeleine Dring: Five Betjeman Songs.

Em added: “The English Music Festival celebrates Britain’s rich musical heritage by showcasing the brilliance, innovation and beauty of English music.

“It was established to give a platform to those many powerful and lovely works by British composers – primarily of the late-nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries – that for so many years were all-too-rarely heard. Yet although the focus of the Festival is the Golden Renaissance of English Music, our programmes span from mediaeval music through to contemporary music.”