Horsham Music Circle delighted to be back

After November’s lockdown,  the Horsham Music Circle will resume its lunchtime concerts when Gerald Taylor returns to present an hour of Christmas-themed organ repertoire on Wednesday, December 16 at 1pm at the Unitarian Church, Worthing Road.
Gerald TaylorGerald Taylor
Gerald Taylor

Chairman Jill Elsworthy said: “In these uncertain times for musicians we hope the programme will rekindle some of the spirit of the festive season.

“Richard Wagner once described J S Bach as ‘the most stupendous miracle in all music’ so two of Bach’s works associated with the Advent and Christmas season open the recital, the Great Prelude in C Major and the Prelude to the Advent Cantata Wachet Auf.

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“Staying with the Baroque era, Corelli’s Pastorale from the Christmas Concerto is included and moving to the 18th century Noël Suisse from the popular Noël Variations by Balbastre, so popular that it is said he was forbidden to play them in 1762 for fear of riots at Notre Dame!

“Other works featured are by Marcel Dupré and his pupil Flor Peeters, and from the UK, famous for their inspiring carol arrangements, John Rutter and David Willcocks together with Malcolm Riley who combines two well-known carols to produce some interesting and amusing counterpoint in I Saw Three Ships In Sussex.”

The performance follows current Covid-secure guidelines with regards to social distancing and wearing facemasks. Entry is free with a retiring collection to support the Music Circle’s live music promotions. Audience numbers are restricted to 24.

Book in advance by email to [email protected] or phone 01403 252602 (answer machine). Early application is advised. Any changes to government guidelines will be posted on the music circle’s website at horsham-music-circle.org.uk and Facebook page.

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Jill added: “As we continue to promote live performances for our 79th season, those who have known the society over many years will be saddened to hear news of the death of Brian Harmsworth on November 12 at the great age of 96.

“Brian was the son of the circle’s founder Grace Humphery. After her retirement he took over the running of the annual concert series together with administrative secretary Betty Gripper.

“During the 70s he brought many outstanding artists to Horsham who were at the start of their careers including a young cellist by the name of Julian Lloyd Webber, together with Howard Shelley, John Lill, Barry Douglas and the Endellion String Quartet, all of which are at the forefront of classical music today.

“In 1981 he wrote his personal recollections from the start of the Circle in 1942 and this was re-issued in 2012. The publication continued the theme of recollections with the current organising secretary’s memories of events from 1981 to the society’s 70th year and can still be obtained through the music circle. Brian’s dedicated work to develop the circle’s concert programming will always be remembered. Both he and Grace Humphery had brought drive and enthusiasm to create many evenings of great music making.”

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