Music Appreciation 2
MUSIC APPRECIATION 2
There are two Music Appreciation groups in Downham Market which meet on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of each month.
We listen mainly to classical music, however, our taste is eclectic and we have, on occasion, ventured into other areas - jazz, the musical and Native American.
We take a shared responsibility in providing the music each month and, of course, the benefit of this is that we are all introduced to pieces that are unknown to us. In this way we come to appreciate music that we possibly would never have listened to.
Some of our favourites have been the voice of Bryn Terfel, the conductor Andrew Rieu, John William's guitar music and early church works.
We recently listened to a Mass in forty parts by Alessandro Striggio (b.1536/7), a work only recently re-discovered. Some of us went on to buy the CD for ourselves.
We have also listened to different recordings of the same compositions and been amazed at the different feelings evoked in us
Inevitably there is some chatting within the groups, usually about music, although we did have a lively debate about women priests after listening to some church anthems.
We always enjoy a cup of tea and biscuits, but the over-riding benefit for all of us is that we have two hours in which to sit undisturbed and immersed in music.
Our two music groups in Downham Market have continued to enjoy a variety of music. One of our newer members is an opera lover and has introduced us to some lovely pieces. She also tells us the story and how the aria fits in, which enhances our listening experience.
In this group John Williams remains a firm favourite. Other composers include Rutter, Vivaldi and Flanders and Swann.
We have listened to some old favourites such as Max Bruch's Violin Concerto, No. 2 in D minor and the Haydn Symphony, No. 82 in C major. Piano works by Satie, Beethoven and Galuppi have also been enjoyed.
Recently our groups were invited to "Sunnyside" in Oxborough where we spent a most relaxing and enjoyable afternoon listening to music played on antique and reproduction harpsichord, pianos and a beautiful sounding clavichord. The composers included Byrd, Purcell, Duphey, Bach, Beethoven and Mendelssohn.
It is well worth a visit to "Sunnyside" and we all agreed that we would like to return soon.
On 2nd November 25 members from the Antiques Appreciation and Music Appreciation groups again went to Martyn and Phyllis Clarke's lovely home in the Old Schoolhouse at Oxborough.
As we have come to expect, we didn't just enjoy great music played well, but were educated in the historical and musical development of the flute.
We listened to period music played on flutes dating from a 1690 design to the present day and made from boxwood, blackwood and silver, some with ivory.
There was a real difference in timbre and we learnt that the 1690 one key flute needed a lot of tuning whilst being played; around 1760 the holes were made larger resulting in very little bass sound and around 1800 a tuning slide was added as it had become impossible for fingers to cover the holes. In 1830 two music keys were added to make the flute play lower and the modern flute plays higher by 5 notes than the earliest.
Martyn played his latest acquisition, a two manual harpsichord and his 1812 Broadwood piano which is identical to one sent to Beethoven.
It was too cold to enjoy the garden so we all chatted over a cup of tea indoors.
The group which meets on the 1st Thursday of each month have been concentrating on an extention to the sacred music which all the members enjoyed at the recent Lecture Society meetings. We have listened to works by Hildegard of Bingem, Lassus, Byrd and Bach. Recently we have enjoyed Hummel, Bach and Boccherini works for strings and we have revisited Tallis's Spem in Alium and Striggio's mass in 40 parts.
The group which meet on the 3rd Thursday of the month is larger and we find ourselves listening to shorter pieces to accommodate everyone's choice. A new member introduced us to Horn trios by Antonin Rijcha. We have listened to 2nd movements of concertos for violin (Bach) piano (Rachmaninov and Chopin) and clarinet (Mozart) We have continued to enjoy guitar music played by John Williams and opera excerpts from Aida. On a lighter note we heard Sidney Torch's London Trasnsport Suite and Percy Grainger's Country Gardens, Shepherds Hey and Molly on the Shore.