Wester Ross

Music

Group Organiser: Kirsty Adam
Phone:01445 712707

Next Meeting:
Tuesday 26 September 2017 7.30pm at Kirsty's

Dates ahead :
Tuesday 31 October 2017 - theme Flight

Previous Meetings:

5 September 2017

Five of the U3A Music Group met on Tuesday 5 September at 7.30pm (a postponed August date) at Kirsty's and enjoyed another delightful mix of music, chat and refreshments. Our theme this time being RIVERS we started with a stirring fanfare from Handel's Water Music followed by Smetana's Vltava, the Chinese Yellow River Concerto, a taste of Wagner's Gotterdammerung, Summer Night on the River by Delius, and finishing with another very enjoyable contrast of a short movement from Shaun Davey's The Brendon Voyage with small Irish pipes and orchestra - not strictly rivers but watery and new to most of us.

After a bit of discussion about ways to expand our choices of music we decided to have alternate evenings of theme-based selections by each of us, with an evening with one larger-scale work preceded by a shorter introductory piece. Our next meeting will be on TUESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER at 7.30pm at Kirsty's when we plan to listen to Shostokovich's 5th Symphony (brought by Jeremy) preceded by Janet's choice. The following meeting on Tuesday 31 October will be based on the theme of FLIGHT.

New members are welcome ! Contact Kirsty on 01445 712 707 if you need more details.

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Five members of the U3A Music Group met at Kirsty's house bringing music relating to SPACE in a variety of interpretations. We moved from some striking choral music 'Beyond the Stars' recently composed by Gabriel Jackson for the St Mary's Cathedral Choir in Edinburgh, to Dvorak's well-known aria 'Song to the Moon' from his seldom performed opera Rusalka. We then heard the complete first Cello Sonata by Brahms, reflecting the wonderful spacious use of the cello's range - particularly those low sonorous sounds played by Stephen Isserlis. Holst's 'Neptune' from The Planets Suite took us into the heights in every sense, and Vaughan Williams' Sea Symphony second movement gave another evocative aspect of space. We finished with some 'Symphonic Rock' (with the London Symphony Orchestra) .... 'Life on Mars'.

This was another thoroughly enjoyable evening of music enhanced by a little wine and elderflower (apparently a recent Halifax Music Festival has launched a special concert programme planned around particular music with wines for increased enjoyment and insight!)

April Meeting
Another meeting with a cosy fire and a relaxing bottle, or two, of wine and we settled down to listen to an evening with Spring as its theme.

The interpretation was as varied as usual, ranging from choral to orchestral and everything in between, from Renaissance to the late 20th Century. As always happens, opinions were varied and some interesting discussions ensued, but without any necessity for pistols at dawn.

Our next meeting will find us voyaging to Islands, which opens up a myriad of destinations and interpretations.

27th September 2016 at Torran

The U3A Music Group happily re-convened after a summer break. Six of us enjoyed a variety of music, loosely inspired by ideas around changing seasons, as we relaxed by the fire with a glass of wine while the wind howled outside. Our programme opened with Mars from Holst's Planet Suite, followed by a wonderful soloists' section from the Verdi Requiem, Carl Nielsen's Helios Overture, Faure's 'In Paradisum' from his Requiem, the 3rd movement of Rachmaninov's Second Symphony, ending with Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata. This was our last Torran meeting ( moving on to Sea Breezes along the road in November).

23 February 2016 at 7.30pm

For three wintery hours in February five of us basked in Spanish sunshine, enthusiastically led by George Milne through many regions of Spain, listening to the music of Albeniz, de Falla, Granados, Casals and Victoria - as well as some traditional voice and guitar music - to say nothing of sipping red wine, eating specially baked and decorated Tarta de Santiago (a new and very successful venture for George!) with a choice of sweet white wine, and thick delicious Spanish hot chocolate. What more could any music group ask for?

Details of the programme of music :
Isaac Albeniz - Suite Espagnol (Aragon, Cadiz, Seville and Catalonia sections)
Enrique Granados - Goyescas (for three guitars) - El fandango de candil. Also the original piano roll played by the composer
Manuel de Falla - El Amour Brugo (Love, the Magician)
Nuria Fergo - Locura - Quiereme (Madness - Desire Me)
Pablo Casals - O vos omni
Tomas Luis de Victoria - O quam gloriosum (these last two sung by the choirs of Winchester Cathedral)

YOUTUBE Online : 1. El Camaron de la Isla y Paco de Lucia (Bulerias 1973 - Flamenco in AndalucĂ­a)
2. Quartet Melt (Catalonia) - Papa, jo vull ser torero (Catalan folk song)

Thank you George !

Tuesday 26 January 2016

Our Burns-inspired Scottish evening produced a fascinating and entertaining mixture of well-known voices, traditional melodies and new compositions with voices and instruments treated in different ways, all from a Scottish angle, Our historical and linguistic knowledge was challenged, also giving food for thought about possible music-related aspects for our new museum. Our programme included :
- the pre-Christian lament 'Pi-li-li-liu' (the call of the redshank), sung, then played on the pipes - leading to the pibroch 'MacDougall's Gathering' played by Bonnie Rideout on viola with bronze-age horns
- Alison McMorland's sung version of the pibroch MacCrimmon's Lament
- Alison Kinnaird's clarsach playing, both solo and duet - contrasting Scottish and Irish harps with their respective gut and metal strings
- the Sixteen Singers performing the church music of Scottish composer Carver of the times of the times of Henry V111 and James 1V
- Kenneth McKellar with orchestrated Burns songs including Ca' the Yowes - then contrasted with Benjamin Britten's version for tenor and piano - contrasted again with singer Sophie Ramsey's version
- Peter Maxwell Davies' orchestral piece 'An Orkney Wedding with Sunrise' (very funny as well as beautiful !)
- Burns songs sung by young singer Sophie Ramsey accompanied by guitar and other instruments

As ever we had much enjoyment, chat and discussion !

Tuesday 8 December

Six of us had another delightful evening starting with festive mulled wine and savoury titbits, followed by a variety of Christmas-related music, Stollen and other sweet goodies with tea, and much pleasant chat - some of it about music and musical memories ! People headed out into the wild night not much before 11pm and we all felt suitably prepared for a Happy Christmastide !

The music we listened to included movements from the Christmas Vigil sung by the Russian Don Cossaks Choir, Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols, Traditional and Gaelic carols in different arrangements, the Gloria from Janacek's Glagolithic Mass (not specifically Christmas but enormously dramatic and powerful), a lovely selection of carols sung by the choir of St Mary's Cathedral, Edinburgh, and finishing with Ancient Noels - "Traditional carols, medieval cantigas and Renaissance dances bring to life images of desert landscapes and stone monasteries where to spirit of Christmas was born" - (two of us chose this disc) - with Maggie Sansone on the hammered dulcimer with other early instruments.

Tuesday 27 October:
As I write, my head is full of sweeping melodies, vast spaces and far-reaching woodwind sounds - from last night's Music Group meeting at Jeremy's - when he took us through some of the orchestral music of Sibelius - including selected movements from some of his 7 symphonies, part of the Karelia Suite, Tapiola, representing a walk in the deep forests of Finland, and the beautiful atmospheric Swan of Tuonela.
We enjoyed another inspiring, absorbing and relaxing evening, thanks to Jeremy's presentation and warm welcome.

Previous Meeting:
The Music Group - five of us - had another thoroughly enjoyable and varied evening of listening and related chat - the programme of music being :
- Helios Overture - Carl Neilsen
- Goyescas No. 7 El Pelele (The Straw Man) - Granados
- "Death and the Maiden" Quartet (second movement) - Schubert
- Durham Cathedral - Jon Lord
- "Blessing" with Catrin Finch (harpist) - John Rutter

Kirsty Adam

More Group Pages
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More Group Pages
Bridge Film
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Theatre Going Travel