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Cambridge Song Fetive February 2019 H600px

What happened in 2019

Contralto Jessica Dandy Cambridge Song Festival

A Cambridge Songbook

Friday 15 Feb 2019, Jesus College Chapel, 8.30pm

In a celebratory recital to open the Cambridge Song Festival, three award-winning young singers join pianist and artistic director Ceri Owen to perform a rich and fascinating collection of songs by Cambridge composers past and present. Framing the programme are a group of lesser-known songs by Ralph Vaughan Williams, who studied in Cambridge during the 1890s. Between his intimate The House of Life sonnets and the lyrical, tender Four Last Songs, we explore the lively and popular Greek songs of his teacher Maurice Ravel, as well as music by his friends and younger contemporaries, and recent work by leading contemporary composers. Join us as we embark on the Cambridge Song Festival in a spirit of celebration, collaboration, and discovery!

Ralph Vaughan Williams
Heart's Haven

Robin Holloway
Go, lovely Rose

Cheryl Frances-Hoad
Marching Through Time
The Ballad of Harry Holmes

Graham Ross
Through galleried earth

Maurice Ravel
Cinq mélodies populaires grecques


Benjamin Britten
Let the florid music praise!
As it is, plenty

William Denis Browne
The Isle of Lost Dreams

Gerald Finzi
Former Beauties

Richard Causton

Ralph Vaughan Williams
Four Last Songs

Tickets: £10, £5 students and under 35s (available on the door)

Pianist Andrew West Cambridge Song Festival

Lessons in Songmaking

Saturday 16 Feb 2019, Sidney Sussex College Chapel, 2pm

An intriguing opportunity to learn more about song performance, this masterclass features musicians from the University of Cambridge and is led by acclaimed song pianist Andrew West, who later performs in Saturday's evening concert. A chance to hear the musicians at work, the class is open to all -- and entry is free!

Free entry

Robert Murray tenor

Winter Journey

Saturday Feb 16 2019, St John’s College Old Divinity School, 8.30pm

Internationally-renowned tenor Robert Murray and pianist Andrew West are joined by actor and poet Seán Street in this unique performance of Schubert’s Winterreise (Winter Journey). Blending song and spoken word, Schubert’s extraordinary settings of Wilhelm Müller’s poems are here brought together with extracts from Captain Scott’s Antarctic diaries, combining two winter journeys to create a dark, intense, and powerful shared drama of the human psyche.

A pre-concert talk will be given at 7.30pm by Dr Peter Clarkson MBE, Emeritus Associate of the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge. This is free to all ticket holders.

Franz Schubert, Winterreise D.911, with extracts from Captain Scott's Diaries

The Fatal Chance

On 17 January 1912, Captain Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole with Edward Wilson, Lawrence Oates, Henry Bowers, and Edgar Evans, only to find that a Norwegian party led by Roald Amundsen had reached the goal before them. They were then faced with an 800 mile return trip, on foot, to their base and safety. All five men died in the attempt, Oates and Evans first, the three remaining men struggling on to within 11 miles of their goal. The last entry in the journal was on Thursday, 29 March. A search party found the bodies of Scott, Bowers, and Wilson on 12 November, 1912.

Setting readings from Scott's journal, where he charted that desperate journey, Seán Street and Robert Murray have devised a performance of words and music in which Schubert's Winterreise (Winter Journey) - a setting of 24 poems by Wilhelm Müller, telling the story of a man walking in despair through a night of ice and snow - provide a poignant parallel to Scott's last diaries.Winterreise was published in 1828, the year of Schubert's own death.

The idea for blending the two stories came about when Seán and Robert met during rehearsals for Cecilia McDowall's Seventy Degrees Below Zero, commissioned by the Scott Polar Research Institute, Cambridge, and premiered in the Spring 2012 by the City of London Sinfonia with Robert singing Cecilia's settings of Seán's poems 'The Ice Tree' and 'We Measure,' and an extract from Scott's last letter to his wife. Both Robert and Seán felt there was a connection to be made between Schubert's settings of Müller's poignant poems and the last pages of Scott's Antarctic journal, blending these two winter journeys to make a dark, intense experience, moving through the bleakest night of the soul and in the process exploring the human spirit in extremis.

Tickets: £15, £5 students and under 35s (available on the door)

Jacquelyn Stucker soprano

Folklore and Fairytales

Sunday 17 Feb 2019, Sidney Sussex College Chapel, 8.30pm

Baritone Dominic Sedgwick and soprano Jacquelyn Stucker are two Jette Parker Young Artists at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Together with pianist Ceri Owen they bring the Cambridge Song Festival to a close with a performance of the second book of Hugo Wolf’s exquisite Italian Songbook. A collection of vivid and colourful miniatures capturing the intensities of human life, love, and experience, the rest of the programme takes inspiration from Wolf's settings of Italian folk texts, exploring themes of folklore and tradition in songs by Barber, Berg, Butterworth, and Debussy.

Claude Debussy
La mer est plus belle

Samuel Barber

Alban Berg
Die Nachtigall

George Butterworth
O fair enough are sky and plain
When the lad for longing sighs
On the idle hill of summer


Hugo Wolf
Italienisches Liederbuch (Book II)

Tickets: £10, £5 students and under 35s (available on the door)

2019/20 Sponsors

Cambridge Song relies on the generous support of its sponsors. We extend our warm thanks to Mrs Shirley Ellis; Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge; the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust; and Trinity Hall College, Cambridge. Thanks also to Cubiq Design Ltd., Cambridge Pianoforte, and Kall Kwik Print Services, Cambridge.

The Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust


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