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Clare College Music Society

Michaelmas Term Concert including Beethoven's Eroica

Friday 2nd November

7:30 pm

With a nod towards the celebration of 100 years since the end of the 1st World War, Clare College Music Society presents its Michaelmas Term concert.

The Lark Ascending was born as a simple short romance for violin and piano, but after Vaughan Williams’ experiences as an officer in World War I, he felt the need to orchestrate the work as a touching souvenir of a time gone by. In a single sweep of velvety pastoral writing, Vaughan Williams extols the untroubled joys of nature, the call of the lark, and, particularly in the animated middle section, the genial folk music of earlier times. Stanfords’ Songs of the Sea, while composed before the war, similarly acts as a symbol of patriotic pride; the first song of the set of five references a legendary drum belonging to Francis Drake, to be beaten in England’s time of need.

Composed just over a century before World War I, Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony, the ‘Eroica’, has evolved into a defining landmark of Beethoven’s musical career. However, the story of how the symphony got its title is nearly as famous as the music itself. The Symphony was intended to be an homage to Napoléon Bonaparte, the general who had led the struggle for freedom in France, but the composer angrily removed the dedication when Bonaparte had himself crowned emperor. The powerful, liberating, heroic nature of the Third Symphony is unmistakable, whatever the degree of influence Bonaparte really had on its composition. The values Beethoven had identified in Bonaparte, the fight for freedom, justice and equality, are echoed in the themes at play within the symphony. The tremendous opening chords in the first movement, the increasingly complex fugue of the second movement, the rhythmic power of the third movement and the formal originality of the fourth; the number of unprecedented gestures employed by Beethoven within the work render it undoubtedly ‘heroic’.

Vaughan Williams The Lark Ascending
Stanford Songs of the Sea
Beethoven Symphony No.3 'Eroica'

Violin: Naomi Warburton
Voice: Kit Holliday
Conductors: Naomi Woo, Toby Hession, Tess Jackson

Ticket & Booking Information
£15, £12 (concession), £5 (student)
ADC Box Office 01223 300085

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