On Friday 6th December I will be performing in a concert in the Unitarian Chapel in York to raise money for Friends of St Nicholas Fields, along with David Hammond (piano), Catherine Strachan (cello and bass), Ellen Jordan (cello) and Thea Jacob (soprano).
St Nicks (as it’s more commonly known) is an environmental charity and York’s leading organisation in promoting sustainable living. It has an award-winning environmental centre and a thriving nature reserve and also provides services such as kerbside recycling, advice on composting and education programmes.
Following on from our 4 ‘seasonal’ concerts for St Nicks last year, this programme will be full of variety. I will be performing Corelli’s Sonata ‘La Follia’ and arrangements for violin and piano of the Intermezzo from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and the Mazurka from Delibes’ ballet Coppelia.
The Italian composer Archangelo Corelli (1653-1713) published a set of 12 sonatas for violin and continuo, op.5, in Rome in 1700. The 12th is a set of variations on the theme of ‘La Folia’ a 16-bar chord progression commonly used by composers during the Renaissance and Baroque periods. It originated as a Portuguese folk dance (note the difference in spelling in the Italian version) and gradually evolved into the form used here by Corelli. This sonata is in D minor, the most commonly used key for a Folia, and Corelli’s 23 variations transform the basic theme in many different ways, by use of rhythms, double-stopping and interplay between the instruments.
The beautiful Intermezzo is taken from Mascagni’s one-act Cavalleria Rusticana. It was written in only 2 months for a competition which was open to all young Italian composers who had not yet had an opera performed on stage. Mascagni’s entry won first prize and it remains the most popular of his 15 operas.
A mazurka is a traditional polish dance in triple time and it became popular as a dance in ballrooms throughout Europe during 19th century. Delibes composed the music for Coppelia in 1870; the plot of the ballet involves an inventor, Dr Coppelius, and a life-size wind-up doll. The mazurka features in a lively street scene in Act 1.
Our concert will also include Rossini’s Duetto in D major for Cello and Double Bass, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue and a selection of songs performed by Thea Jacob.
Tickets are available in advance through the St Nicks website or on the door.