Saddleworth Musical Society

Sunday 6th June, 7.30 p.m. in Saddleworth Church

THE LORD RHODES CONCERT

Conductor: En Shao Chorus Master: Harry Butterworth; Soloists: Victoria Joyce; (soprano)
Shelley Coulter-Smith (mezzo-soprano); John Christodoulou (tenor); Timothy Hicks (baritone)
with the Saddleworth Festival Orchestra (leader: Donald Clarke)

This concert is dedicated to the memory of the late Lord Rhodes of Saddleworth,
Festival Founder and President 1957 - 1987

PROGRAMME

'I Was Glad', Hubert Parry (1848 - 1918)

'Gloria' for soloists, chorus and orchestra 1999
Paul Patterson (b. 1947) Festival Commission: First Performance

PAUL PATTERSON occupies a singular position in British music today, being one of the few major composers making an active and distinguished contribution to the choral repertoire. His voluminous output is dominated by chant music, remarkable for its variety, from slapstick comedy and nightmare phantasmagoria to profound pathos as in the Stabat Mater, and celebration as in the Te Deum and Magnificat.

The new Gloria, composed for the 1999 Saddleworth Festival, belongs to the latter category. Written for solo soprano and tenor, mixed chorus and full orchestra, it consists of four movements and lasts roughly 20 minutes. The work can be viewed as a short choral symphony, with a fast opening movement, a bipartite scherzo coming second, a slow third movement, and a big, fast finale.

The bold brass fanfares and driving syncopation of the orchestral introduction, unmistakably bear Patterson's identity and the forceful straightforward chorus entry set a general atmosphere of celebration.

The second movement, Laudamus te, falls into two distinct halves. The first rising in a steady crescendo, the second, glorificamus te, propelled in constantly changing irregular metres on its exuberantly unpredictable course to a clinching climax where the music momentarily broadens before resuming its high speed and finally disappearing into the distance.

The third movement, Domine Deus, is the work's centre of gravity. Solo trombone, trumpet and violin over quiet string tremolandi and chanting chords from the chorus create an impression of a vast Russian church. Here the solo tenor, makes his first entry. He continues with the words "Qui tollis pecata mundi", as the chorus repeats the word "miserere " in slow march rhythm. The solo soprano takes over, making her first contribution. Both soloists join in octaves in the final section, in the words "Domine Deus, Rex coelestis" whereupon the three solo instrumentalists, who opened the movement now bring it to a close. The finale, Quonium tu solus, Sanctus, quickly banishes all gloom in vigorous triplet rhythm. Before the finish the music briefly recalls the end of the first movement before rounding things off in a blaze of B flat major.

Copyright Paul Pellay 1999

The Gloria was commissioned with the help of North West Arts Board and The Foundation for Sport and the Arts

INTERVAL

'Mass in A flat', Schubert (1797 - 1828)

Schubert composed seven masses. The mass in A flat D678, published in 1822, is considered by many to rank with the greatest of all - the Mass in D of Beethoven. It is typical of the Viennese period - tuneful gracious music of no real high dignity. The primary key of A flat is found only exceptionally in settings of the mass but one which, in the words of the German poet Christian Schubart, expresses the ideas of 'death, the grave, dissolution, the Last Judgement and Eternity', suggesting a message that is progressively decoded in the course of the work's seven sections. The form of Schubert' A flat mass follows the convention of the High Mass or Missa Solemnis:

Kyrie (Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy)
Gloria (Glory to God in the Highest)
Credo (I believe in one God)
Sanctus (Holy, Holy)
Osanna (Hosanna)
Benedictus (Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord)
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God)

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EN SHAO was born in China in 1954 and was playing the piano and violin by the age of five. The cultural revolution interrupted his studies for four years, but he was able to resume them at Beijing centre Music Conservatory.

After graduating he became conductor with the Chinese Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra and the Central Philharmonic Orchestra of China.

In 1988 he was awarded the Lord Rhodes fellowship at the Royal Northern College of Music. The same year he gained the first Eduard Van Beinum Foundation Scholarship and in 1989 he won the Hungarian Television International Conductor's Competition, which led to a series of engagements there.

In this country the post of Associate Conductor of the BBC Philharmonic was specially created for him and he became Principal Conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, with whom he made his Proms debut in 1995. He made his London debut with the London Symphony Orchestra in 1992 and with the Royal Philharmonic in 1994.

Abroad he has appeared with great success throughout Scandinavia and he is a regular visitor to Australia, returning for his seventh tour in 2000. He also enjoys great success in the USA and Canada.

En Shao maintains close links with his native China where last season he undertook a successful British Council tour with the percussionist Evelyn Glennie.

Central Chinese Television is currently making a documentary of his life and work, which is due for completion later this year.

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PAUL PATTERSON is Manson Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music where he once studied trombone and composition.

He is currently composer in residence with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. His compositions, varied and widely performed, include, among the most popular recent works; the orchestral setting of Roald Dahl's Little Red Riding Hood and the violin concerto. He has carried on the 20th century English choral tradition in a growing number of large-scale commissions, like the Mass of the Sea, the Stabat Mater and Te Deum.

His music reveals a particular concern with unusual combinations of sound and rhythm and shows the influence of Stravinsky, Hindemith, and later the avant garde school of Penderecki and Lutoslavski. He aims to make his music challenging and enjoyable for both performers and audience.

His tireless advocacy of contemporary music led him to found the Royal Academy's annual festival. In 1996 he received the PRS/RPS Leslie Boosey Award for services to contemporary music and in 1997 BBC Radio 3 marked his 50th birthday with a Composer of the Week feature.

Recent recordings include The Royal Eurostar, written for the State Opening of Waterloo International Station and the Magnificat with the Bach Choir and the Wallace Collection under Sir David Willcocks.

Following the Gloria for this year's Saddleworth Festival he is engaged in a work for the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and a Millennium Mass for Southwell Cathedral and the Orchestra of St. John's Smith Square for performance in 2000.

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HARRY BUTTERWORTH's musical interests started with learning the piano. This led to considerable demands at school and naturally followed on with becoming the accompanist for Rochdale Operatic Society.

At 25 he was appointed Musical Director and has been with Rochdale ever since. He has been associated with many local societies including Hyde Light Opera, Woodhouses, Oldham, Saddleworth Players and more recently, Uppermill Stage Society.

Harry was appointed Musical Director of Saddleworth Musical Society in 1997 and has since conducted performances of Die Fledermaus, The Sorcerer and, at the last Spring Concert, Trial by Jury and Carmina Burana.

By profession he is a chemist and currently works for Ciba as the Environment, Health and Safety Manager.

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VICTORIA JOYCE is studying as a postgraduate with Caroline Crawshaw at the RNCM where she took her B.Mus. (Hon.).

She has taken part in many college opera productions and appears regularly throughout the region as recitalist and soloist in major choral works. She was a soloist in the world premiere of the original version of Mahler's Das klagende Lied under Kent Nagano at the Bridgewater Hall.

Victoria has won many awards, including the RNCM D'Oyly Carte Scholarship. Her Gilbert and Sullivan debut was as Phyllis in Iolanthe at Gawsworth Hall and she is currently working alongside Valerie Masterson in the Carl Rosa Company's new productions of The Mikado and The Pirates of Penzance, to be released on CD.

She will sing Adele in Die Fledermaus in the Company's forthcoming tour.

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SHELLEY COULTER-SMITH was born in Oxford and began studying singing with Helen Clarke GRMCM at the age of fifteen.

In 1994 she was awarded a place at the Royal Northern College of Music, where she has been involved in productions of Verdi's Ernarni, Donizetti's Roberto Devereux, Nicola LeFanu's Story of Mary O'Neill and excerpts of Rossini's Tancredi and Verdi's Falstaff. Shelley has performed in staged excerpts including Mozart's La Finta Giardiniera and Zandonai's Francesca da Rimini.

Oratorio performances include Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, Bach's Magnificat and Elgar's The Dream of Gerontius. Shelley performed the role of Proserpina in Cesti's Il Pomo d'Oro for Musica nel Chiostro in Italy last summer.

Having gained her BMus. (Hon.) degree she continues to study with Honor Sheppard at the college.

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JOHN CHRISTODOULOU was educated at Chetham's School of Music.

In 1994 he entered the RNCM and won the James Martin Oncken Song Prize in his second year. He has appeared in many college opera productions and took the part of Count Almaviva in the College's production of Rossini's Barber of Seville at the Aix en Provence Festival.

In 1996 he made his Manchester Bridgewater Hall debut in Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ under Kent Nagano and he was also a soloist in under Nagano in the world premiere of the original version of Mahler's Das klagende Lied.

He appears regularly on the oratorio and concert platforms and broadcasts with the BBC Daily Service Singers.

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TIM HICKS already had considerable operatic experience when he entered the RNCM from Dartington College, having sung at Garsington, Wexford and with Pavilion Opera on tour in Europe and the Far East.

At college his operatic roles ranged from Handel and Mozart to Stravinsky and included the part of Roman Prus in the premiere of Tim Benjamin's The Bridge. His concert and choral repertoire includes Brahms's Requiem, Haydn's Creation, Bach solo baritone cantatas and major works by Handel, Mozart and Mendelssohn.

Tim broadcasts regularly on the Daily Service for the BBC.


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The soloists appear by kind permission of the Principal, Royal Northern College of Music.

This concert is sponsored by Oldham Metropolitan Borough and KPMG