Season 2006/07
Spalding, Lincolnshire, England

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7 October 2006

18 November 2006

27 January 2007

3 March 2007

Duo Dorado
De Borah
Chaconne Brass

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Biographies - - THE THORNE TRIO - - Programme

Ilid llwyd Jones - Oboe;  Esther Sheridan - clarinet ; Alex Thorneloe - Bassoon

For this concert, oboist Ilid llwyd Jones was replaced by Alice Pullen (above right)


The Thorne Trio was founded in the autumn of 1999 and have now established a national reputation as an ensemble increasingly in demand. During 2004-6, they hold the post of Junior Fellows of the Royal College of Music. They are supported by the Yehudi Menuhin Scheme, Live Music Now!, The Council for Music in Hospitals and Cavatina Chamber Music Trust. During 2003, they won the Philharmonia Orchestra/Martin Music Trust Scholarship Fund Education and Outreach Award. Still supported by the fund, they work regularly for the Philharmonia Orchestra. The Trio has played at Buckingham Palace, St. James's, Kensington and Lambeth palaces. They have also performed at the Houses of Parliament, Lincoln's Inn and Gray's Inn, Tate Britain, the National Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and various hotels in London. Recent engagements have included recitals at the Beaumaris Music Festival, the Criccieth Music Festival, and at Leeds International Concert Series. In 2004, the Trio performed for Bryn Terfel at his Faenol festival alongside Jamie Cullum and Jools Holland.


Alice Pullen - Oboe

Alice graduated from the Royal Academy of Music and was principal cor anglais and co-principal oboe with the National Orchestra of Malta in 2001-2. Since her return, she has reached the final round of the European Union Youth Orchestra, where she obtained a reserve position. She plays regularly with National Symphony Orchestra and English National Ballet and found herself being involved with pop music as part of the orchestra for both Paul Weller and Elton John at the Royal Albert Hall and Radio City in New York. Alice is a regular soloist for the Locrian Ensemble of London with whom she has performed the Vivaldi F major concerto, Brandenburg concerto no 2 and the Mozart Oboe Quartet. She has recently toured throughout the UK and recorded with Katherine Jenkins - performing in the 2005 proms season with Sir Colin Davis. She is professor of oboe at Latymer Upper School and music specialist at Queensmill School for Autistic Children.

  Esther Sheridan - clarinet

Esther is a graduate of the Royal College of Music, where she studied with Colin Bradbury, Tim Lines and Michael Harris. She was awarded several prizes and awards from the RCM including a Foundation Scholarship, the Stephen Trier Bass Clarinet Prize, and the Hilda Deane Anderson Prize. During her time at the RCM, she was given the opportunity to play with the RPO, having also played principal clarinet in all of the college orchestras and many of the smaller ensembles. In 2002/3 Esther was a junior fellow at the RCM, where she focused on education and outreach work. As a result of this success, she works regularly for the London Symphony Orchestra "Discovery" department, Philharmonia Orchestra., and Wigmore Hall. Esther is also Musician in Residence for the charity Chance for Children Trust and has played with the South Bank Sinfonia, and the New Professionals Ensemble.


Alex Thorneloe - Bassoon

Alex is also a graduate of the RCM, where she studied with Martin Gatt and Sarah Burnett. Throughout her time there she was a Scholar and winner of the Fanny Hughes Bassoon Prize for two consecutive years. She was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain in which she played Principal for two years. Through this Alex had the experience of playing in all the major concert venues in the UK and Europe. As a member of the London Philharmonic Youth Orchestra she had the opportunity to play with the LPO. Also, as a student at the RCM, she played with the RPO. In 1998 Alex was asked to join the International Musicians Seminar at Prussia Cove where she played with a number of highly acclaimed musicians including Stephen Isserlis and several members of the Nash Ensemble. She has played principal bassoon in all the major orchestras and ensembles at the Royal College, and gained considerable experience in opera companies and orchestras elsewhere - including extra work with the Philharmonia Orchestra.



THE ARRIVAL OF THE QUEEN OF SHEBA HANDEL (1685-1759) (arr.Thorneloe)
Handel's oratorio 'Solomon' (from which this famously energetic piece is taken) was first performed in March 1749. Handel demanded huge forces for his day in order to perform this oratorio - over a hundred players and singers. The work is not a sacred piece in the truest sense, but a dramatic pageant. It contains music depicting passionate ceremonial which alternates with passages of sweet lyricism. It is said of this oratorio's glorious Act One, that "Solomon and his Queen appear to do little on stage but exchange increasingly sensuous blandishments." Perhaps so. But Handel displays in this score some of his finest instrumental writing, clearly evident here in this Trio arrangement depicting the Queen's noble entrance,

DIVERTIMENTO no. 4 in Bb MOZART (1756-1791) (arr. Oubradous)
Minuet and Trio
Rondo - Allegro

This arrangement, from a Divertimento for three basset-horns (a curiously shaped eighteenth century instrument and member of the clarinet family), is one of a set of five pieces written during 1783/4 - a period of the composer's finest works. There is a degree of uncertainty concerning which of Mozart's works were originally conceived for these now rare instruments. They are scored, for example, in his famous Requiem Mass. Even the first movement of Mozart's famous Clarinet Concerto (K.622) was first drafted in the key of G for an instrument commonly known as the 'basset-clarinet' before he transcribed it into its present key for the instrument we know today. This highly successful arrangement for oboe, clarinet and bassoon conveys all of the buoyancy and light-heartedness of the original. We are reminded that these Divertimenti (along with Mozart's many Serenades for wind instruments) were never conceived as concert pieces. They were envisaged more as casual entertainment. As one musician once described them, "This was written as music to eat by!"

SUITE no.3 in C Major BACH (1685-1750) (arr. Martin Gatt)
Bourrée 1 and Bourrée 2
Martin Gatt is well known to music lovers as one of this county's finest bassoonists. One-time principal bassoon with the London Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra, he has been an international soloist and a teacher of distinction. Gatt's splendid arrangements of movements from Bach's Cello Suites have been some of his most successful additions to the bassoon's repertoire and are frequently performed by bassoonists.

1. Preamble
3. Homage to JSB

Gordon Jacob is another composer to whom modern wind and brass players are especially grateful. His powerful concertos written for almost every woodwind and brass instrument are all technically challenging and yet full of imagination. However, Jacob's music should have a wider appeal. His huge catalogue of compositions covers almost every genre from symphonies to vocal works and chamber music. However, recordings and performances of his music are few. A pity. Jacob was born in London, and studied at the Royal College of Music under Vaughan-Williams, Parry and Sir Adrian Boult. He subsequently returned to RCM where he was professor of composition for many years. These Five Pieces for solo clarinet were written in 1972 for the clarinettist Georgina Dobrée. The searching initial Preamble is followed by an unmistakable Homage to J.S.Bach. If the ingenuity of these short pieces appeals to you, listen out for Gordon Jacob's highly acclaimed Divertimento for Harmonica and String Quartet, composed for the famous harmonica player Tommy Reilly, and later recorded by him.

Allegro Vivo
Allegro assai
Allegro quasi marziale

Jacques Ibert, born in Paris in 1890, studied at the Paris Conservatoire and was a winner of the coveted Prix de Rome in 1919. He subsequently worked as a highly respected director of the French Academy in Rome for over twenty years. Ibert's music is mainly neo-classical in style, though he is versatile as a composer and his music is often difficult to categorise. Much influenced by Debussy and Poulenc (and even Stravinsky in many of his works) he was particularly adept at writing for wind instruments. His style - original, buoyant and fun - is perhaps captured typically in the delightful Three Short Pieces (for Wind Quintet) of 1930 and in his popular and energetic Concertino for Saxophone and 11 instruments with its witty jazz influences. The present 5 Pieces for Trio dates from 1935, and ideas as varied as plainsong, dance music and counterpoint are each developed within these short, well-written movements in a true neo-classical style.

Allegro Comodo
Lento Poco Appassionato
Intermerzzo - Allegretto

The term Triolet normally describes a particular type of verse structure in the composition of a poem. Here, Walthew is using the term to imply a 'trio in miniature'. This little-known English composer (a pianist and conductor) wrote a great many chamber works of some distinction and which were performed in London at the composer's South Place Orchestra concerts. Walthew's style is richly romantic and somewhat reminiscent of Edward Elgar. These four movements are picturesque, conjuring up images of the sea and fanciful dances with tight rhythm and full-bodied harmonies.

CHANSON DE MATIN ELGAR (1857-1934) (arr. John Newhill)
When a simple, unforgettable melody is so well known that its original origins have long been forgotten, arrangers often do us great service by breathing fresh impetus into the music and giving to it a new life. Elgar's Chanson de Matin and Chanson de Nuit are two such pieces. They were published for violin and piano in 1897 and rearranged for orchestra two years later. Since then, these remarkable tunes have been transcribed for every conceivable instrument and ensemble! Edward Elgar was born in a village outside Worcester and his father was an organist and music shop owner. The life story of this esteemed composer is now legendary (thanks partly to a remarkable TV documentary made many years ago). The significance of this famous Edwardian's music - even his miniature pieces - can hardly be overstated. The inescapable beauty of the melodic line in Chanson de Matin is set here with warmth and charm in this Trio arrangement. It allows each wind instrument to sing with an expressive, natural tone.

Affecttuoso (Andante)
Gavotte (Allegro)
Air (Andante)

The Trio Sonata was one of the most important forms of chamber music in the Baroque period. Handel wrote many sets of Trio Sonatas and each sonata is scored for three instrumental voices. Conforming to the accepted pattern of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, Handel wrote for two upper instruments (normally two violins) and a 'figured' bass line (cello). This figuration on the bass line was often used by an additional (but optional) keyboard player to add embellishment and interest to the ensemble. The use of alternative instruments in Trio Sonata movements is perfectly authentic, and there is much evidence of woodwind instruments being employed in place of strings. In this arrangement (a selection of movements from different sonatas), the oboe and clarinet play the two treble lines and provide a pleasing contrast in texture.

SONATA FOR SOLO OBOE in G Minor (1st Movement) C P E BACH (1714-1788)
Carl Philip Emanuel Bach, the third son of J S Bach was born in Weimar in Germany. For eleven years he was employed in the court of Frederick the Great and was an excellent keyboard player. Mozart championed his compositional style saying of him: "He is the parent and we are the children." C P E Bach's importance as a composer stems from his imaginative development of style that led to the birth of the symphony. The instrumental sonata also assumed a very different style to that of his father, with less emphasis on the dance-suite and formal fugue. This Sonata for solo oboe is typical of the new style favoured in the mid eighteenth century.

Selection from CENTURY DANCES CECILIA McDOWALL (b. 1951)
Last Dance

With Cecilia McDowall's ability to appeal readily to audiences of all ages with her music, it is no surprise that her compositions are currently high on the popularity list with young instrumental students. Her style is readily accessible, fun to play and rewarding to listen to. However, McDowall is not just an 'educational' composer. Her work has been commissioned by many of the most prestigious orchestras and choirs here and abroad, and her music can regularly be heard on BBC Radio and TV. Listen out for her Four Shakespeare Songs for soprano and piano, and her beautiful and strikingly original setting of the Magnificat - both available on CD.

Century Dances received its first performance in December 2005 and was commissioned by The Thorne Trio. The dances come from the eighteenth century to the present day, and each has very different characteristics. The Allemande (which was frequently an introductory movement in the Baroque dance-suite) ushers in the work with flourishes and trills. The following Minuet (subtitled Ghost Dance) is distant and fragmented. The Mazurka (a Polish dance - much favoured by Chopin) is expansive and stately, and is succeeded by the dark intensity of the Tango. Finally, Last Dance rocks the suite to an exuberant conclusion. (We thank The Thorne Trio for material on Century Dances from which the above note has been compiled)

O Enemy - Allego, tempo di Marcia
In the Wild Forest - Andantino
Allegro ma non troppo

Stefan de Haan is an Englishman well known as a distinguished bassoonist, composer and writer. His music sparkles with wit and originality, and wind players especially enjoy his sympathetic understanding of these instruments for which he writes so well. These fantasias hide well known tunes and combine much skilful instrumentation with delicate humour and delightful nuances.

Programme Notes by Peter Case for South Holland Concerts ©2006

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