Yes, we still exist! What weird times we are living in. I do hope music has helped sustain you as it has me over the Lockdown periods. I cherish memories of our final concert in last year’s programme…
The wonderful playing of the Ensemble Mirage as they treated us to those sublime clarinet quin-tets by Mozart and Brahms. I like to think that the timbers of our wonderful Quaker Meeting House still resonate to the diverse sounds of live music as well as to the sounds of silent worship. For the moment it is only the latter which may continue. In the meantime we need to get real and to fully understand the implications of Covid-19 for the world of music and musicians. Dire might be an understatement . What steps have we taken? We have chosen to follow the pattern of the Hertford International music Festival. They have de-cided to postpone their entire programme until next year. Our musicians have agreed to this Idea, and to help them survive until then, we as a committee have decided to advance them a proportion of their fees. The VACCINE SHOULD BRING US BACK TO NORMAL by September!
The season will kick off with the fine local talent of Natasha (soprano), Colin Eldred (clarinet), ac-companied by Barbara Manning on September 19th The Quaker Meeting House, oldest in the world in current use, was to celebrate its 350 years Anniversary. We shall celebrate with them one year later on October 17th. What difference does a year make in this context? Oliver Hitch will direct the local chamber choir, “From the Top”. They are masters of diverse styles of choral music: they will sing music appropriately from the 17th century. Gems by Henry Purcell and the like ( not quite an appropriate expression as there was no one like him!) Gabriella Buckland (coloratura soprano) will sparkle with period solos plus continuo The programme I put together for this autumn was to be a celebration of 80 years of our Club, with the timely return of an old friend of ours, Alexander Ardakov on November 14th. We can be assured of a feast of top class pianism, with music by Beethoven, Chopin, Rachmaninov. Not to mention copious encores making one embarrassed to leave for any reason.
On January 23rd the superb local guitarist, Matthew Burton will return to stun us with his virtuosi-ty and a hugely diverse programme. February 20th will feature the Galini piano quartet, the return of friends from Welwyn, with works by Dvorak and Brahms To delve further into that year, we plan to round off with a concert by the Chris Eldred Trio on March 20th.
Finally an important request to you. Live chamber music is hard to keep going at the best of times. In Hertford we have just lost the wonderful Hertford International Series of concerts with the move to Thailand of the organisers, the lovely and dynamic duo of Rowena Calvert (who has played her ‘cello for us several times) and her husband Rhys. We cannot be sure what will survive in the world of live music but we very much hope that Hertford Music Club has roots strong enough to do so. As a society we must have members, even if for the current season we are un-able to schedule any regular concerts. We therefore ask you to pay a subscription for the 2020/21 season at £25 per head (half the usual rate), each such subscription to be treated as part payment towards the subscription for the 2021/22 season (beginning in September next year). Subject to the 2021 Annual General Meeting, the membership subscription for 2021/22 will remain at £50 per person. Please send a cheque, payable to Hertford Music Club, to Geoffrey Rice at 7 Cedar Close, Hertford SG14 1LU, stating your name(s) and address. Payment electroni-cally will be very welcome: please contact Geoffrey for details (01992 551644 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please do support us and show your confidence in the future of Hertford Music Club.
In the meantime ALL IDEAS ARE WELCOME. Perhaps a paid-up ZOOM concert, showcasing the wonderful acoustic (especially with no audience present!) or a real concert? And for now, may music be a solace for you over Christmas, keeping you sober, sane and safe!