February 18th 2023 – Orchestral Concert
7.30 Chapel of St Augustine, Tonbridge School
Tonbridge Philharmonic celebrates the new year with a wonderful concert of English music from the first half of the twentieth century, some of which you know and some which may be new but interesting.
We open with the overture to The Wreckers, by Dame Ethel Smyth, considered by many to be the precursor to Britten’s Peter Grimes. Then we move to Norfolk for Vaughan Williams’ Rhapsody No 1, written as the first part of a three-movement ‘folk-song symphony’ and having all the delicacy that we expect from that composer.
Eric Coates never wrote for the stage, but his prolific output of songs means that most of us would recognise his work – such as By a Sleepy Lagoon, used as the theme music for Desert Island Discs. Here in the Three Elizabeths Suite, he references our three monarchs of that name – Elizabeth I and II, together with Elizabeth who was Queen Consort when he was writing. His work was sometimes disparaged by the musical elite, but it stays with us when some other more cerebral compositions have faded. Perhaps this was the skill that caused Ethel Smyth to say when meeting him for the first time “You are the man who writes tunes”, and to ask him how he did it.
Our final, very British piece and the most recognisable to all of us is Holst’s The Planets Suite. We will be playing all seven movements, as the composer intended, and the last, Neptune, The Mystic will feature female voices from our own choir and from West Kent Youth Voices. Holst’s daughter Imogen wrote after the première in 1918 of ‘the hidden chorus of women’s voices growing fainter and fainter in the distance until the imagination knew no difference between sound and silence’.
Join us on 18th February and enjoy that sound and silence with us!
Tickets can be bought here
Read more about West Kent Youth Voices: