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DateNews
24 November 2018The Arts Society GLA GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATION CONCERT
06 October 2018ARCHIVE OPEN DAY AT TATE BRITAIN
22 September 2018'OUR TRUE GOLD; A Jubilee Celebration at Bridewell Hall'
17 July 2018Visits organised by The Arts Society Beckenham
18 June 2018OUTINGS BOOKED FOR THE SEASON 2018-2019
04 March 2018GLA Golden anniversary Study Days
01 January 2018TOURS PLANNED FOR 2018
19 October 2017The Arts Society Bromley 100 club

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The Arts Society GLA GOLDEN JUBILEE CELEBRATION CONCERT
Saturday 24 November 2018

GLA Audience Treated to Condensed History of London’s Music 

King’s Place was the perfect venue for Peter Medhurst’s delightful illustrated account of musical highlights in London history beginning with Blow Thy Horn Hunter written by W Cornysh, who died in 1523 and ending with a specially commissioned piece by young composer, Joe Howard which has not yet been named. 

The concert, a final celebration of the Golden Anniversary year of The Arts Society, took place on November 24th and was attended by a cross-section of members from London area Societies including enthusiasts from The Arts Society Bromley. Most of the pieces were illustrated by contemporary portraits of the composers and, often the score, too, was displayed on a huge screen at the front of the hall.  Handel’s contribution to London music was highlighted by the wonderful aria “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Rinaldo, sung ably by soprano, Helen Semple.  

The audience was reminded that JC Bach, arguably JS Bach’s most accomplished and innovative composer son, spent a significant part of his career in London where he was Music Master to Queen Charlotte, wife of George III.  The London Mozart players treated us to a rendition of the 1st Movement of his Flute Quartet in C major.  This was followed by the second movement of Haydn’s Surprise Symphony with its delightful rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.   Though few of us were familiar with the composer, George Pinto, who died at the age of 21 leaving us just a few pieces of strikingly original music, we were very pleased to be introduced to him. 

Mendelsohn’s love affair with Scotland has for many people obscured the fact that he also loved London.  We heard his ‘Spring Song’ from Songs Without Words written while staying with his wife’s relations in Denmark Hill. 

The first half ended with a sparkling mini-collection of songs from Gilbert and Sullivan delivered by Peter Medhurst, Maciek O’Shea and Helen Semple. 

Following a tea and biscuit break, the concert recommenced with a beautiful but rarely heard setting of In The Bleak Mid-Winter by London born H Darke, organist at St Michael’s in Cornhill for 50 years who died in 1976. John Ireland was represented by his Phantasie Trio in A minor and a piece called Chelsea Reach.  Frank Bridge’s very moving and sombre String Quartet No 3 written in 1926 is said to have been inspired by his horror of war.  Medhurst pointed out that it demonstrates his mature, post-tonal musical language. The Blitz was commemorated in Noel Coward’s patriotic song “London Pride”.  The concert ended with the shimmering strains of Joe Howard’s specially commissioned piece inspired by Henry Mayhew’s report on an early balloon flight which appeared in his book “The Great World of London”, published in 1857.