From Stalin’s Moscow to the Austria of Mozart and Brahms

The Cecilia Concert has the reputation for its eclectic programming but 2013’s must be the most extreme yet: from Stalin’s Moscow to the Austria of Mozart and Brahms with plenty of stops in between. Keir Rowe began the music with a brilliantly spirited performance of Shostakovich’s Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra. Clearly this was the composer letting off steam during the Soviet Union’s worst decade and the Concert Band whirled their way expertly through the music. The next part of the orchestral half was much more traditional with the First Orchestra playing Brahms’ St Anthony Variations and Will Lithgow conducting the Chamber Orchestra in a wonderfully poised rendition of Mozart’s Divertimento. The second half of the concert was devoted to choral music with the Barbershop Boys, the Cecilia Consort and Choir all performing. As a singer in the latter Nick Gleed‘s programme notes confirmed my fears calling the C.P.E. Bach Magnificat ‘astonishingly difficult’ and ‘unfathomable’ and yet the audience enthusiastically received the 182-bar ‘Amen’. Congratulations must go to everyone in the Music Department for arranging yet another highly successful concert.

By Nick Meigh, Teacher of History and Choir member

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Bedales School is one of the UK’s top independent private co-education boarding schools. Bedales comprises three schools situated in Steep, near Petersfield, Hampshire: Dunannie (ages 3–8), Dunhurst (ages 8–13) and Bedales itself (ages 13–18). Established in 1893 Bedales School puts emphasis on the Arts, Sciences, voluntary service, pastoral care, and listening to students’ views. Bedales is acclaimed for its drama, theatre, art and music. The Headmaster is Keith Budge.

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