End of season

The first half of this year’s programme finished last evening in fine style

We have been able to meet in person again since September and we have enjoyed some excellent presentations. This year, we have had the benefit of audio-visual display which some speakers have used to great effect. It means we can use YouTube to display particular performances.

We finished the season in style last night with Ruth Barlow’s presentation of classical music in animation. Of course, Fantasia, featured prominently with several extracts, together with other Disney characters in musical settings. The first clip was the Cat Concert0 dating from 1946 featuring Tom and Jerry and which won Disney an Oscar for best short subject. Other animations included a rather more modern Geometry of Circles by Philip Glass and a fascinating 2018 animation Line Rider produced by DoodleChaos. This was a particularly fitting end to the first half of the 2021/22 programme and a ‘first’ in presentational terms for the Society.

Fantasia was not a success for Disney and he was put under some stress financially because of that. Its release during the war meant it could not be displayed in Europe. It was only some years later that it became a hit and has since been reissued several times.

Talking of ‘firsts’, Ed Tinline’s evening ‘Harmony around the Baltic’ was also a first in that we had photographs from each of the Baltic countries to illustrate the music being played.

Alan Forshaw’s Listening to Beethoven in a different light was memorable for several reasons. He reminded us that in Beethoven’s day, many people – perhaps the majority – would not have heard his works in a concert hall with orchestra but in the form of piano transcriptions and he played some modern versions. Not all the performers would have had the skill of Liszt so what people would have heard would have been very variable. Alan also played arrangements in different formats of familiar works which often gave a new insight into them.

An excellent and varied programme with the added attraction of film or still illustrations of the works being played. We look forward to the second half starting on 31 January 2022 with John Challenger discussing the Cathedral’s Father Willis organ.

Seasons greetings to all our members and readers and we look forward to welcoming you back in the New Year.

Next meeting

Our last meeting before Christmas – tonight!

The next meeting, the last before Christmas, will be on Monday 6 December at 7.30 when Ruth Barlow will present Classical Music in Animations and invite us to join her in an end of term scamper through some cartoons with great classical music, including considering whether Fantasia was Mickey Mouse’s finest hour and listening to Tom and Jerry playing Liszt.

As before, we ask all attending to follow the Covid safety measures we have in place including signing in and sanitising procedures on arrival, well spaced seating, wearing a mask, minimising moving around and maintaining social distancing.  From recent government announcements, it would seem that provided we follow our current practice this will fit within the latest Covid guidelines, so we plan to go ahead with the meeting on Monday, but if anyone feels uncomfortable and decides not to attend we shall understand.

After Monday we have a break until 31st January 2022 when we shall be delighted to welcome John Challenger to explore the highs and lows, the delights and difficulties of commercial recording on one of the greatest cathedral organs in the country: Salisbury’s own Father Willis Organ

We hope you will be able to come and feel comfortable on Monday 6th December