The Music Serenade - Horn Trio from Opera North - Monday 12 November 2018 19:30

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The Music Serenade - Horn Trio from Opera North
Monday 12 November 2018 19:30
Ripon Cathedral

The Music Serenade - Horn Trio from Opera North


Schumann Adagio and allegro Op.70 for horn and piano
Brahms Variations for piano on a theme by Robert Schumann Op.9
Proctor-Gregg Sonata no 1 in A minor for violin and piano
Brahms Horn Trio Op.40

Humphrey Proctor-Gregg was born in Westmorland and his wide-ranging musical activities were centred on Manchester. After Cambridge he was a composition pupil of Stanford at the RCM and then worked in numerous opera houses including La Scala and Covent Garden and for Beecham’s British National Opera Company and Carl Rosa Opera. In 1936 he founded the Music Department at Manchester University and in 1954 became its first professor. From 1958 to retirement in 1964 Proctor-Gregg was engaged in operatic administration with Arts Council Touring Opera, Carl Rosa Opera and the new London Opera Centre of which he was the first Director.
He composed throughout his life.
Like Beecham, Proctor-Gregg always had a deep love and understanding of the music of Delius. His Violin Sonata No.1 in A minor was dedicated to Albert Sammons who premiered several works by Delius including the Violin Concerto. Sammons also edited the work for publication and championed it throughout the 1920s and 1930s, playing it in Beecham’s 1929 Delius Festival. In many of Proctor-Gregg’s works this aesthetic affinity with Delius is undoubtedly declared, even though he always speaks with a distinctive and personal voice, quite unmistakeable once known. Indeed, as Edward Greenfield wrote in the Guardian in 1978 reviewing a BBC broadcast, “The announcers’ introduction promised us music influenced by Delius….but the style was fresher than that, more like early Bridge or Ireland.

Tonight's performers are Andrew Long violin, Robert Ashworth horn and Ian Buckle piano, three regular members of Opera North’s orchestral forces in chamber music guise.

The Music Serenade is currently involved in a project to record many of Proctor-Gregg’s best works for Dutton Epoch records.

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