2019 Mar: Classical Music

Topic: A Crash Course in Classical Music
Guest Speaker: Sandy Burnett
Photographer: no photos were taken at this meeting
Reporter: David Glover

This was our second presentation of the 2019 season, following on from a trip with Paul Gauguin around the Pacific Islands , and was something completely different!
Responding to the views expressed by our members in a recent survey, we invited Sandy Burnett to take us on a journey through the world of classical music. Sandy is a most authoritative broadcaster in the fields of classical music, having been a presenter on BBC Radio 3 for a number of years, a lecturer at a number of music academies and a competent exponent of the double bass.

The presentation took us on a rollercoaster of a journey through the four key periods of classical invention including an overview and definitions of each, covering a thousand years. The starting point was the medieval and renaissance period between 1400 – 1600, including Monteverdi, Strozzi & Vivaldi. Following the transition into the Baroque with the likes of Handel, Bach & Haydn and an overview of the Classical Romantics introducing Mozart, Beethoven & Mahler. Our finale was to encompass the impressionist movement in the 20th Century, highlighting the works of Debussy, Wagner & Stravinsky ending with a moving rendition of Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

Sandy’s presentation was enhanced with both examples of the individual musical scores and snippets of the recorded works in each category. The passion, wit and enthusiasm of the speaker was infectious, encouraging numerous questions and observations from the enrapt audience.

A playlist of all the works performed was available to all members and guests before the meeting, and copies of Sandy’s informative book were available for purchase afterwards.

David Glover