News Updates

Winter Season: Bach Magnificat & Christmas Oratorio Part 1

The Maldon Festival Winter Season makes a return on Saturday 7th December at 7.30pm at St Mary's Church, Maldon.

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Time for "2 Pianos are better" concert

There is a mistake in the Souvenir Programme.  The concert tomorrow: "2 Pianos are better than 1" with Christopher Weston and Alisdair Hogarth is at 5PM and not 7.30pm as the programme suggests.

Sorry for the inconvenience/  

 
Tickets now available from the Maldon Tourist Information Centre

Tickets for this year's festival are now available for purchase from the Maldon Tourist Information Centre.  While you are there you can also pick up a publicity leaflet which contains information about everything that's happening this year.

Tickets will be available online soon. 

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2014 is a year of echoes. No-one will be unaware that it is the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War.
Whilst we are not exactly celebrating this fact, we are nevertheless remembering the sacrifice that so many millions made by programming music that holds a particular resonance from that "war to end all wars." There are also programmes that speak of other conflicts and, of course, many programmes that speak of resolution and peace; hence the title for this year's festival.

Inevitably, a theme that recalls the events of a hundred years ago means that English music is celebrated. We are delighted to welcome violinist Beth Spendlove back to the festival (29th June). This time she will be accompanied by the Essex Classical Orchestra in Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending. Written just as the war was about to start, Vaughan Williams held its first performance back until after the conflict ended. Accordingly, the wistfulness that inhabits the piece lends a certain wistfulness and reminds us of the millions who did not return home. It is not all melancholy, however. The expert way in which the composer captures the joy of the song of the lark is surely the most vivid portrayal of bird song in music.

Then there are settings of A. E. Housman's A Shropshire Lad and other songs associated with the first world war in Roses are blooming in Picardy on 25th June. I shall be performing this programme myself, accompanied by Christopher Weston, a firm festival favourite.
The festival opens, on 21st June, with a performance of Haydn's Nelson Mass; recalling an earlier conflict. It is partnered by Duruflé's Requiem. Interestingly, this piece has associations with both world wars. It was commissioned by the Vichy Government during the second war to remember the French dead of the first war. Essex Classical Orchestra is joined by St Mary's choir and the organist is the talented young organ scholar of St Mary's, William Foster.
We also feature a rarity to mark the centenary: a showing of the 1918 film, Hearts of the World with live organ accompaniment (23rd June). Laurence Lyndon-Jones, assistant director of music at Chelmsford Cathedral provides the music. This epic film was filmed on location on the Western Front in 1918. It was intended to be D. W. Griffith's monumental sequel to his famous film The birth of a nation. The story follows two lovers whose lives are torn apart by the war.
Then we are delighted to be welcoming Nancy Hills from Utah State University, USA who, in a first for us, gives a lecture on 30th June. Make do and Mend explores how people managed, on scarce resources, to make things last during the Second World War.
The festival closes with another reminder of the Great War during an all Pergolesi programme (5th July). His Stabat Mater, sung by Jane Streeton and Oliver Gerrish, is accompanied by photographic images of Mary at the foot of the cross and First World War trench warfare. The second half features his comic opera, la Serva Padrona (sung in English) by Hand Made Opera. A fully staged performance this, which promises to be a fun and energetic close to the festival.
In addition to our WWI features, there is jazz, chamber music and a whole host of wonderful musicians from around the world. The Chiara Lucchini trio returns from Italy by popular demand (4th July) and we welcome the wonderful Spanish group Scaramuccia for a programme of Spanish baroque music (1st July). Perhaps this year's star performer is John Scott, who puts the All Saints organ through its paces (2nd July). John was organist and master of the choristers at St Paul's cathedral for some 25 years, before taking the position of Director of Music at St Thomas' church, Fifth Avenue, New York. He is widely acknowledged as one of the greatest organists in the world. We are thrilled that he has agreed to cross the Atlantic for us.
Those of you who enjoyed the Techtonics last year can get your fix of slick male a cappella singing on 27th June when their closest rivals, All the Kings Men make their festival appearance. This polished group from Kings College, London, continues to collect awards wherever they appear.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the concert on 3rd July in Mundon church. The sell-out success of the concert by Mer'antica in this atmospheric venue last year has inspired us to repeat the experience. The group will be presenting a different programme but one that resonates with the twelfth century age of the building, using their painstakingly researched reproductions of instruments of the period.
There is so much more for you to enjoy during the festival and I urge you to read the entire programme, download the leaflet and; enjoy yourselves. Don't forget, tickets can be booked through this website and at Maldon Tourist Information.