News & Reviews

Sinfonia Viva Derby Residency Brings Anniversary Year To a Close

Folk tunes, classical gems and even music played from rooftops around the Cathedral are just some of the highlights of Sinfonia Viva’s four-week Autumn Derby Residency.

Grammy-nominated Sinfonia Viva, the East Midlands’ only professional orchestra, will mark the climax of its 35th anniversary year with the series of performances which showcase the Orchestra’s innovative diversity.

Hot on the heels of Sinfonia Viva’s return to the outdoor stage at Darley Park on September 3, the Orchestra will launch the new Autumn Twilights season by welcoming the acclaimed Tedesca Quartet to Derby Cathedral on Friday September 22.

Twilights, which is presented by Sinfonia Viva and Derby Cathedral in association with Orchestras Live and Arts Council England, has been a popular programme throughout the past year.

The series includes performances by Sinfonia Viva and by visiting musician in the majestic and atmospheric environment of Derby Cathedral.

On September 22 Tedesca Quartet will perform stirring renditions of Dvorak’s Three Cypresses emotive love songs. This will be followed by Martinu’s stirringly beautiful String Quartet No.7, before the concert comes to rapturous end with Dvorak’s String Quartet Op.51 in Eb, a favourite for string quartets around the world.

Twilights continues at Derby Cathedral on Wednesday October 4 when Viva’s Principal Conductor Duncan Ward will take the baton as well as directing from the piano for an orchestral performance of inspiring and tender music.

The concert is entitled ‘Simple Gifts’ and is named after the song that inspired Copland’s ‘Appalachian Spring’ and Wagner’s ‘Siegfried Idyll’ that was written as a present to his wife on the birth of their child Siegfried.

Both pieces are joined in the programme by Milhaud’s ‘La Creation du Monde’ and scores by Martinu and Wagner.

Viva’s wind quintet then returns to the Cathedral on Friday October 6 for a late afternoon and then evening concert as part of the hugely popular Derby Folk Festival.

The Folk Reflections programme will take the audience across the globe to experience the vast influence and reach of folk music throughout history.

Featuring shanties, Slavonic dances, Romanian folk, miniatures from Devon and Norfolk, as well as extracts from Paul Patterson’s Westerly Winds, the concert is free for festival wristband holders with tickets available for general music lovers.

The climax of Viva’s Derby Residency will see a special commission, again as part of Derby Folk Festival, entitled ‘Call From On High’ on Sunday October 7.

The free outdoor performances will see musicians playing from rooftop locations at 12 noon, 3pm and 5pm with each ten-minute show starting with the Cathedral bells chiming on the hour.

The live music and sound score has been composed by Andrew Williams and specially commissioned for the city by Sinfonia Viva.
Andrew Williams explained: “The different compositions will be towering folk ballads that tell the story of Derby and Derbyshire’s history.

“The best vantage points are Iron Gate and Amen Alley and I hope that everyone will enjoy these emotionally charged flights of musical fancy that will be whisked into the air from the top of Derby Cathedral and down to the busy streets below.

“Each site specific piece will be performed on the hour, starting with the last chime of the hour bell and will sound across Derby’s Cathedral Quarter, as a celebration of the enduring importance of music and folk traditions.”

Sinfonia Viva Chief Executive Peter Helps continued: “Andrew’s ‘A Call From On High’ is an innovative and unique way for us to close our anniversary Derby Residency which is designed to show a range of different playing styles and repertoire.

“It perfectly illustrates our vision to make orchestral music accessible to all - taking our musicians to the rooftops in the city centre to play music that can be enjoyed by everyone from the streets below.

“We wanted to mark our 35th year by reaching more people than ever both through our concert programme and our nationally acclaimed education and community outreach programmes.

“As well as orchestral performances, our aim was to work with 3,500 people of all ages which we have certainly achieved.

“Highlights of our anniversary year have been the ‘Mechanical Advantage’ education residency, the Twilights performances at Derby Cathedral, the launch of Sing Viva, our new carers’ choir, which performed for the first time at Darley Park and touring the region with our mobile inflatable venue.

“This has been a whirlwind anniversary year and I am delighted that we will be coming home to Derby for the final leg of 2017 with such a diverse range of music to be enjoyed by all.”