This Sceptred Isle: British Music at its Atmospheric Best

HSO_Putange Church_May2014The Henley Symphony Orchestra’s popular Summer picnic concert on the lawns of Shiplake College is almost upon us once again, and this time with a distinctly British flavour. Often described as Henley’s own version of Glyndebourne, the gates open on Sunday 28 June at 5.30pm for picnics and the music begins in the concert marquee at 7pm.

‘This Sceptred Isle’ is the theme and promises to take us on a nostalgic musical journey across our beautiful islands from the light and melodious tunes of Eric Coates’ ‘By the Sleepy Lagoon’ (from Desert Island Discs); to ‘Brigg Fair’, Fredrick Delius’ orchestral setting of the folksong by Percy Grainger; and culminating in the stirring ceremonial marches of Walton’s ‘Orb and Sceptre’ and two of Elgar’s ‘Pomp and Circumstance’ marches.

Perhaps the most atmospheric will be ‘Tintagel’, Arnold Bax’s portrayal of Tintagel Castle perched high on the rocks and battered on a sunny Summer’s day by the Atlantic Ocean. Written in 1919, the music displays a Celtic flavour recalling King Arthur’s connection to the castle and depicts the movement of the sea.

Under the baton of Music Director Ian Brown, the 70 strong Henley Symphony Orchestra continues to go from strength to strength taking its place as one of the country’s finest amateur orchestras. This year’s Summer concert will mark 45 years since the orchestra’s inaugural concert at Shiplake College.

Tickets priced £15 reserved and £10 unreserved, with half price for U16s and students, are available from Henley Symphony Orchestra 01235 859210