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Winchmore String Orchestra: Concert in aid of the Chickenshed Theatre Trust

Saturday 9 December 2023 7.30pm

Southgate (The Bourne) Methodist Church, The Bourne, N14 6RS

202312 sso concert

Leader: Chris Gundry
Conductor: Gonzalo Acosta

  • Ireland: Concertino Pastorale
  • Reineke: Serenade
  • Vivaldi: Autumn & Winter (The Four Seasons)
  • Bach: Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
  • Mozart: Divertimento in D K136

Winter of Content

Our last concert took place in the middle of what was to be the hottest July in history. We didn’t know that at the time, of course, but with confident prescience we included in the programme a work that is perhaps the most vivid musical portrayal of summer in the repertoire, the second of the “Four Seasons” concertos for violin by VIVALDI, along with the first, depicting spring. To our great good fortune our conductor is also a distinguished violinist, and he played the solo part from the podium as was the practice in Vivaldi’s time.

In our next concert, the dark nights of winter now upon us, we are completing the job. With Gonzalo again jointly performing and conducting, we shall be playing the “Autumn” and “Winter” concertos of the sequence, which is not only the best-known work in this prolific composer’s output but a remarkable example a century before it became commonplace of “programme music”— music which tells a story or paints a picture in sound. So, frost in Venice! Imagine it, as Vivaldi does.

Nature also figures prominently in another work on the programme, written 200 years later. This is a Concertino Pastorale by the English composer John IRELAND, who developed a style of music known as “English Impressionism”. It opens with an “eclogue”, originally a form of Latin poetry with a rural setting, typically involving a couple of shepherds chatting about this and that. This is followed by a “threnody” or lament, while the tempestuous last movement may bring to mind the torrential thundershower of Vivaldi’s summer.

One work in the programme which may not be familiar to many is a Serenade by the German composer Carl REINECKE, written in 1898 towards the end of a long life. For much of the 19th century there was a hot debate in Germany about the purpose and future of serious music between what were broadly seen as “progressive” and “conservative” tendencies. Reinecke, who owed much to Mendelssohn, Schumann and Brahms, was in the latter camp. The serenade, from which we will play five movements, is unapologetically a crowd-pleaser, but skilfully and imaginatively crafted.

The same might be said of the other main work in the programme, though it will be more readily recognisable, the Divertimento in D by MOZART. And finally the programme includes an orchestral arrangement of the sublime cantata Jesu, joy of man’s desiring by BACH.

The customary raffle will be for the CHICKENSHED THEATRE TRUST.

TICKETS: £12, with children under 12 free. Discounted tickets (£10) may be obtained in advance from orchestra members or by emailing .

The WSO is a community string orchestra and a registered charity (No 1070537). We give three concerts a year, which support local and national charities, and we welcome new players of a good standard. Rehearsals take place on Thursday evenings at the church where we hold our concerts. For further information please email as above, or visit our website:


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