Arcadia Event 5

7:30pm Saturday 1st Oct, St Michael and All Angels Kingsland HR6 9QH
Walton Piano Quartet, Schoenberg ’Ode to Napoleon, Ravel Tzigane, Elgar Piano Quintet.

On March 1st 1933 barely a month after Hitler had been appointed German chancellor Arnold Schoenberg sat at a meeting of the senate of the Prussian Academy in Berlin where he had been appointed ‘for life’ as Professor of composition. The President announces that the Academy needs to purge itself of ‘Jewish Influence’. Understanding immediately what was about to happen in Europe, Schoenberg resigned as the meeting closed and within three weeks he and his family had left for Paris in search of a new home. Eventually settling in the USA he at last found a vehicle for his fury in Byron’s acidly mocking Ode to Napoleon. Prepare to be shocked by this extraordinary piece of music theatre. Around this astounding work are three works written only months apart - Walton’s youthfully exuberant Piano Quartet as he tries out various idioms while still managing to be himself; Ravel’s perfectly notated embodiment of the gypsy soul and Elgar’s haunted Piano Quintet written in the shattered aftermath of World War One.

 “one hundred and seventy kinds of derision, sarcasm, hatred, ridicule, contempt, condemnation, etc., which I tried to portray in my music.” Arnold Schoenberg on his Ode to Napoleon

Programme notes
Link to sound file of Ode to Napoleon
Link to recording of Schoenberg: 'Who am I?'

Latcho Drom
IMDB page about the journey of Romany musicians
Below: YouTube excerpt from the above film, followed by recording of Thomas Bowes and Eleanor Alberga playing Ravel's Tzigane