Concert review by Adam Pounds

'Lennox Berkeley and Friends' in Cambridge

Sunday 22nd June 2008

Great St. Mary's


An orchestral concert on Saturday 21 June saw the Orchestra of Great St. Mary's performing the Sinfonietta, and Lennox's marvellous orchestration of the Poulenc Flute Sonata, originally commissioned by James Galway and performed on this occasion by Dinah Pounds. The programme also featured the Poulenc Organ Concerto, in which the soloist was Sam Hayes, the Director of Music at Great St. Mary's (the University Church), and music by Britten and Ravel.

On the Sunday morning the Sung Eucharist featured Berkeley's Missa Brevis and the anthem was his 1975 setting of The Lord is my Shepherd. The chamber concert at Michaelhouse in the afternoon saw the assembly of some fine performers including John Ally of the LSO, Raphael Terroni, Lucy Wick and Stephen Bingham. Our own committee members also took part and items were announced by our chairman, Petroc Trelawny.

Raphael Terroni played the Berkeley Six Preludes (which forms part of his 1993 BMS CD), as well as a selection from Ravel's Ma Mere l'Oye, in which Raphael was joined by our vice-chairman David Wordsworth. A varied programme also included the Theme and Variations for solo guitar played by committee member Christopher Daly.

Stephen Bingham performed two Berkeley works on the solo violin, Introduction and Allegro and the Theme and Variations. These were new to Stephen and they now have a permanent place in his varied repertoire. Indeed, one of the most important effects of the festival was to familiarise a large number of performers with Lennox's style and ingenuity.

The orchestral players were enthusiastic about the Sinfonietta, as were the audience, and since the festival the choir of Great St. Mary's has performed both the Missa Brevis and The Lord is my Shepherd in Heidelberg.

The festival opened with a talk by Tony Scotland, assisted by Julian Berkeley, about Lennox's background and some of the music that influenced on him, and it concluded with a dinner in Lennox's honour at Queens' College.

David Wordsworth and Raphael Terroni at the Cambridge Berkeley Festival
David Wordsworth and Raphael Terroni at the Cambridge Berkeley Festival