THE chairman of the Elgar Society, Dr Steven Halls, returns to Salisbury Cathedral on Wednesday 1st May, joining his brother, David Halls, the Cathedral’s director of music, for an Elgar lecture recital.
The event, which follows the success of an Elgar lecture recital by Steven Halls at last year’s Southern Cathedrals Festival, will also include a performance of the violin sonata and piano quintet, with Daphne Moody and Jenny Knights on violin, George White on viola, Bryony Moody on cello, and David Halls on piano.
Between them these performers have a remarkable musical track record at home and abroad, as chamber musicians and playing with orchestras around the world, including the Halle, the Netherlands Philharmonic, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and European Union Youth Orchestra Dr Steven Halls is the chairman of the Elgar Society and an acknowledged expert on the composer. He was invited to chair the Elgar Complete Edition, set up to complete the 43-volume definitive edition of Elgar’s compositions. He also heads Elgar Works which supports performances of the composer’s lesser known works.
Elgar composed the piano quintet in the latter half of 1918, whilst staying at Brinkwells, a country cottage in Sussex. His violin sonata was started shortly afterwards. Both pieces are believed to have been inspired by the legend of the Spanish monks supposedly turned into a clump of trees in Flexham Park, near Petworth, after being struck by lightning because they were engaged in irreligious behaviour. Elgar describes the works as ‘ghostly stuff’, which would seem to corroborate this interpretation – hence the talk’s title, Ghostly Stuff: Elgar’s Chamber Walks.
The performance, which starts at 7.30pm, will be followed by a drinks reception and a chance to meet the performers including the lecturer, Dr Steven Halls. Visit the Cathedral website for more information www.salisburycathedral.co.uk
Pictured: The performers, clockwise from top left, Dr Steven Halls, Daphne Moody, Jenny Knights, David Halls, Bryony Moody and George White.