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Swindon Recital Series

  • Paul Turner plays Beethoven sonatas
  • Wyvern Theatre Wednesday April 6th 1.05pm

Paul TurnerSwindon Recital Series' Founder and Artistic Director Paul Turner has the stage to himself for this recital as he indulges us with some of Beethoven's most popular music. The Moonlight Sonata was written when Beethoven was 31 and in love with his 17-year-old piano student The Countess Giuletta Guicciadri. He proposed, she accepted, but her parents forebade the match as Beethoven was a commoner. This sonata is dedicated to her. Shortly after Beethoven's death a well-known music critic commented that the first movement sounded like moonlight shining on Lake Lucerne and so the sonata gained its popular title. The name may be romantic but overall the mood is darker and heavier than it implies.

His Rondo Op. 51 No. 1 opens with a theme suggestive initially of grace and elegance, however the music becomes darker and more intense. Not one of the composer's deeper creations but its energy and youthful charm make it a thoroughly worthwhile listening experience.

The Pathétique Sonata was composed when Beethoven was 27. Although 'pathetic' is not a complimentary term these days, in Beethoven's time a dictionary defined it as affecting the emotions of pity, grief or sorrow. One of the most celebrated of his works – and the most often used as a basis for popular music over recent decades (Simon and Garfunkel's The Sound of Silence is an example) – the piece moves from dark and dramatic through calm contemplation to end with an energetic flourish.

Paul Turner appears at the Wyvern Theatre on April 6th at 1.05pm. Standard tickets are £7 plus administration fee of 50 pence. Student tickets are £3; accompanied children aged 14 and under are admitted without charge. Ticket office / 0343 310 0040.

This concert is supported by Bower Bailey, Solicitors.


  • Paul Sheehan sings song cycles – Wyvern Theatre Wednesday May 4th
  • Owen Trio – Arts Centre Saturday May 7th 7.30pm

Swindon Recital Series brings its current season to an end with two concerts in early May, one at each of our two theatres.

Paul SheehanThe final Lunchtime Concert on May 4th showcases Beethoven's ground-breaking and Schumann's masterful song cycles in a moving and emotional recital. Beethoven's six songs 'To the Distant Beloved' were composed in April 1816 and are often regarded as the first song cycle to be composed. They tell of a solitary lover seated on a hillside who uses the natural world around him to express his longing for his object of affection. Schumann's Dichterliebe (Poet's Love), written in 1840 is a darker look at the progression of a love affair. Paul Sheehan baritone, who appears by kind permission of English National Opera, is a highly skilled recitalist with a wide-ranging career in opera and oratorio. He will be accompanied by Paul Turner piano.

Paul Sheehan and Paul Turner appear at the Wyvern Theatre on Wednesday May 7th at 1.05pm. Standard tickets are £7 plus administration fee of 50 pence. Student tickets are £3; accompanied children aged 14 and under are admitted without charge.


Martin OwenTheir original concert having been doomed by the pandemic we are delighted to welcome the Owen Trio to end our season with an exciting finale. Martin Owen horn, regarded as one of Europe's leading horn players, Miranda Dale violin, herself an international artist and well-known to SRS audiences, and Paul Turner piano, who is, of course, Founder and Artistic Director of SRS, present works by Beethoven, Ligetti and Brahms. Beethoven's piano sonatas have been described as towering compositions in music history and 'Les Adieux' as a shining example, depicting multiple departures from joyous to bitter-sweet. Composed in 1982 Ligetti's horn trio (Hommage à Brahms) combines energetic rhythms with sharply contrasting harmonies and the concert ends with Brahms' horn trio, music of depth and power that provided the inspiration for Ligetti's composition.

The Owen Trio appears at the Arts Centre on Saturday May 7thth at 7.30pm. Tickets are £16 for adults and £13 for Seniors and unwaged people. There is also a theatre administration fee of £1.50. Student tickets are £3; accompanied children aged 14 and under are admitted without charge.

Ticket office / 0343 310 0040. Tickets may also be purchased in advance for both recitals at the Wyvern Theatre box office, which is open Monday-Friday 11am-3pm or on the door prior to the recital.

Paul Sheehan appears by kind permission of English National Opera where he is a member of the chorus and where he also created the role of Shepherd in the world premiere of Julian Anderson's Thebans. He has performed opera roles for Grange Park Opera, Glyndebourne, and New Devon Opera amongst others.

His oratorio engagements range from Bach's B Minor Mass and Handel's Messiah through Haydn's The Creation, Mendelssohn's St Paul, Verdi's Requiem, Elgar's Dream of Gerontius and Walton's Belshazzar's Feast to Tippett's A Child of Our Time.

Following his formative training in Exeter, Paul went on to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and is currently taught by Robert Dean.

Martin Owen is regarded as one of Europe's leading horn players, appearing as soloist and chamber musician all around the world. Martin currently holds the position of Principal Horn at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, having served as Principal Horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for ten years, and from 2012-13 was contracted as Principal Horn of the Berliner Philharmoniker. He is also Principal Horn in the California-based chamber music ensemble Camerata Pacifica and the UK's Britten Sinfonia and Haffner Ensemble.

Martin is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, where he is Professor of Horn, and visiting teacher at institutions including the Hans Eisler Berlin, Maurice André Academy Valencia, Conservatorio de Santiago de Compostela, USC and UCLA in Los Angeles.

Miranda Dale gained a scholarship at sixteen to study with Howard Davis at the Royal Academy of Music in London before furthering her studies in Canada and the USA. She is Principal Second Violin with the Britten Sinfonia and is in demand as a Guest Principal with the Philharmonia Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera and English Chamber Orchestra. She also tours with chamber players in the US.



Diary:

  • Paul Turner plays Beethoven sonatas Wyvern Theatre Wednesday April 6th 1.05pm
  • Paul Sheehan sings song cycles – Wyvern Theatre Wednesday May 4th
  • Owen Trio – Arts Centre Saturday May 7th 7.30pm


About Swindon Recital Series

Swindon Recital Series was founded 27 years ago by Paul Turner. The Recital Series is committed to providing world-class chamber music in the Swindon area by presenting regular concerts of chamber music given by professional musicians. The Series takes place between September and April each year at various venues in and around Swindon, including the Wyvern Theatre and the Arts Centre.

For more information contact either Artistic Director Paul Turner at turner.paul@virgin.net, recitals@hotmail.co.uk or on 01793 531316 or 07989 397372 or SRS Secretary Julia Singleton at juliaesingleton@gmail.com or on 01793 644660 or 07718185518

Information about the recital series can be found at www.swindonrecitalseries.org