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Saturday 13 July 7.30pm

Winchmore String Orchestra: Celebrating Entente Cordiale

Winchmore Hill Methodist Church, Green Lanes N13 4EP  

winchmore string orchestra concert flyer

Brexit or no Brexit, there are some dates in the history of our European neighbours whose significance transcends national boundaries. One of these is 14 July, France’s national day, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris on that day in 1789, the emblematic event of the French Revolution.

Our summer concert this year falls on the eve of that date, so our programme is designed to mark that celebration in the spirit of the “entente cordiale”-- the “cordial understanding” which Britain and France reached over a century ago and which has remained solid during two world wars and beyond, as the recent anniversary of D-Day has reminded us.

Five of the eight composers in the programme are French, and most of their works to be played will be almost as familiar on this side of the Channel as on the other. Claude DEBUSSY is represented by two items – his folk-like The girl with flaxen hair and his pair of pieces written for the harp, Sacred dance and profane dance – and his near-contemporary Gabriel FAURÉ by his Elegy for cello and strings, in which the soloist will be Anthony Gamage, the leader of the WSO’s cello section. Maurice RAVEL figures with his hauntingly poignant Pavane on the death of a Spanish princess, and there are pieces by Georges BIZET -- the Farandole from his second L’Arlésienne suite -- and Erik SATIE -- the beguiling Gymnopédie No 1, a piano piece transcribed for harp and orchestra.

The harp is a link between the French and English repertoire in the programme, the latter containing Edward ELGAR’s Sospiri (meaning “sighs”) for harp and strings. Our soloist in this and the other pieces involving the instrument is Jessie-May Wilson. The programme also includes a working of the Irish tune Danny Boy by Percy GRAINGER and the youthful, brilliant Simple Symphony by Benjamin BRITTEN.

The customary raffle will be in support of ALZHEIMER’S SOCIETY. Do please join us on

TICKETS at the door are £10, with concessions at £8, but £9 and £7 if bought in advance; children under 12 are welcome free. For advance tickets please ring 020 8882 0351, or email .

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 ring or email as above, or visit our website:

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