Queen Victoria’s Bicentenary Celebration
Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday falls on May 24th this year, and Prince Albert’s on August 26th. As part of their festival to celebrate this double bicentenary the Ridgeway Ensemble present ‘Victoria and Albert – a musical romance’.
The programme brings to life the musical world of the royal couple, through readings from their letters and diaries, contemporary accounts and music by composers such as Mendelssohn, Elgar and Sullivan. At the heart of the programme are three songs by Prince Albert himself for voice, cello and piano, which have remained unpublished and unperformed until now. Noteworthy is also the inclusion of works by three women composers – Fanny Mendelssohn, Clara Schumann (whose bicentenary also falls this year) and Pauline Viardot.
The Ensemble (Judith Sheridan, voice, Margaret Richards, cello, Daniel King Smith, piano, and William Winfield, reader,) performs regularly for music clubs, churches and other organisations throughout the country and abroad. Join us as we celebrate the tastes and musical achievements of Victoria and Albert, opening a window onto the musical life of Victorian England.
‘The Ridgeway Ensemble, three first class musicians with an excellent narrator, crafted a moving and emotional experience’
Roseland Music Society, Cornwall
‘Performed to perfection…an unforgettable concert’
Château du Poët-Célard, Drôme, France
Sunday May 12th at 4pm
Old Bluecoat School, Thatcham, nr Newbury, Berks
Friday May 24th at 7.30pm
Church of St Mary the Virgin, Ivinghoe
Saturday September 28th at 11.30am
Church of Christ the Cornerstone, Milton Keynes
Saturday October 5th at 7.30pm
Holy Trinity, Potten End
Monday October 21st at 1.10pm
All Saints Church, High Wycombe
What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than in the elegant surroundings of the Stanley Library, Girton College, Cambridge.
The Ridgeway Ensemble spent a lovely late summer's weekend in Cornwall, performing in the fishing village of Portscatho. The hall was packed, and the audience very appreciative. The following review appeared in Roseland Monthly Magazine.
"The Ridgeway Ensemble, three first class musicians with an excellent Narrator, crafted a moving and emotional experience tracing the relationships between Robert Schumann, his wife Clara and Johannes Brahsm, long a subject of speculation. compositions by all three, performed with descriptive combinations of piano, song and cello, provided an inspirational background to the narrative."
Following their successful tour of France in July 2017, the Ridgeway Ensemble received the following from Johannes Melsen, the promoter off the final concert at Chateau du Poët Célard:
"Ce mardi 25 juillet 2017 avait lieu la "Sérénade pour une soirée d'été" par l'Ensemble Ridgeway de Londres, dans la belle salle des cérémonies du château du Poet Cëlard dans la Drôme.
L'ensemble formé par Judith Sheridan à la voix, Margaret Richards au violoncelle et Daniel King Smith au piano était présenté par William Winfield.
C'étaient aussi les compétences et le sens de la pédagogie de William Winfield qui ont fait de chaque introduction des oeuvres un moment léger, sympathique et instructif, même pour les plus mélomanes d'entre nous.
Le programme nous proposait ensuite une randonnée musicale à travers une partie du répertoire de la musique française et espagnole.
Parfaitement exécutés, tant au niveau musical qu'émotionnel, des mélodies bien connues de Carmen, des opérettes d'Offenbach mais aussi la musique
de Faure et d'Albeniz ainsi que des chansons passionnées de Manuel de Falla furent interprétées. Un concert inoubliable pour tous les auditeurs.
Les Applaudissements soutenus du public ont donné lieu à un bis composé de quelques oeuvres du répertoire des grandes figures de la chanson française. Un beau clin d'oeil offert au public français par ces musiciens tout à la fois doués et généreux."
"The ensemble formed by Judith Sheridan (voice), Margaret Richards (cello) and Daniel King Smith (piano) was introduced by William winfield. William's knowledge and learning gave his introductions to the works performed a pleasing as well as informative touch, even for the most musical amongst the audience.
The programme offered a musical journey through a part of the repertoire of French and Spanish Music.
Performed to perfection, music by Faure and Albeniz followed well-known melodies from "Carmen" and the operettas of Offenach together with passionate songs by Manuel de Falla.
This was an unforgettable concert for everyone present. The sustained applause at the end was rewarded by more works as encores from the most important names in modern French chansons. This was a token of affection towards the audience offered by musicians who displayed talent and reciprocal generosity".
JOHANNES MELSEN - CHATEAU DU POET CELARD
Photo: Chris Christoudoulou
As a result of her work editing three songs by Prince Albert, Margaret was privileged to meet HRH the Prince of Wales on March 7th 2017 at the Royal College of Music, where he was presenting awards in his role as President of the College. The Prince’s interest in music is well known, and he was fascinated to hear how the Ridgeway Ensemble found and edited the original versions of the songs from the manuscripts in the British Library, agreeing that the music of his illustrious ancestor is well worth hearing. Partly because of his interest these songs have now been orchestrated by Richard Miller, a student at the RCM, and the first one had already been performed for him in this version by students at a private gala.