Music Appreciation

Julian Williamson

Julian Williamson

 Tutor:                Julian Williamson

Time:                Tuesdays 10.30am – 12.30pm

Dates:              Sept 20 – Nov 29 (half term Oct 25)                                                       

Jan 17 – March 28 (half term Feb 21)

                        May 9 – June27 (half term May 30)

Venue:              Victoria Hall

Fees:                HLSI members £90 for a 10-week term

£65 for 7-week summer term

Non-members £115 for a 10-week term

£82 for 7-week summer term


Autumn Term:

Sibelius -the guiding light of Finnish music                                                                                             

Historically Finland fought constant battles with other countries (notably Sweden and Russia) in attempting to assert its own independence. It was during the lifetime of Jean Sibelius (1865 – 1957) that many of these struggles were resolved with independence declared in 1917, and it was this great composer who showed his country that it could also have an artistic independence. It was he who pointed the way to a genuine ethnic Finnish sound drawing on many national artistic traditions, in particular the ancient epic poetry of the “Kalevala”, from which he drew much of his orchestral and vocal inspiration. During this course we will look at the development of Finnish music and show how Sibelius gave it a focus and an international recognition on which it has lived ever since.        


Spring Term:    Venice in the 18th century – the end of an era                                                                                                      

Monteverdi and the Gabrielis helped create a marvellous period in the history of Venetian music but, apart from the work of Vivaldi, the remaining years of the musical arts in this magical city have not received the same attention. Starting with Monteverdi’s successors – Cavalli and Legrenzi – we will trace the history of Venice’s musical development from the late 17th century to its demise under Napoleon in the early 19th century. We will investigate the work of the city’s three major institutions – the churches, the theatres, the ospedali – and follow their fortunes through the music of a host of interesting characters. Of these Vivaldi may have been the most famous but there were many others (Ziani, Lotti, Galuppi, Bertoni, to name a few) who believed in the greatness of their country’s position and who struggled to maintain its pre-eminence in increasingly difficult times.


Summer Term: Step-children of music                                                                    

Some years ago I delivered a series of talks about composers who have been unjustly neglected by history and I thought it would be interesting to return to this topic but investigate some different names. Over the years in our sessions we have met many people who achieved considerable fame in their lifetime and were often of great influence on the musical development of their time, but after their deaths sank into the lap of history and have largely lain dormant there. For our summer session I have chosen seven composers, all of whom we have met before briefly, and will endeavour to shine a light on their work if only for a short time.