Orchestra returns to play

In its first performance since the UK entered lockdown in March 2020, Ripon’s St Cecilia Orchestra will return to Ripon Cathedral on Saturday October 2 with two consecutive concerts.

Wednesday, 29th September 2021, 2:21 pm
Violinist Charlotte Scott. Picture Matthew Johnson Photography

An orchestra spokesman describes the hour-long programme as uplifting and which will team Wagner’s symphonic poem Siegfried Idyll and Beethoven’s light-hearted Symphony No. 8 with Vaughan-Williams’ The Lark Ascending, which in April topped the Classic FM hall of fame chart for a record 11th time.

Violinist Charlotte Scott, renowned soloist and chamber musician and first violinist of the Oculi Ensemble, will join St Cecilia in the Vaughan-Williams.

Charlotte said: “It’s always a joy to be asked to perform The Lark Ascending.

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“I love searching each time I play this masterwork for new colour and lines in the music that truly represent the Lark and its surrounding nature: the possibilities are endless.

“I’m so excited to come back to explore and play this with Xen and St Cecilia Orchestra.”

The Wagner and Beethoven, regarded as gems in the orchestral repertoire, represent a more intimate performance than might usually be seen by St Cecilia in Ripon Cathedral, which last year saw the performance of Mahler’s epic 2nd Symphony.

The spokesman said that Covid safety was at the forefront of the planning.

“With the current climate in mind, audience and orchestra safety is at the forefront of concert planning and a slightly shorter concert with no interval and repeat performances to allow for more social distancing will help to make audience members feel secure in their return to enjoying live music,” said the spokesman.

“Orchestra members are eager to get back to performing the music they love after such a long interval, under the expert direction of conductor, Xenophon Kelsey. Xen, who founded the orchestra and has been with them throughout its 26 year history, is also excited to be back.”

He said: “It’s going to be fantastic to see our wonderful players together again after 18 months of no concerts.”

The performance times are 4 and 7.30pm. Tickets are online at: (www.st-cecilia.org.uk), or from the Little Ripon Bookshop and Henry Roberts and on the door.