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An Evening of English Song           4th April 2022 St. Mary’s Church Map

It is always a pleasure to programme music by British composer Ian Venables and we have enjoyed stirring performances of his piano quintet and string quartet in recent seasons.  This concert features The Pine Boughs Past Music, a song cycle of settings of the poetry of Ivor Gurney and also of Leonard Clark’s In Memoriam IBG.  The words celebrate the Gloucestershire landscape and it is against that ‘eternal backdrop of nature’ that the poet and composer’s thoughts are played out.  Baritone Andrew Randall has already established himself with much admired performances of English song and has a keen understanding of this repertoire.

Exploring our theme of family relationships, Eric McElroy has invited Gregory Leadbetter (Professor of Poetry at Birmingham City University) to talk about his volume of poems, The Fetch.  This work was in part inspired by Gregory’s late father and Eric’s sensitive and accessible setting of these poems will surely be heightened by the authority that a performance of his own work will surely bring.

Richard Sisson

‘Ian Venables …Britain’s greatest living composer of art songs.’ Musical Opinion

John Ireland – Marigold - An Impression

Eric McElroy – The Fetch - Five Poems of Gregory Leadbetter

Eric McElroy – Snowfall

Ian Venables – The Pine Boughs Past Music



Andrew Randall - baritone

Eric McElroy - piano