26 October 2013

Sounds from the seabed of the Sunken Ballroom in Arundel Cathedral - 9 November 2013

2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the Sussex Symphony Orchestra and to celebrate this milestone they have commissioned a select few Sussex composers to write them some music.  One of the musical maestros approached was Brighton composer Paul Lewis, who has won acclaim for film and TV music.  Rising to the challenge and inspired by Brighton’s West Pier Concert Hall, tragically destroyed by fire in 2003, Paul has produced The Sunken Ballroom.

A homage with further resonance as his mother, a musician, played in the Concert Hall on many occasions.  "My mother, a well-loved violinist, accordionist and banjo player, played in the West Pier concert hall / ballroom both before and after the war. I have included a banjo part in the foxtrot section of my work; if you listen carefully you may even hear the actual instrument my mother used to play on the West Pier".
The SSO - Sussex Symphony Orchestra

Bringing this composition to life will be the Sussex Symphony Orchestra, one of the largest amateur Orchestras in the UK. Held together by a team of enthusiastic volunteers and musicians, all of whom share a passion for classical music, the SSO keep going from strength to strength.  In 2012 they welcomed the Brighton born and global sensation Nigel Kennedy as their new Orchestra President and one project found them taking part in a British Airways advert filmed at Heathrow Airport. 

Over the years they have performed at various venues across Sussex and alongside some very famous names, such as singers Katherine Jenkins, Aled Jones and Lesley Garrett.

On 9 November 2013 at 7:30 pm, The Sunken Ballroom by Paul Lewis will be premièred at an evening concert in Arundel Cathedral.

Artistic director and conductor of the SSO, Mark Andrew James explains, ‘the new work is a wonderful imagining of how the actual sunken ballroom might sound from the bottom of Sussex’s seabed.  I think it will be a thrilling and poignant experience for our audiences’.
Sussex Symphony Orchestra at St Barts, Brighton
Throughout the evening the concert will embrace compositions that have connections to the sea as well as folk memories.  Felix Mendelssohn's Hebrides Overture, captures the haunting majesty of the North Sea as it surrounds and enfolds the rocky shorelines of Scotland’s Hebridean islands. Whilst Britten’s Suite of English Songs – (A Time There Was), looks to songs of childhood, as a way of remembering the joys and challenges of youth.

The concert’s second half looks westerly, making an Atlantic crossing to the music idioms of the Americas. Anton Dvorak’s New World Symphony is much loved by the SSO, seconded only by its fondness amongst SSO audiences. This is a concert that balances forward looking music with a gentle reminiscence of times past, a very appropriate musical evening for the very elegant Arundel Cathedral.

Tickets for this concert are available at the door or from the Sussex Symphony Orchestra website.
Tickets cost £15 Adults, £12 concessions, under 16s / NUS £5.

SSO 9 November 2013