A Blog about the Wardour Castle Summer Schools 1964, 1965

Flyers/Programme 1965

Michael Hall gave me copies of two flyers, one for each of the two WCSSs. The 1964 is the material posted here. I had paid far less attention to the 1965 flyer, since I already had this information from the concert programme. Or so I thought.

Looking more closely at the flyer for 1965 reveals several differences to the concert programme. On the 31 August 1965, H.O. Young, treasurer of the WCSSs, wrote to the Arts Council with the certified accounts of the 1965 WCSS. Harry Robinson replied, in part, saying:

Were any concert programmes issued? If so, I should be grateful to have copies as the only items of printed material on our file are two leaflets (a single foolscap and a quarto sized folder).

The quarto sized folder is given in this post. The flyer is for the 1964 event, given here. H.O. Young immediately replied (7 September) with the concert programme on which I have been basing my understanding of what was performed in 1965, and which I posted here. The entire text of his letter is:

Dear Mr Robinson,

In reply to your letter of the 6th instant. I am sorry to have caused some confusion by basing the statement on six concerts instead of five as originally submitted in May.

I enclose two copies of the Concert programmes from whcih you will see that concerts were given each day with the exception of Monday, when then concert as advertised was given on Tuesday.

The sixth concert was on Saturday and describted as the ‘Participants Concrt [sic]’. It was made up of the following items:-

Bach    Double Concerto for 2 violins in D minor. Leonard Freedman and Emmanuel Hurwitz.

Bach    Cantata conducted by John Aldis and sung by participants. Solo parts by Barbara Elsy, Pauline Stevens, Geffrey Shaw and Ian Partridge.

March ‘Verdi’ from Macbeth played by Participants and conducted by John Aldis.

The concert was well attended and included in the average attendances as stated. (ACGB/51/1265)

Based on this letter, it is reasonable to assume that the concert programme is more accurate than the flyer. Of course, this is not entirely certain, though it is the basis of the WCSS’s claim on their Arts Council guarantee, and the letter from Young seeks to clarify differences between the concert programme and the actual concerts.

(LS100044: 51’47”)
The differences between the flyer and the programme are:

Sunday 15 August

Schoenberg’s Two Songs and Webern’s Three Songs were not advertised but were performed.

Tuesday 17 August

Boulez’s Sonata No. 3 was not performed, though it was in the flyer

Schoenberg’s Piano Pieces op.23 was performerd

Martirano’s Coctail Music was performed.

Thursday 19 August

The flyer give a general overview:

‘Concert of old and new music for voices in consort, clarinet and percussion; including first performances of  work by Robert Sherlaw Johnson, Ring a Dumb Carillon by Harrison Birtwistle, and consort music by Lassus, Le June, Ravel, Debussy, Tippett, etc.’

This programme was substantially reworked. The only piece common to both the flyer and the programme is by Robert Sherlaw Johnson.

Saturday 21 August

Michael Hall suggests that Stockhausens Klavierstük IX was performed in place of the flyer’s V, VII and VIII.

Feldman’s Last pieces were performed.

So too were Messiaen’s Neumes Rhythmiques and Ile de Feu I

The participant’s concert was given on the flyer as:

Alexander Goehr Little Music for Strings

Stravinsky Octet

Hugh Wood New Work for chorus and instruments

David Bedford Dreams of the Seven Lost Stars (first performance written for the Summer School)

Handel Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne

This is very different to the programme given by Young, above.

In the two WCSSs no Boulez were performed. The only Webern performed were the songs, and these were placed alongside Schoenberg’s songs. One senses a move away from the repertoire core to Darmstadt and towards ‘traditional’ music making.

These discrepancies are typical of the difficulties in articulating the WCSSs. It is extremely difficult to work out what music was actually performed. The Arts Council’s archive is valuable for the documentation it contains, written at the time, which lends weight to some evidence (the concert programme) over other (the flyers).

Hugh Wood’s new work listen in the flyer for the participant’s concert did, according to Wood take place, though with a professional choir and not the participant’s choir. It remains unclear when this happened. Wood on the piece:

(LS100044; from 47′48″)

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