Remembrance concerts

Cellist Anna Menzies
Cellist Anna Menzies

SHEFFIELD Philharmonic Orchestra find themselves in opposition with the Sheffield Oratorio Chorus this Saturday. They have something in common too, this being Remembrance Weekend.

The Oratorio Chorus’ annual Remembrance concert at Sheffield Cathedral this year takes in Lux Perpetua by Jonathan Willcocks, a 30-minute work drawing on a variety of texts written in 1998 to mark the 80th anniversary of the 1918 Armistice.

Conductor Alan Eost said: “Its haunting and stunningly powerful music conjures up the horror and suffering of war but also reflects on the themes of peace and unity.

“It is a searing piece.”

By design or accident, the Philharmonic Orchestra’s concert at Ecclesall Parish Church includes a much more familiar work which had its genesis in the First World War, Elgar’s elegiac Cello Concerto in which he poured out the anger and despair he felt following the conflagration that had destroyed the world he knew.

The soloist is Anna Menzies, a young cellist whose interests range from early to contemporary music and indeed is also a composer. Her chamber piece A Room Where You Can Sing was premiered by the London Chamber Orchestra last year.

Primarily a cellist, though, she has performed with such ensembles as the Edinburgh and Allegri quartets in venues that include the Royal Albert Hall and regularly appears as a soloist. She gives her debut recital at London’s Purcell Room in January as a Park Lane Group Young Artist 2012.

An alumnus of Chetham’s Music School of Music in Manchester, she now teaches there and is assistant teacher of cello at the Yehudi Menuhin School.