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Blog 13: Meet Mr. Magnard

Hello all!

Another Sunday means another blog from the Maggerz team! People often ask us where we got our name, the 'Magnard Ensemble' from, so I thought the blog would be the perfect opportunity to enlighten you all!

To do this we have to cast back to 2012 and to our student days at the Royal Academy of Music. Whilst there, we originally formed a piano quintet - piano plus flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon (can you believe we originally didn't have a Jon!) and really the only main work for this combo was by none other than Mr. Magnard himself! We took him as our namesake and it just stuck, even when we swapped the piano for a French horn to form a standard wind quintet (we weren't sure the group had much mileage with just one main work in the repertoire!)and also through various personnel changes!

Mr. Magnard in a minute:

  • First name : Alberic

  • Born in Paris, 1865

  • Known as 'the French Bruckner'

  • Son of François Magnard - editor of Le Figaro ( France's top newspaper from 1879-1894)

  • Pursued his musical career off his own back without help from family connections

  • Made little attempt to get any of his 22 works performed as he was paranoid people would think he was gaining fame because of his Dad

  • Most interestingly, he became a national war hero when German invaders who set fire to his country house while he defended it at start of WW1

  • It is suspected that he perished in the fire along with many of his musical works, but, his body could not be identified in the remains....

Now onto this week's business!

We had a fab pre-rehearsal meeting at the lovely Fernandez & Wells in Somerset House where we were planning upcoming fundraising concerts for our debut CD! Concerts arranged so far include Stone House in Lewisham, a lovely salon style concert in Manchester ( Mana's turf!) and back in my hometown of Thame, Oxfordshire. More details of these and all our other events can be found at our 'Diary' page.

Then into another productive rehearsal which included us putting together Dirty Beasts by Martin Butler - first attempt at adding the narration to the music went really well! Lots of tongue twisters for Kenny!!! We even had time for some more of Paul Patterson's clever setting of Roald Dahl's Little Red Riding Hood, and we are so excited for when we get to perform both of these works for the first time!!!

Finally.... And most excitingly... We received the video footage of our performance of Three Little Pigs at Wigmore Hall last December! I know I'm biased, but it's definitely worth a watch!!!

As always, for all our entertaining updates follow us on Twitter, @magnardensemble.

Pigs over and out.


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