- Oct 27 2023
Flowers of the Seasons – Politics, Power & Poverty
7pm 27th October 2023
7pm Friday 27th October 2023
25 Red Lion Square, London, WC1R 4RL
You are cordially invited to attend an informal evening of songs, poetry and story-telling at Conway Hall Library, celebrating the music of Eliza Flower (1803–1846) in the context of her contemporaries, Franz Schubert and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel. You will be the first to hear her work for at least 100 years, and to see a display of rare materials from her archive.
Presented by Electric Voice Theatre:
Our team will introduce you to Flower’s fascinating life, her politics and her music, with some delightful songs for the seasons, dramatic hymns, powerful protest songs, and settings of contemporary writers like Sir Walter Scott and her frequent collaborators, radical feminist Harriet Martineau, and her sister, the poet, Sarah Flower Adams who is best known for penning the hymn “Nearer My God To Thee”.
Composer Eliza Flower was born on the 19th April 1803 in Harlow in Essex where she is buried beside her sister. They both worked and sang together at South Place Unitarian Chapel, in Finsbury in London. Their contributions to cultural and political life were so important that when the chapel closed down, their portraits and archive were moved to Conway Hall in London.
Eliza was a prolific composer of vocal music for church services – including arrangements of tunes by Mozart, Bach, Handel and Beethoven – concerts, political events and soirees. Despite being one of the first composers published by the new publishing house of Novello and lauded by many in her day including Felix Mendelssohn and Robert Browning, Flower’s music is now unknown, quite possibly because she fell out of favour when she took up an unusual living arrangement with a clergyman!
“For me, I never had another feeling other than entire admiration for your music-entire admiration-I put it apart from all other English music I know, and fully believe in it as the music we all waited for.” A letter from Robert Browning to Eliza Flower