- Feb 25 2024
Flowers of the Seasons – St John’s ARC, Old Harlow
3.30pm Sunday 25th February 2024
St John’s Arc
St Johns Walk, Old Harlow CM17 0AJ
Tickets: £15 concessions £12 for under 30yrs
In person: St John’s ARC
Phone: 01279 442447
You are cordially invited to attend an informal afternoon of songs, poetry and story-telling at St John’s ARC, in Old Harlow, celebrating the music of Eliza Flower (1803–1846) in the context of her contemporaries, Franz Schubert and Fanny Mendelssohn-Hensel. You will be among the first to hear her work for almost 200 years, and certainly the first to hear it within a few steps of the house she grew up in at No. 2 High Street, Old Harlow (marked by a blue plaque for her sister, the poet Sarah Flower Adams).
Flowers of the Seasons
Politics, Power & Poverty
Presented by Electric Voice Theatre:
Featuring performances of new works by
Frances M Lynch
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 and grew up 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