Septura Programmes for 2023-24

We aim to weave our ever-increasing repertoire of arrangements and original works for brass septet into vivid and captivating live events, with a commitment to addressing historical imbalances by putting a spotlight on under-represented composers.

In the 2023-24 season we will feature the following programmes:

Forgotten Opera

Septura shake up the operatic canon, placing two intriguing but largely neglected works alongside two mainstays.

Handel’s crusader opera Rinaldo and Humperdinck’s fairytale Hänsel und Gretel may be familiar. But Ethel Smyth’s feminist comedy The Boatswain’s Mate and Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha – the first African-American opera – are lesser known. All four are vividly brought to life by the uniquely expressive sound of the brass septet.


Smyth Overture from The Boatswain’s Mate
Handel Suite from Rinaldo
Bologne L’amante anonyme
Humperdinck Overture from Hänsel und Gretel
Joplin Suite from Treemonisha

Land of the Free

Septura embark on a road trip of musical Americana, exploring four composers who came to define the sound of their homeland.

Gershwin and Joplin blend jazz and ragtime idioms with classical forms to create their unique musical styles; Price and Copland’s works are infused with folk elements to produce a singularly American sound. None of them have every been heard quite like this: illuminated anew by the inimitable colours of the brass septet.


Gershwin Three Piano Preludes
Joplin Suite from Suite from Treemonisha
Florence Price Suite of Three Dances
Copland Appalachian Spring

One Equal Music

Marginalised, neglected, ignored for centuries, and only now coming to the fore. The fate of brass chamber music mirrors that of the female composers of the past.

Our counterfactual history redresses both balances: placing the music of two female composers, Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre and Clara Schumann, alongside that of their historically more celebrated male contemporaries. In Baroque music inspired by Ovid’s Metamorphoses and Romantic music for the keyboard we imagine a world in which these men and women had written for brass.


Rameau Suite from Dardanus
Bach Suite from Geschwinde, geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde
de la Guerre Suite from Céphale et Procris
Mendelssohn Organ Sonata in C minor
Clara SchumannPiano Sonata in G minor

Christmas with Septura

The seasonal celebration of Christmas has been the inspiration for so many great musical masterpieces, and brass instruments are a vital part of this festive musical fabric.

In this concert Septura focus on some of the highlights of the rich Christmas canon – including Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Handel’s Messiah and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Where years of repetition have dulled the impact of these wonderful works Septura — described by BBC Music Magazine as “dazzlingly polished” — illuminate them afresh, casting them in a brand new light through the unique and uplifting sound of the brass septet.


Schütz Das Word ward Fleisch
J.S. Bach Christmas Suite
Reena Esmail – A Winter Breviary
Humperdinck – Overture from Hänsel und Gretel
Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Suite (with narrator)