PAST CONCERTS 2017

January to December 2017

5th January. MUSICAL BANQUET (Adrian Boorman, counter-tenor; Tricia McLaughlin, viola da gamba/treble viol; Malcolm Pearce, keyboard).

The return of some very good friends from Oxfordshire to open 2017 for us. This is an entertaining blend of scholarship and cabaret, with some delightful ‘early music’ presented in a most digestible way by black-garbed maître d’ Adrian. He is a much-in-demand singer, and Tricia and Malcolm are professional musicians of long-standing, the latter being a familiar figure in Oxford’s musical life as an organist and conductor. You will have a free full-colour souvenir menu to take way, good enough to frame. Beautifully presented with wit, polish and panache…

 

12th January. SAVITRI GRIER, violin; RICHARD UTTLEY, piano.

We are guaranteed some remarkable playing from incontestably two of the ‘rising stars’ of classical music. We are privileged to be on their tour route: this programme, or variants of it, is being played throughout the UK, including at London’s Wigmore Hall in March. So we shall hear Enescu’s Third Violin Sonata, a bewitchingly colourful work in a popular Romanian character, Stravinsky’ dazzling Suite Italienne, drawn from his ballet Pulcinella, and Brahms’s last (third) Violin Sonata in D minor, in turn lyrical, passionate and simply joyous. There should be queues from the church gates for this! Richard, who may well be familiar to listeners of R3, has made several very well-reviewed CDs.

 

19th January. ELLIS ENSEMBLE (Kimon Parry, clarinet; Susanne Simma, bassoon; Belinda Jones, piano).

Three musicians, very busy as soloists and in chamber groups and top orchestras, enterprisingly formed this ensemble devoted to music for an unusual combination – and have had great success. We have not only the core work, the Russian but Italian-flavoured Glinka Trio pathétique in D minor, but Poulenc’s little Sonata for Clarinet and Bassoon (a smile to your face guaranteed); and two works from across the Atlantic, a Trio by Conlon Nancarrow, famous for cutting his own player piano rolls (and for declaring himself a political exile from his native US), and Suite Cantando, by the Canadian Bill Douglas, which promises to be very entertaining.

 

 26th January. JULIA WALLIN, piano.

This prize-winning pianist is from Finland, and unsurprisingly is playing some of Sibelius’s rather neglected piano music. Very committed to new music, she will be giving several premieres this year. Her debut album might also be available in time for it to be on sale. The recital revels in the Romantic repertory throughout: as well as Sibelius you will also hear Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz no 1, some of the Chopin Nocturnes and a selection of Rachmaninov’s Moments Musicaux.

 

2nd February. LUCA LUCIANO, clarinet; PAOLO LOSI, piano.

A welcome return to Luca, the new voice of the clarinet, and an irrepressible character on the international musical stage. If you look at his website you will see he tours the world as an ambassador for his extended clarinet techniques. His music tilts towards a mellow classical-jazz fusion – Luca has been called by the BBC one of Europe’s leading exponents of the jazz clarinet – and indeed his accompanist, again the excellent Paolo, is a professional jazz pianist. We’ll have items from Luca’s latest album, Poeta (on sale), as well as Gershwin and Kurt Weill classics, and a homage to Nino Rota’s iconic music for the films of Federico Fellini. Brilliant playing!  

 

9th February. AYLESBURY OPERA GROUP (Honey Rouhani, Naomi Quant, sopranos; Nicholas Buxton, tenor; Tobias Odenwald, bass; Kelvin Lim, piano).

Our annual visit from the professional singers who take the lead in current AOG productions. We shall hear popular operatic highlights from across the repertoire, with solos and ensembles by Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Puccini and others.

 

16th February. SKAZKI PIANO TRIO. (Maria Razumovskaya, piano; Kamila Bydlowska, violin; Alisa Lyubarskaya, cello).

An experienced east European line-up: Maria (who is well known to our regulars, and greatly admired) and Alisa are originally from Russia, and Kamila from Poland. They are performing for us two masterpieces. Beethoven’s Ghost Trio is so-called because of the distinctly eerie slow movement, possibly worked from sketches for a Macbeth opera; and the Shostakovich E minor Trio is haunted by the breaking news of the Nazi concentration camps in 1944: it is a work of irony, brutality and grief, and one of the last century’s greatest chamber works. Do not doubt – these musicians will deliver.

Maria, a world-class interpreter of Liszt and other repertoire, has two highly-praised CDs, which will be on sale. Intense power set against a sublimely poetic vision… (Classical Reviewer)

Maria and Kamila are returning as a duo on 1st May.

 

23rd February. IANTHE TRIO (Anna Douglass, horn, Lana Trotovšek, violin, Maria Canyigueral, piano).

A return of this trio, but with a new violinist, who, as it happens, is a Slovenian virtuoso who is already receiving acclamation in Europe, Japan, China, the US – a  Philadelphian critic wrote how a star blazed onstage… The world seems to be her oyster. Maria is also carving out an international career as an exponent of particularly the Spanish repertoire. And Anna is at the top her game in chamber music and orchestral engagements. The concert opens with Finzi’s Elegy, which is on Lana and Maria’s CD (see below), followed by Beethoven’s pulse-lifting E flat Violin Sonata op 12/3. Anna will then play Bernhard Krol’s Laudatio for solo horn, after which all will come together in Brahms’s great E flat Trio, sending us away with horn calls resounding in our ears.

Lana and Maria’s CD (the main work is the Franck Sonata) won the Gold Medal in the 2016 Global Music Awards, and will doubtless be on sale. A recording of the complete Beethoven Violin Sonatas is underway. Allow 70 minutes for this concert.

 

2nd March. KANAE FUROMOTO, piano.

There will be much pleasure to see the return of Kanae, who has been playing at St Mary’s since her ‘90s student days, and is held in high affection by our established regulars.  She has devised an ingenious programme around the 12 months of the year, and you will hear music by Tchaikovsky, Fanny Mendelssohn (about time!) and Alkan (ditto). It can only be as highly enjoyable as it is enterprising.

 

9th March. AN-TING CHANG, piano.

This marvellous Taiwanese musician, who also has a degree in chemistry, and is founder of the innovative Concert Theatre into the bargain, offers a good hour of high entertainment: Carnival of Animals, featuring not only her own arrangement of Saint-Saëns’ witty masterwork, but a full anthology of creature-related pieces from the rich habitats of Schumann, Daquin, Granados, Rimsky-Korsakov, Debussy, Chopin, Copland…  Beautifully put together, with An-Ting’s notes in our hand-out booklet. The Telegraph has praised her forceful pianism, and we know she’s – well – amazing!

 

16th March. DARYL GIULIANO, cello, JELENA MAKAROVA, piano.

We welcome a cellist from Canada, currently doing a post-graduate course at the Royal Academy of Music. Jelena is a deservedly popular regular visitor, from Lithuania via London. Two mainstream works, Schubert’s  Arpeggione Sonata (written for an instrument which quickly became obsolete) and Debussy’s kaleidoscopic Sonata; and Dervish, an exciting piece by the Belize-born Errollyn Wallen, who uses a variety of idioms in her colourful music, and was the first black composer to have a work performed at the Proms.

 

23rd March. FRIERN ENSEMBLE (Paul Willey, Colin Callow, violins; Ruşen Günes, Ian Byrne Brito, violas; Nigel Blomiley, cello).

This is a prestigious line-up, brought together for us by Nigel, former Principal Cello of the BBC Concert Orchestra, and a good friend of our concerts. Paul has been the leader of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Wales, the Ulster Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra; Colin has been leader of the Royal Philharmonic and the Northern Sinfonia, and also a member of the Amphion and Medici Quartets; Turkish-born Ruşen Günes, who has been Principal in the English Chamber Orchestra, the London Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, is regarded as one of the world’s great violists; and Ian is a freelance violist and the viola expert at Stringers.

Appropriately, we are going to hear two Mozart masterpieces, the ‘viola quintets’ he wrote just before Don Giovanni. The C major Quintet K515 is a model of classical poise, but the G minor K516 has to be one of the most deeply personal of his works: as with the piano quartets we seem to be hearing something like a musical self-portrait. The live experience of such supremely wonderful music by these performers is simply not to be missed.

An ‘adjusted’ Friern line-up is coming on 25th May for Eybler’s String Trio and Schubert’s Trout Quintet.

 

30th March. DURUFLÉ TRIO (Clare Simmonds, piano; Rosie Bowker, flute; Henrietta Hill, viola).

We know these young but experienced musicians, and you won’t hear better in this unusual repertoire. The programme is one of joy and magic: trios by CPE Bach and Bohuslav Martinů, Reynaldo Hahn’s Romanesque and Elena Firsova’s evocative Meditation in a Japanese Garden. They are also going to give us one of their highly praised baroque-derived improvisations to demonstrate the ensemble’s range and virtuosity.

 

6th April. ANN-KRISTIN SOFRONIOU, piano.

The first of two extraordinary pianists coming to play at St Mary’s this month. Ann-Kristin was born in Nicosia, was brought up in Sweden and now divides her time between London and Athens. No old-fashioned virtuoso, she build her programmes with careful research and purpose (as at Aylesbury), and uses video and installation (alas, not at Aylesbury). She is keen to balance the old with the new, and our programme has Bach as its focus, with interpolations from Schoenberg, Webern, and the American George Rochberg. The concert will begin with a Toccata by the first great keyboard master, Frescobaldi, and will end with the Ragtime Waltz from Rrrrrr, by the Argentine-born ringmaster of irreverence, Mauricio Kagel. Absolutely enthralling!

 

13th April.  CHILTERN CONSORT (Felicity Davies, Melissa Davies, sopranos; Debbie Davies, alto; Will Lishman, tenor; Hugh Molloy, bass).

For our Holy Week (Maundy Thursday) concert we like to have at least one great work from the Christian musical tradition, and this year it will be a Catholic masterpiece composed dangerously in Elizabethan times: the Queen knew that William Byrd was England’s greatest composer and gave him her protection. Felicity has kindly assembled some local singers (one or all might be known to you) to perform the sublime Mass for Four Voices. There will be other works too, to be announced nearer the date.

 

20th April. OLGA STEZHKO, piano.  

Another ‘star’: a pianist from Belarus who is making huge strides in a truly international career. Described in a Wigmore Hall concert review as an extraordinary presence and a supremely delicate master of her instrument, her album, Eta Carinae (on sale), was hailed by Gramophone as an outstanding debut. Scriabin – of whose style she has awe-inspiring command – is a specialism, and we are going to have one of his most compelling shorter works, Vers la flamme, along with music by Debussy, Ravel, Poulenc and the American minimalist John Adams (China Gates).  Here is yet more world-class playing to be savoured in this batch of concerts. 

 

27th April. GIUILIA SEMERANO and FILIPPO Di Mari,  piano four hands.

This highly talented Italian duo have a superbly constructed and varied programme for us. Schumann's Oriental Pictures aren't very exotic, but they are certainly enjoyable - they are also known as the Six Impromptus. Then we have Wagner, an arrangement of his lovely Siegfried Idyll, a birthday present for his wife. followed by a four-hand masterpiece, Ravel's own version of his Mother Goose Suite - worth the price of admission alone.

Giulia and Filippo will conclude with music with a big smile - Poulenc's little Sonata. A most worthwhile and generous hour.  

4th May. ELOISA-FLEUR THOM, violin; ELITSA BOGDANOVA, viola; MAX RUISI, cello.

This is the first of two collaborations (see also 6th July) with members of 12 ensemble, London’s conductor-less string orchestra, consisting of some of the very finest younger musicians working in the capital. Eloisa-Fleur is no stranger to Aylesbury, and is one the busiest and most versatile UK violinists of her generation; Elitsa is from Bulgaria, and is a renowned period instrument specialist, playing with many distinguished ensembles worldwide; and Max, as well as being a member of the celebrated Ruisi Quartet, is a soloist in his own right. The concert opens with a Fantasia by Purcell, and continues with Ravel’s masterly Sonata for Violin and Cello. Eloisa-Fleur will play the short Largo from Bach’s C major Sonata, and will be then joined by Elitsa in the Three Madrigals by Martinů. The concert – a feast of challenging music and virtuoso playing – will conclude with Dobrinka Tabakova’s imposing trio, Insight.

 

11th May. GEMMA CONNOR, cello; SALLY HALSEY, piano.

Two young musicians lapping up experience, Gemma as an orchestral and solo player (she was awarded the Aboyne Cello Festival Young Artist last year) and Sally as an accompanist and chamber musician. Their recital will be one to eagerly anticipate, not least because they are playing two of the greatest of all cello sonatas, Beethoven’s A minor op 69 and Brahms’ F major op 99, along with Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro op 70.

 

18th May. ANTIPODES DUO. Bryony Gibson-Cornish, viola; Gamal Khamis, piano.

This duo is noted for dynamic performances and innovative programming, and has recently attended the prestigious masterclasses at Prussia Cove. Bryony, a New Zealander, having graduated at the Juilliard School in New York, is now at the London RCM.  She already has considerable experience as an orchestral (Philharmonia, Sinfonia Cymru, English Chamber) as well as chamber music player. Gamal is a versatile and experienced concert and chamber pianist, deservedly very popular at Aylesbury. Solos from Bryony (Bach and Hindemith) and Gamal (Schubert), playing together in Schumann, and rounding off this terrific programme with dances from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet.

 

25th May. ANERN STRING TRIO and friends. Lisa Ueda, violin; Ian Byrne Brito, viola; Nigel Blomiley, cello; Si Chui Li, piano; tbc, double-bass.

The distinguished musicians of the Anern Trio are great supporters of our concerts, and Si Chui, a busy London-based chamber pianist and accompanist, is a welcome new guest. The programme begins with the String Trio by Joseph Eybler, a friend of Mozart who survived Beethoven, well known in his day but now almost forgotten – undeservedly as you will discover. But the other work could hardly be more popular: the Trout Quintet of Schubert. 70 minutes.    

 

1st June. OLIVIA SHAM, piano.

Australian-born, London-based, Olivia is acquiring an international reputation for her performances of the nineteenth century repertoire not only on modern pianos, but on instruments contemporary with the music.  On her CD, Liszt and the Art of Remembering she plays both. Sham is a terrific pianist, said Gramophone. She can play the showman, the visionary, romancer and charismatic charmer with equal aplomb. No Liszt for us, but in a programme she is taking on to Germany we have the jewel of Mozart’s early piano sonatas, the A minor K310, the first set of Mendelssohn’s Songs without Words, and – a real treat – Schumann’s great C major Fantasy. Played by Olivia (on our trusty modern piano!) this must not be missed.  

 

8th June. PETRA HAJDUCHOVÁ, harpsichord.

Harpsichordist, organist, and pianist Petra was born in the Czech Republic, but now has a busy career in London performing and teaching. Her programme offers a survey of 17th and 18th century harpsichord music (a rare treat in itself) as wide-ranging geographically (music from England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) as it is in variety of styles.

 

15th June. JESSICA SUMMERS, soprano; Jelena MAKAROVA, piano.

A song recital with a difference.  Jessica (who gave us a riveting performance of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire last year) is known for her advocacy of contemporary music, and this is part of her Living Songs project. Three songs by Errollyn Wallen will give particular pleasure as they speak so directly and powerfully. Three Cautionary Tales by John Woolrich, to Turkish, English and Macedonian folk texts, are also featured, along with some of Britten’s wonderful folk-song arrangements. Jelena, a familiar pianist at Aylesbury (see also 13th July), will play Britten’s haunting Notturno.  And a world premier is a possibility – if the music is ready on time.  

 

22nd June. HITOMI INUJIMA, violin; SABRINA CURPANEN, piano.

Prize-winning musicians from Japan and Italy, playing two of Beethoven’s violin sonatas: the A major opus 30 no 1 and the famous Kreutzer Sonata, regarded by many as the greatest of all such works, and – a sign of changing times – the first to be composed for a specific violin virtuoso. These pieces are indelibly linked by the fact that the finale of the latter was originally written for the former.

 

29th June. PANARETOS KYRIATZIDIS, piano.

Our concerts have no better friend than this superb musician from Greece. We normally hear Panaretos in chamber music and accompanying, but here he returns as a soloist. And what a programme! – Four masterpieces, showing how the Classical turned into the Romantic. The Mozart A minor Rondo K511 which opens and the Schubert A minor Sonata D784 which closes are among their most personal works. Also Beethoven’s Variations on an original theme op 34 and Haydn’s majestic E flat Sonata (no 52). Allow up to 70 minutes.

 

6th July. Members of 12 ENSEMBLE. Eloisa-FleurThom, Alessandro Ruisi, Guy Button, Roberto Ruisi, violins; Asher Zaccardelli, Elitsa Bogdanova, violas; Max Ruisi, Sergio Serra, cellos.

This is a phenomenal line-up, including all members of the distinguished Ruisi String Quartet, and the programme of Mozart’s G minor String Quintet (for many his greatest chamber work) and Mendelssohn’s youthful and exhilarating Octet clinches it as something worth travelling miles to enjoy (and many will – arrive early for a good seat). This is to mark Music at Lunchtime’s thanks and gratitude to those in our audience who have boosted our income so graciously and generously. Allow 70 minutes.

 

13th July. JELENA MAKAROVA, piano.

Jelena, originally Russian/Lithuanian, is always a welcome guest at our concerts. She is an excellent programme-builder, and this recital reflects her enterprising breadth of musical sympathies. We have works almost exactly two centuries apart, Beethoven’s Les Adieux Sonata and Reminiscences of Childhood by the Israeli-born, London-based Nimrod Borenstein, via Debussy and Bartók.

 

20th July. SALLY QUANTRILL, flute; LYDIA BOSWELL, piano.

The annual recital by this long-established duo is always a pleasure to look forward to, and is perfect for a summer lunchtime. Thoroughly enjoyable music by CPE Bach, Geoff Eales, Bax, Lili Boulanger and Poulenc – his wonderful Flute Sonata.

 

27th July. JOHN PAUL EKINS, piano; JUDITH CHOI CASTRO, violin; TIMOTHÉE BOTBOL, cello.

What an ending to the season! John Paul has been the recipient of no less than 19 awards, scholarships and prizes, huge critical praise (…an inspired white hot ‘Waldstein’ [Beethoven] which blew our socks away), and has given concerts throughout Europe and much of Asia; he is beyond doubt in the top drawer of the UK’s younger pianists. Judith, of Spanish-South Korean origin, is now a London-based chamber and orchestral player who also runs the Festival Academy of Music International in Tenerife; and Timothée, also a baritone and jazz musician, is from Geneva and currently a post-graduate student at the RCM in London, with much instrumental and orchestral experience already behind him, including playing in the Suisse Romande Orchestra. The three are coming together to perform Beethoven’s hugely enjoyable B flat Trio op 11, known as the Gassenhauer / Street-song, and Mendelssohn’s popular D minor Piano Trio op 49.

 

September to December 2017

7th September. BEHN QUARTET. Kate Oswin, Alicia Berendse, violins; Lydia Abell, violins; Ghislaine McMullin, cello.

This is a young international string quartet (its members are from England, Netherlands, New Zealand and Wales), winners of the Amadeus Prize in 2016 and currently holding the Cavatina Chamber Music Fellowship at the Royal Academy of Music. The quartet is named after Aphra Behn, who, as Virginia Woolf put it, earned [women] the right to speak their minds. Peter Maxwell Davies’ last piece, Movement for String Quartet, of which the ‘Behn’ gave the premier, is framed by two masterpieces, Haydn’s D major Quartet op 64/3, The Lark, and Ravel’s beautifully sensual String Quartet. A memorable start to the 2017/18 season!

 

14th September. TYLER HAY, piano.

Here’s an opportunity to hear one of the most impressive young British pianists around, the winner of the 2016 Liszt Society International Piano Competition. Please note that Tyler is not playing the programme originally advertised. His recital is going to begin with Haydn’s greatest Sonata, the one in E flat, continue s with three short stand-alone pieces by Mozart, an ends with two works by Liszt, the jolly D flat Ballade, and the extraordinary, hair-raisingly difficult After a reading of Dante. There is no doubt that this will be memorable and ultimately thrilling recital.

 

21st September. GERARD COUSINS, guitar.

Guitarist and composer Gerard Cousins, a personable performer well known in the classical guitar world, will offer a varied programme including a homage to jazz guitarist John McLaughlin and his unique take on Welsh folk songs. He will also perform music from his groundbreaking CD of Philip Glass transcriptions (on sale). Not just classical guitar enthusiasts will find this a real treat.

 

 

28th September. ANA-ELISABETA POPESCU-DEUTSCH, violin; TEODORA OPRIŞOR, piano.

A duo of two fine musicians from Romania, featuring three Romanian works and a French masterpiece. Ana will play the Suite for Solo Violin by Vasile Filip, and Teodora the Sonatina for Left Hand Piano by Dinu Lipatti, better known as a pianist. But the ‘big’ Romanian work is the incredible Third Violin Sonata by George Enescu, which has become hugely popular with the St Mary’s audience. Enescu, one of the finest of all violinists, played the remaining work from memory after one look over: Ravel’s blues-influenced Violin Sonata. For pure enjoyment these two sonatas take some beating!     

 

5th October. SAUL PICADO, piano.

The welcome return of the fine Portuguese pianist, one half of the Dryads Duo (see 7th December). Saul is playing Schumann (the delightful, touching Scenes from Childhood and Toccata in C), a mixture of four Rachmaninov Preludes and Studies, Debussy’s short three-movement Pour le piano, and another performance of Chopin’s D major Scherzo. A strong, varied programme.

 

12th October.

JENNY LEWISOHN & GAMAL KHAMIS, viola/piano.

Two quite brilliant musicians play Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro and the glorious Viola Sonata in Bb minor by Brahms. Gamal will play Chopin’s wonderful Funeral March Piano Sonata. Two 'rising stars' indeed.

 

19th October. ENGLISH PIANO TRIO. Jane Faulkner, violin; Pal Banda, cello; Timothy Ravenscroft, piano.

This is the 27th anniversary season of this prestigious, innovatory ensemble, and we must give these celebrated musicians the warmest of welcomes. The concert consists of two endlessly rewarding works, the G minor Trio of Haydn Hob.XV:19, and Schubert’s great E flat Trio. Just to hear Pal Banda (who worked with the inspiring violinist Sándor Végh in Salzburg) play the cello theme in the Schubert slow movement would bring queues from the gates in a more enlightened world.

 

26th October. CHARLOTTE ROWAN, violin; CHARLOTTE STEPHENSON, piano.

The second visit by these two splendid Scottish musicians, the latter coming all the way from Clackmannan to play for us. Charlotte Rowan is a young violinist who dazzles her audiences, which are many and enthusiastic (see her website!); as she is ending with the Sarasate Carmen Fantasy you will not be disappointed on this count. But the beautiful, nostalgic E minor Sonata by Elgar, composed around the time of the Cello Concerto, will strike a more thoughtful, introspective note; so even if violin fireworks aren’t your thing do come for this – the ‘two Charlottes’ will do it justice.  CDs will be on sale.

 

2nd November. FELICITY VINCENT, cello; OLIVER DAVIES, piano.

These are both regular and distinguished visitors to our series: Felicity (a pupil of Janos Starker) has played with most of the great British orchestras, and Oliver is piano professor at the Royal College and founder of the Department of Portraits and Performance History there. This duo love rarities: the 1946 Cello Sonata of Edmund Rubbra, composed in the aftermath of war, certainly should be heard far more often. Its final movement connects with Bach, and his Viola da Gamba (Cello) Sonata in D BWV1028. A third work is the short 1917 Sonata by the prolific, inventive Charles Koechlin: its finale crowns this particularly rare gem.

 

9th November.  LEO APPEL, violin; JULIAN TREVELYAN, piano.

Still in their late teens, these must be the youngest musicians who have played in our series in recent years. Leo, who is in his final year at school in Oxford, won the Whitgift International Music Competition in 2015 and the Oxford Philharmonic Concerto Competition earlier this year; he is co-leader of the National Youth Orchestra. Julian has won prizes at international piano competitions in France, Germany and the UK, leading to concerts and concertos throughout Europe. He is now studying piano and composition in Paris. Their programme is uncompromising: Brahms’ D minor Violin Sonata, Szymanowski’s exotically sensual Mythes, ending with the runaway virtuosity of Wieniawski’s Polonaise Brillante in A.

   

16th November. PETER O’HAGAN, piano.

Based at the University of Surrey, Peter, as a musicologist, is the expert on the piano music of Pierre Boulez; as a pianist he is thoroughly versed in clarifying those complexities which make contemporary music so difficult for some listeners. For us he is going to play six of the supremely inventive Études from György Ligeti’s Second Book, composed 1988-1994. These diverting short pieces are going to be framed by Liszt: the Consolations and the mighty Sonata in B minor, arguably the greatest piano work of the whole Romantic era, its vast one-movement structure still the subject of intense debate. On his first visit Peter played Bach’s Goldberg Variations – a towering, moving performance; our guest is no ordinary musician.

  

23rd November. PAOLA DELUCCHI, violin; ALBERT LAU, piano.

Despite geography (Paola, who studied in Genoa and the RAM, is based in London; Albert, who studied in his native Hong Kong, Indiana University and the RAM, in Cologne), this is a well-honed international duo. They bring a typically full and rewarding Italian-themed programme: a baroque sonata by F. M. Veracini, Kreisler’s Praeludium and Allegro in the Style of Pugnani, and Stravinsky’s entertaining Suite Italienne; and then music by Respighi – two of his Six pieces for violin and piano and the large-scale, heavily romantic Violin Sonata in B minor, the kind of instrumental music one would expect from a master orchestrator.

  

30th November. TRIO SONORITÉ. Özlem Çelik, clarinet; Daryl Giuliano, cello; Jelena Makarova, piano.

A new ensemble of musicians from Turkey, Canada and Lithuania respectively, all currently based in London, and all first-rate. Daryl and Jelena aren’t new to us – Jelena is a staunch friend of our concerts – but we welcome Özlem, who has been clarinet principal in numerous Turkish orchestras. A rich programme: the original version of Beethoven’s B flat Trio , known as the Gassenhauer/Street Song, Nino Rota’s light, engaging Trio (Rota wrote the music for The Godfather), and the core work of this repertoire, Brahms’s A minor Clarinet Trio.   

 

7th December. DRYADS DUO. Carla Santos, violin, Saul Picado, piano.

Formed in 2010 by these two excellent Portuguese musicians, the ‘Dryads’ never disappoint, either in programming or performance. The opener is Schumann’s restless A minor Violin Sonata, followed with music from the Russian-American pianist, composer and Renaissance woman, Lera Auerbach, one of the major figures of her generation (born 1973): six of the 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano from 1999. These form a seamless link with the great Prokofiev Violin Sonata in F minor op 80, and absolutely nothing could follow this.

 

We are back on the 9th January with ‘Salon to Cabaret’

 

 

Weekend concerts

Admission: £10.00; Friends of St Mary’s £8.50;18 and under free. Includes light refreshments.  No tickets, pay at the door; admission desk open from 14.30. 

Full length, two-part concerts with superbly played, strongly designed programmes, providing an exciting addition to the Vale’s musical life during the lighter months.

11th June. NICOLA TAIT, cello; MINA MILETIĆ, piano.

Nicola was the former cellist in the world-famous Fitzwilliam Quartet, Mina a distinguished Serbian pianist especially associated with the music of Beethoven and the Russian repertoire. In March 2014 they performed all of Beethoven’s music for cello and piano at Aylesbury in two afternoon concerts. In this generous programme we shall hear both of Brahms’ Cello Sonatas, in E minor and F major, and two major Russian sonatas, by Prokofiev and Shostakovich. A feast of fine music and playing. Finish approx. 17.05. Kindly sponsored by the Friends of St Mary’s

 

30th July. LANA TROTOVŠEK, violin; MARIA CANYIGUERAL, piano.

Lana is a young Slovenian virtuoso already receiving acclamation in Europe, Japan and the US – a Philadelphian critic wrote of how a star blazed on the stage in the Mendelssohn concerto. The world seems to be her oyster. Maria is also carving out a career as one of the finest younger exponents of the Spanish repertoire. Their CD won the Gold Medal in the 2016 Global Music Awards, and will be on sale. Two items from it are being played, the violin sonatas by Granados (little known) and Franck (hugely popular). Their new recording project is a Beethoven violin sonata cycle, and we are going to hear the D major op 12 no 1, and the F major op 24, known as the Spring. World-class playing. Finish approx. 16.55. Kindly sponsored by the Friends of St Mary’s

Sunday, 24th September, 3pm. MARIA RAZUMOVSKAYA.

This Russian-born pianist is a great favourite at St Mary’s. Her programme includes Beethoven’s Pathétique and Tempest Sonatas, and Mussorgsky’s hair-raisingly difficult Pictures from an Exhibition, of which Maria is a consummate interpreter. This concert has been made possible by a private donation

 

Saturday, 9th December, 7.30 pm. THE GRIER TRIO. Savitri, violin, Indira, cello, and Francis Grier, piano.

The two daughters of the distinguished composer/organist/pianist Francis Grier now have international musical careers of their own, but are meeting up at St Mary’s (a regular family event) to play together: they love the intimacy and the acoustic. Mozart’s Violin Sonata in A K526, Mendelssohn’s Cello Sonata in B flat op 45 – and – it will be a performance to treasure – Schubert’s joyous B flat Piano Trio D 898. This concert is sponsored by the Friends of St Mary’s     

 

 

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