Nov
6
7:30 PM19:30

The Amyas Duo and Duo Maddalena

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets:  £12 (students £6)

Tickets in person from Richard Booth's Bookshop, 44 Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye

or by telephone: 01497 820322

or online through Booth's Bookshop

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate.

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Emily Baines - woodwinds

Arngeir Hauksson – lute and percussion
 
Janet Oates – soprano and percussion

 Lucy Green - mezzo soprano and vielle-à-roue

The Amyas Duo and Duo Maddalena perform a feast of sacred and secular mediaeval music from England, France and the Netherlands for lute, woodwinds, vielle-á-roue (hurdy-gurdy) and voices.

In this varied selection of instrumental  and vocal music, the Amyas Ensemble and Duo Maddalena recreate the soundscape of mediaeval France, England and Spain. Music by Troubadours and Trobairitz such as the Comtessa Beatrice de Dia, are intertwined with lute-songs by Binchois, up-beat dances by Machaut, a contemporary setting of a Trobairitz poem by Tansy Davies, and a range of serious, humorous and devotional anonymous pieces.
 
Amyas, represented in this concert by Emily Baines (woodwinds) and Arngeir Hauksson (lute, percussion), are a period instrument group specialising in exuberant performances of historical repertoire. They are specialists in historically informed performance, as well as carrying out cutting-edge research into earlier practices. The group are committed to an understanding of history but also to embracing the 21st century and new possibilities for performance spaces and techniques. Similarly, they are passionate both about discovering unknown early sources and also improvisation and composition. Their performances range from the well-loved classics of the eighteenth century (imbued with their typical flair of course!) to electronic manipulation of medieval songs and dances - and everything in between.
 
Duo Maddalena is formed of Janet Oates (soprano, percussion) and Lucy Green (mezzo soprano, hurdy-gurdy). They specialise in three aspects of music, and their interactions: early music, contemporary classical music and music by women composers, offering programmes of entirely mediaeval, renaissance or baroque pieces, entirely newly-composed works or eclectic mixes. For each concert they invite friends and colleagues to join them, providing historically informed accompaniment. They are also interested in new music written for early instruments, and commissioning new works. In and across both earlier and contemporary periods, music by women features in most of their performances, and they enjoy seeking out and arranging or translating little known works.
 
 
Emily Baines is a professional recorder player, lecturer and musical director working throughout Europe also specialising in a wide variety of historical woodwinds. She trained at the University of Hull, the Koninklijk Conservatorium (The Hague) and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she recently completed her doctorate on the role of mechanical musical instruments as sources for eighteenth century performance practice. She is a member and co-founder of Blondel (medieval and renaissance wind band), selected in 2016 as one of BBC Radio 3’s ‘Introducing’ acts and who have recently released their second album ‘Owre Kynge Went Forth’, telling the story of Henry V and the battle of Agincourt in words and music. Theatre work has included musician and musical director roles for Jericho House, Barbican BITE, Just Enough Theatre Co., Shakespeare’s Globe and the National Theatre including the Globe’s premier Broadway transfers of Twelfth Night and Richard III in 2013. She has recently finished touring the UK as Musical Director/Band Leader on Jessica Swayle’s Olivier Award winning ‘Nell Gwynn’, following a successful run in London’s West End and concluding with sell-out performances at the Globe. She also lectures on music and Shakespeare’s theatre for the Globe’s education department.
 
Arngeir Hauksson was born in Iceland but came to London for his postgraduate studies on the guitar and the lute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He now specializes in historical plucked instruments from the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods, performing on copies of original instruments. He also plays classical, folk and electric guitars, as well as percussion and the hurdy-gurdy. Arngeir performs and records with many major English ensembles and opera companies. These have included The Sixteen, Ex Cathedra, City Musick, Blondel, Glyndebourne, English National Opera, English Touring Opera, Opera North, the BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. He has for 10 years been a principal player and musical director for Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, also performing in the National Theatre, London's West End and on Broadway, New York. He has a keen interest in new music and has collaborated with artists such as Damon Albarn, Sally Beamish, Tony Allen, Bruce Dickinson and William Lyons and he regularly performs in The Historic Royal Palaces, Hampton Court Palace and Tower of London.
 
Janet Oates is interested in early and contemporary music, and in involving the widest possible range of people in a whole spectrum of music-making. She holds a PhD in composition and has composed a chamber opera, a community opera, an oratorio, prize-winning songs and other chamber works. Several of her songs can be found on the recent CD from Divine Arts, called Sappho, Shropshire and SuperTramp. She teaches at Richmond Adult College and conducts several choirs including the experimental contemporary ensemble, CoMA Singers (www.coma.org). She is co-founder of the Richmond New Music Collective and curates the composition project ‘Closet Music’ which has produced two volumes of work and a gallery exhibition. She has sung many lead roles with Isleworth Baroque, as well as performing in solo recitals, oratorio and the professional choir Coro Cervantes. She has premiered works by Tansy Davies, Colin Riley, Greg Rose and others. Janet is one third of The Decibelles, an a capella trio singing jazz, pop and retro songs. Her most recent project is the professional vocal ensemble Philomel, comprising six sopranos singing a combination of late Renaissance works and new commissions, particularly the works of women composers from both these periods.

Lucy Green is a music educationalist whose work bringing the informal learning practices of popular musicians into school classrooms and instrumental studios has reached countries across the world. She is Emerita Professor in Music Education at the UCL Institute of Education in London, and now lives in Hay-on-Wye. She did a B.Ed in Music at Homerton College Cambridge, then a Masters in Music and a Doctorate in Music Education at Sussex University. She holds an LRAM in piano teaching and a DipRSM in vocal performance. Firmly committed to community music in all its incarnations, she was, until moving to Hay, Assistant Musical Director and Stage Director of Richmond Opera, an inclusive group in West London, as well as being involved in a range of other groups. As a singer she concentrates on the early music repertoire. On the stage she has sung the lead in Handel’s Solomon, Juno in Eccles’ The Judgment of Paris, Speranza in Monteverdi’s Orfeo, the Sorceress and spirit in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneus (all with Isleworth Baroque); third lady in Mozart’s Magic Flute (Harrow Opera); the Fairy Queen in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe (Richmond Choral Society); and others. She has performed solos from works such as Bach’s Magnificat and St Matthew Passion, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and Handel’s Messiah; and gives regular recitals.

Refreshments available during the interval

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Dec
11
7:30 PM19:30

Elin Manahan-Thomas (soprano) and Elizabeth Kenny (lute and theorbo)

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets:  £15 (students £7.50)

Tickets in person from Richard Booth's Bookshop, 44 Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye

or by telephone: 01497 820322

or online through Booth's Bookshop

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate.

 

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Elin Manahan Thomas is one of the most exceptional sopranos of her generation.  She has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious venues and festivals and with leading orchestras and conductors. Elin is perhaps most famously known for her performances of baroque masterpieces such as Handel's ‘Eternal Source of Light Divine’ at the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony and again at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

 

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Elizabeth Kenny is one of Europe’s leading lute players.  Her playing has been described as “incandescent” (Music and Vision), “radical” (The Independent) and “indecently beautiful” (Toronto Post).  In twenty years of touring she has played with many of the world’s best period instrument groups.

 

'Now Winter Comes Slowly'

A festive programme of wintry favourites featuring scenes from Purcell's Fairy Queen and King Arthur, hymns to the Virgin, celebratory Christmas songs by Bach and Scarlatti and traditional carols and Noels. Elin and Elizabeth's popular alliance will sprinkle some musical magic on a dark winter's night.......

..... featuring scenes from Purcell's Fairy Queen and King Arthur, hymns to the Virgin, celebratory Christmas songs by Bach and Scarlatti and traditional carols and Noels:

Handel:  So shall the lute and harp awake
Monteverdi:  Exulta Filia
Grandi:  O intemerata
Merula:  Canzonetta Spirituale sopra alla nanna
Bach:  Ich freue mich in dir; Ich steh an deiner Krippen hier;  O Jesulein süss
Scarlatt:  Fortunati pastori…Tocco la prima sorte
Campion:  Now winter nights enlarge
Purcell:  Scenes from Fairy Queen and King Arthur
 
Sequence of traditional Christmas songs:

Trad French Noël:  A minuit fut fait un réveil
Trad English:  The truth from above;  Adam lay ybounden;  Gabriel’s message
Trad Welsh:  Cân y Plygain (14’)
Handel:  Or let the merry bells ring round

Refreshments available during the interval

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Jan
20
3:00 PM15:00

Patrick Hemmerlé (piano)

St Mary’s Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets £12 (students £6)

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate.


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It seems so ironic - one of the supreme masterworks of music, which has enthralled legions of scholars and performers for ages, was meant to put its first audience to sleep!

The so-called Goldberg Variations of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750) is believed to have been a gift to a Count Kayserling, an influential musical devotee who had secured for Bach an appointment as official composer to the Saxon court. Beyond being a deep honour, the title provided Bach much-needed royal protection against the pettiness of his employers, with whom he rarely got along. From his earliest days as a church organist, Bach was faulted for confusing congregations with flights of invention rather than strictly accompanying their hymns.

The Count suffered from bouts of insomnia and had hired one of Bach's pupils, the fourteen year old Johann Gottlieb Goldberg, to play for him during his restless nights. To soothe the Count, Bach wrote this piece, formally entitled Aria with Diverse Variations for Harpsichord with Two Manuals, in 1741. In gratitude, the Count sent Bach 100 louis d'or, a sum far exceeding his annual salary.

Bach's Goldberg Variations is often considered the purest expression of his creativity. But perhaps the ultimate display of the full range of Bach's art, as well as the outlet for his deepest, most personal feelings is the Goldberg Variations.

Chopin's 24 Preludes, Op 28, are a set of short pieces for the piano, one in each of the twenty-four keys, originally published in 1839. Chopin wrote them between 1835 and 1839, partly in Majorca, where he spent the winter of 1838–39 and where he had fled with George Sand and her children to escape the damp Paris weather. In Majorca, Chopin had a copy of Bach's The Well-Tempered Clavier, and as in each of Bach's two sets of preludes and fugues, his Op 28 set comprises a complete cycle of the major and minor keys, albeit with a different ordering. 

Whereas the term ‘prelude’ had hitherto been used to describe an introductory piece, Chopin's pieces stand as self-contained units, each conveying a specific idea or emotion.

Patrick Hemmerlé is a French pianist based in Cambridge, UK. He performs regularly as a soloist and chamber musician. His repertoire is large with different areas of focus: a large part is devoted to Bach in particular and the great composers from the Austro-German tradition. Patrick is also interested in performing composers who have remained on the fringe of the main repertoire. He therefore regularly includes in his concert programmes composers such as Novak, Martin, Emmanuel, Roger-Ducasse and many others, alongside more familiar names. 

Patrick has released two CDs with works by Schumann, Brahms, Novak, and Tchesnokov. He was originally trained in Paris, where he studied in the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional de Paris with Billy Eidi and also had lessons with Nadine Wright, Joaquin Soriano, Ventislav Yankov, and Eric Heidsieck. He is laureate of the international competitions of Valencia, Toledo, Grosseto, Epinal, and CFRPM in Paris.

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Feb
8
7:30 PM19:30

Robin Michael (cello)

Richard Booth’s Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets: £12 (Students £6)

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate.

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The Six Cello Suites for Unaccompanied Cello by Johann Sebastian Bach are some of the most frequently performed and recognizable solo compositions ever written for the cello. Bach most likely composed them during the period 1717–23, when he served as Kapellmeister in Köthen. The title given on the cover of the Anna Magdalena Bach manuscript was Suites à Violoncello Solo senza Basso (Suites for cello solo without bass). These suites are remarkable in that they achieve the effect of implied three- to four-voice music in a single musical line.

As is usual in a Baroque musical suite, after the prelude which begins each suite, all the other movements are based around Baroque dance types; the cello suites are structured in six movements each: prelude, allemande, courante, sarabande, two minuets or two bourées or two gavottes, and a final gigue. The Bach cello suites are considered to be among the most profound of all classical music works. Wilfrid Mellers described them in 1980 as "Monophonic music wherein a man has created a dance of God."

The Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály wrote his Sonata in B minor for Solo Cello, Op. 8, in 1915. It was first performed in 1918 and published in 1921. It is among the most significant works for solo cello written since J S Bach’s Cello Suites. It contains influences of Debussy and Bartók, as well as the inflections and nuances of Hungarian folk music.

 

Robin Michael studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Strange and Colin Carr and later with Ferenc Rados. He is principal cellist in Orchestre Revolutionnaire et Romantique, Solo cellist with Orchestre Les Siècles (Paris) as well as regular guest principal cellist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Royal Northern Sinfonia, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Britten Sinfonia, RTE Concert Orchestra, English Baroque Soloists, English National Opera and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Robin was the cellist in the Fidelio Trio for over 10 years with which he toured Europe, North America, Asia and South Africa. He has also appeared in collaboration with the Dante and Eroica Quartets. Highlights in his discography include the premier recording of Joe Cutler's cello concerto with the BBC Concert Orchestra (NMC), first recording of the original version of Mendelssohn's Octet on period instruments (Resonus) and Fidelio Trio recordings on Naxos, NMC, Métier and Delphian records.

Recent concert highlights include complete Bach and Britten suite cycles in France and London, the South Korean premier of Jonathan Harvey's 'Advaya' for cello and electronics, both Haydn concertos at the Spier festival in South Africa as well as festival appearances in Buenos Aires, Library of Congress, Washington, and European festivals including Cheltenham, Aldeburgh and St Magnus. 

Recent projects include a recording of the Brahms sonatas with Daniel Tong, a Bach suite cycle at the St Magnus Festival, Britten suite cycle at Festival 'Phil Grobi' in the Auvergne and the first Kinnordy Chamber Music Festival in Scotland where he is co-artistic director with Daniel Tong.

Robin plays on a cello made for him by the German Luthier Stephan von Behr, 2010.

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Mar
17
3:00 PM15:00

Milly Forrest (soprano)

St Mary’s Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets: £12 (Students £6)

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate.

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A song from Germany:

Richard Strauss:  from Drei Lieder, Op 29

 

Songs from Italy:

Rossini:  La Danza

Bellini:  Vaga luna

Bellini:  Ma rendi pur contento

 

Songs from England:

Folk song arr. Britten:  The last rose of Summer

Lewis Murphy and Laura Attridge:  Skin - Story of the Little Mermaid (2015)

Herbert Howells:  King David

Songs from Opera:

Verdi:  Caro nome - Gilda’s aria - Rigoletto

Puccini:  Quando m’en vo - La Boheme

Gounod:  Je veux vivre - Romeo and Juliette

Poulenc:  Concert aria - Le Dame de Montecarlo

Menotti:  Steal me sweet thief - The Telephone

Handel:  Mio Caro Bene - Rodelinda

Handel:  Da tempeste il legno infranto - Giulio Cesare

Britten:  How beautiful it is – Governess aria - The Turn of the Screw

Gilbert and Sullivan:  The hours creep on apace - HMS Pinafore

  

After completing her undergraduate degree at the Royal Academy of Music under the tuition of Kathleen Livingstone, lyric soprano Milly Forrest is currently working towards her masters at the Royal College of Music where she studies with Alison Wells.

On the operatic stage she has sung the roles of Susanna - Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart), Clorinda - La Cenerentola (Rossini), Fiordiligi - Cosi fan tutte (Mozart), Nora - Riders to the sea (Vaughan Williams),  Amore - Poppea (Monteverdi) and Barbarina in the RCM Opera School’s production of The Marriage of Figaro, directed by Sir Thomas Allen.

Recent highlights include winning the Brooks-van der Pump English Song Competition at the RCM, performing in Washington, returning to The Opera Box for a staged song recital, to Nantwich Choral Society as soloist in Dvorák’s Stabat Mater, to Dartington Community choir as soloist in Carmina Burana, as soloist with the Great Missenden Choral Society, and appearing as a soloist in Mendelssohn’s Lobgesang. Milly also took part in a contemporary opera project at the RCM in partnership with Tête-à-tête Opera.

 In July 2017, Milly was asked by John Gilhooly (director of the Wigmore Hall) to step in at short notice for the last song recital of the season, ‘A serenade to Music’,  accompanied by Graham Johnson and Eugene Asti. She sang alongside Mary Bevan, Elizabeth Watts, Anna Huntley and many others and made the national headlines after impressing critics.

Recent performances include singing ‘Exultate Jubilate’ by Mozart with the National Symphony Orchestra.

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