Jan
20
3:00 PM15:00

Patrick Hemmerlé (piano)

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

or at the door

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

Patrick-Hemmerle-LO.jpg


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.

Refreshments available during the interval

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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.

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

or at the door if seats still available

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

Robin Michael 2.jpg


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.

Liquid refreshments available

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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.

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

or at the door

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

Milly Forrest.jpg

Programme

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.

Refreshments available during the interval

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Apr
10
7:30 PM19:30

Alice Earll (violin)

Booth’s Bookshop Cinema (entrance in Brook Street, Hay-on-Wye)

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‘Dancing with Bach’: D minor Partita and Chaconne with musical illustrations from Westhoff and Biber

JS Bach’s Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin are among the most exceptional pieces for unaccompanied violin and were modelled on some of the most popular dances of the baroque era. Find out about the dances Bach used, how he adapted them and the origins of his inimitable style. We will explore the history of the genre and discuss whether Bach’s composition was a singular work of genius or the pinnacle of a well-worn compositional path. Discover how composers such as Biber and Westhoff blazed the trail as much as half a century before Bach had written his collection and listen to their music all performed on an historical instrument. Join Alice for an evening of Bach, Westhoff and Biber and more with opportunities for discussion and drinks.

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Jun
23
3:00 PM15:00

Raphael Wallfisch (cello) and John York (piano)

Dorstone House, Dorstone

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

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Programme

Rebecca Clarke:  Rhapsody for Cello and Piano (1923 - unpublished until now)

Beethoven:  Sonata in G minor Op 5 No 2

Brahms: Sonata in F minor Op 120 No 1

Frank Bridge:  Sonata in D minor (1917)

Raphael Wallfisch is one of the most celebrated cellists performing on the international stage. He was born in London into a family of distinguished musicians, his mother the cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and his father the pianist Peter Wallfisch.

At the age of twenty-four he won the Gaspar Cassadó International Cello Competition in Florence. Since then he has enjoyed a world-wide career playing with such orchestras as the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus, Berlin Symphony, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, Warsaw Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic and many others.

He is regularly invited to play at major festivals such as the BBC Proms, Edinburgh, Aldeburgh, Spoleto, Prades, Oslo and Schleswig Holstein.  He is also frequently invited to be a jury member of international competitions such as the Rostropovich International Competition in Paris, the Schoenfeld in China and the Enescu in Romania.

Alongside his solo career, Raphael has a long-standing and distinguished duo with pianist John York. With a rich history of many international recital tours and numerous recordings, the duo celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2017.

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