Feb
20
7:30 PM19:30

Jane Chapman (Harpsichord) and Yu-Wei Hu (Flute)

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Richard Booth's Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets: £14

Pre-concert supper at 6.00 pm available in the Bookshop Café.  £15.00 from box office.
 
Pre-concert discussion at 4.30 pm in ‘The Granary’, Hay-on-Wye (close to the Clock Tower).  The historical and social background to Anglo-Indian musical collaboration, with the musicians and Dr Katherine Butler Schofield (Kings College, London), a recognised authority on the subject.
Free.  Everybody welcome. Teas and other refreshments available. 

Display in the Bookshop of books related to India.

[Booking Information]

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


Programme

Jean Philippe Rameau (1741):  La Coulicam/Premier Concert

From the Oriental Miscellany:

xvii. Quo e? fera que sutke/Ko’ī sahrā kī sidiqqī/"What desert of truth/true friendship?"

iii. Kia kam keea dil ne?/Kyā kām kyā dil ne/“What did the heart do?”

ii. Sakia! Fusul beharust/Saqī-ā! Fasl-i bahār ast/“Oh cupbearer! It is the season of spring” 

iv. Mutru be khoosh nuwa bego/Mutrib-i khūshnava begō/Tāza ba tāza nō ba nō/“Sing, sweet-tongued musician, ever fresh and ever new!”

vi. Soonre mashukan! be wufa!/Sunrē ma‘shuqā! bē-wafā!/“Listen, beloved! faithless one!”

Anon (1708):  My Poor Heart -  Lady's Banquet Vol. 2

From the Oriental Miscellany:

xi. Susha myra bear/Shīsha mērā pyār/“Glass/mirror, my love...”

xv. Mera peara ab ia re/Merā pyāra ab āyā re/“My beloved has now come, dear”

George Frideric Handel (1711):  Lascia ch'io pianga/''Let me weep"

From the Oriental Miscellany:

xxviii. Dandie’s song/Gīt mallāhān/“Dandies’ song/Sailor’s song”

xviii. Shisheh bur shrub/               shīsha por shārāb/“Glass full of wine”

Francis Barsanti (1742):  A Collection of Old Scots Tunes

Dumbarton’s Drums, Lord Aboyne’s welcome or Cumbernauld House, Corn riggs are bonny

The Bird Fancyer’s  Delight - published by J. Walsh (I665 -1736)

Sky Lark, Canary Bird, The East India Nightingale, Bull Finch

George Frideric Handel (c. 1711–16):  Sonata No. 5 in G major

Adagio, Allegro, Bourée, Menuetto

James Oswald (1747)Airs for the Winter

The Stock Gilli Flower

William Hamilton Bird  (1789):  Sonata - The Oriental Miscellany

Allegro Maestoso, Affetuoso, Minuetto, Jigg


'THE ORIENTAL MISCELLANY'

Anglo-Indian music of the 18th Century

Arranged and adapted by William Hamilton Bird, the 'Oriental Miscellany' is the first published transcription of Indian vocal music in Western notation taken from live performance. Published in Calcutta in 1789 it was considered an important historical source, reflecting Western fascination with the East, and the vogue for Hindustani Airs. The publication also includes a Sonata for harpsichord and flute which includes many of the songs found in the collection.

Jane and Yu-Wei will present this music in an informal way, and tell the fascinating story behind the people who collected and transcribed these pieces giving a sense of the cultural life in India at the end of the 18th century through the diaries and letters of accomplished women.

"I have now the pleasure of enclosing you a Copy of some Indostaun Airs. You may be assured they are exact, and to me they are pretty. Norwithstanding this I cannot be quite clear that they will please you; for notes cannot express Style, and that of these airs is very peculiar and new. I have often made the Musicians tune their instruments to the harpsichord that I might join their little band. They always seemed delighted with the accompaniment of the harpsichord and sung with uncommon animation, and a pleasure to themselves, which was expressed in their faces ... The Governor's little Band from whom I took down these airs consisted of Three Singers; two performers with a kind of large guitar, and their usual accompaniment of drums ... The strings of the Guitar were all tuned in unison. Through the whole air they continue sweeping these strings which produces an uninterrupted Buz, resembling that of an insect which I have often met with."

Accomplished harpsichordist Margaret Fowke, an avid collector of Hindustani Airs, writes enthusiastically to her father. Her family formed part of a wide musical circle that included William Hamilton Bird, and it seems likely that Margaret may have contributed some of the airs to the Oriental Miscellany, perhaps even those she had taken down from the Governor's little Band. Originally from Dublin, Bird is identified in the Bengal Calendar and Register for 1790 as a 'Conductor of public amusements'. Promoting concerts at venues such as the Old Court House, by composers such as Corelli, Giordani and Haydn, could be a risky business, and according to the 1789 Calcutta Gazette, Bird didn't attract the necessary 100 subscribers for a performance, and had to cover costs himself: "His wishes to amuse are (and always will be) much more predominant than those of emolument". The vogue for Hindustani Airs came at just the right moment. Bird's debts were mounting as can be seen from a notice in the Calcutta Chronicle in 1788 requesting the indebted, "immediately to make known the Nature and Amount of their respective Demands". Therefore this new publishing enterprise was timely.

The Oriental Miscellany, being a collection of the most favourite airs of Hindustan, compiled and adapted for the Harpsichord, was first published in Calcutta in 1789, and later In Edinburgh (c.1805). Dedicated to the first Governor-General of India, Warren Hastings, it attracted over 250 subscribers including Earl Cornwallis, chief administrator of the East India Company in Bengal, and Sophia Plowden, a fellow harpsichordist, singer and good friend of Margaret Fowke, who compiled her own beautiful manuscript now housed at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The first publication of the Oriental Miscellany contains 30 songs (most of which are also arranged for guitar), in different Indian vocal styles transcribed from live performance, with titles transliterated from the original Arabic script, though no actual verse. Bird's transliterations were highly criticised by the grammarian John Gilchrist. Bird also composed a Sonata for harpsichord with violin or flute accompaniment, which weaves 'select passages' from at least eight of the airs into its various movements, creating a medley of tuneful fragments with titles that appear in the score, perhaps the first work of East-West fusion.

Jane Chapman is professor of harpsichord at The Royal College of Music. Described in The Independent on Sunday as "Britain's most progressive harpsichordist" and in the Guardian as "a fearless contemporary music performer" Jane Chapman is at the forefront of creating and inspiring new music for harpsichord. She has premiered over 200 solo, chamber and electroacoustic works for the instrument worldwide. Equally passionate about baroque and contemporary music, she has collaborated with ground-breaking composers, artists and dancers, working with musicians from the worlds of Indian music, jazz, and the avant-garde.

"Jane Chapman uses the harpsichord's features - machine stop, lute stop - to full advantage. Early Music Review *****

"Remarkably colourful performances ... ornamental flourishes unlike anything found in European music of the time." Telegraph

As both a recitalist and orchestral musician, Yu-Wei Hu has performed baroque and classical flutes throughout the UK and Europe.  She performs classical flute with Swedish guitarist Johan Lofving as the Flauguissimo Duo and those who attended their concert in Richard Booth's Bookshop in November last year will remember their delightful performance.

The Oriental Miscellany: Airs of Hindustan with Jane Chapman "... a Sonata composed by Bird, which weaves at least eight Hindu airs into standard galant structures, played with flair and panache by flautist Yu-Wei Hu" - Noel O'Regan, Early Music Review

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Mar
23
7:00 PM19:00

Sirinu with Howard Skempton

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Sara Stowe (voice and keyboard), Matthew Spring (hurdy-gurdy and lute), Chris Brannick (percussion), Jon Banks (accordion and medieval harp), Christopher Redgate (oboe) and Isabelle Carré (flutes and recorder)

'THE MAN HURDY-GURDY AND ME'

An innovative concert for lovers of folk, early and modern music by the uniquely inventive composer Howard Skempton and other experimentalists.

Pre-concert discussion with Howard Skempton

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets:  £14 (Students £7)

Please note:  this concert begins at 7.00pm and time given for end of concert is approximate

Programme:

Howard Skempton:   Accordion and oboe concerto

Giacinto Scelsi:   CKCKC (soprano  and mandoline)

Astor Piazzola:   Tango (accordion, oboe, percussion)

Howard Skempton:   Feste’s Song (soprano, guitar and recorder)

Howard Skempton:   The Beauty of the Morning (gamelan)

Erik Satie:   Gnossiennes Nos 3 and 1

Howard Skempton:   The Flight of Song (instruments and voices)

Howard Skempton:   Hurdy-gurdy and percussion concerto (tutti)

Erik Satie:    Menus Propos Enfantins – Lui manger sa tartine (instruments and réciters)

Igor Stravinsky:   Valse pour les enfants – Polka (flute and guitar)

Howard Skempton:   Random Girl – (oboe and percussion)

Howard Skempton:   The Man Hurdy-gurdy and Me (soprano, hurdy-gurdy, medieval harp and percussion)

Chris Hobbs:   Bring us in Good Ale (tutti)

Concertos for hurdy-gurdy have not been many, since Haydn wrote his double hurdy-gurdy concertos for the King of Naples in the 18th century.  Sirinu revisits the form with an Indian tinge in Howard Skempton's concerto for hurdy-gurdy and percussion, along with his dance-like concerto for accordion and oboe.  Along with these concertos they perform a setting of Shakespeare for voice, recorder and guitar, pieces for gamelan and the programme title `The man hurdy-gurdy and me'.  They intersperse these Skempton works with complementary pieces for early and folk ensemble.  Much of this programme has been featured on BBC Radio 3 and is shortly to be released by Métier Records.

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Howard Skempton (born 1947) is an English composer, pianist, and accordionist who has been associated with the English school of experimental music.  His work is characterised by stripped-down, essentials-only choice of materials, absence of formal development and a strong emphasis on melody.  He teaches composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire.

Skempton was the winner in the Chamber-Scale Composition category at the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards in 2005 for his string quartet 'Tendrils' which also won the Chamber Music category in the BBC Radio 3's British Composer Awards.  His best known work is 'Lento' (1990), commissioned by the BBC for the BBC Symphony Orchestra and performed at the 2010 BBC Proms.  He also composes choral music, including an Advent antiphon for Merton College Oxford and anthems for Chester and Wells Cathedrals.

Skempton’s works have been published by Oxford University Press since 1994.

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Apr
27
7:00 PM19:00

Hay Chamber Music Festival: 'Schubertiade' with the Fitzwilliam String Quartet

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Lucy Russell (violin), Marcus Barcham Stevens (violin),
Alan George (viola), Sally Pendelbury (cello)
 

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5ED

Tickets:  £15 (students £7.50) from Box Office or at the door

[Booking Information]

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate

During Schubert's lifetime a Schubertiade was generally an informal, unadvertised gathering held at a private home. In early 19th-century Vienna they were typically sponsored by wealthier friends or aficionados of Schubert's music.

Programme:

Quartettsatz in C minor, D703

Quartettsatz is the tuneful first movement of a string quartet that Schubert never completed.  The Quartet will add the second movement Andante as realised and completed by Professor Brian Newbould.
 
String Quartet in A minor, D804 (Rosamunde)
 
The second movement of the Quartet in A minor lent the quartet its nickname, being based on a theme from the incidental music for Rosamunde.
 

String Quartet in G major, D887
 
Quartet in G major is regarded by many as Schubert's greatest string quartet.  It is heard less frequently than the composer's previous two quartets, not because of its lesser quality, but maybe because of its greater length.


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Apr
28
10:30 AM10:30

Hay Chamber Music Festival: Coffee Concert with the Dragonfly String Trio

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Marcia Crayford (violin), Susie Mészáros (viola),

Moray Welsh (cello)

The Swan Hotel, Church Street, Hay-on-Wye HR3 5DQ

Tickets:  £10 (students £5) from Box Office or at the door

[Booking Information]

Please note:  10.30am for 11.00am.  Time given for end of concert is approximate.  Coffee available before the concert.

 

Programme:

Mozart:  Divertimento in E flat major, K563
 
Mozart's Divertimento in E-flat major is "one of a kind".  It is not only Mozart's only finished composition for string trio – it also appears to be the first such work by any composer. The critic Alfred Einstein wrote "it is a true chamber-music work, and grew to such large proportions only because it was intended to offer something special in the way of art, invention, and good spirit.  It is one of Mozart’s noblest works."
 



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Apr
28
3:00 PM15:00

Hay Chamber Music Festival: Film - 'Britten's Endgame'

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Benjamin Britten

Film showing in Richard Booth's Bookshop Cinema, 44 Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5AA (entrance to Cinema in Brook Street)

Commissioned by the BBC to mark Britten’s centenary in 2013, Bridcut’s rich and poignant film explores Britten’s final years and features the Fitzwilliam Quartet. Britten’s last quartet will be played at this evening’s concert.

The film will be followed by a discussion with the Director, John Bridcut, and the Fitzwilliam Quartet

Admission free but ticketed from Box Office

[Booking Information]

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Apr
28
7:30 PM19:30

Hay Chamber Music Festival: The Fitzwilliam String Quartet with Susie Mészáros

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Lucy Russell (violin), Marcus Barcham Stevens (violin),
Alan George (viola), Sally Pendelbury (cello)

Richard Booth's Bookshop, 44 Lion Street, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5AA

Tickets:  £15 (students £7.50) from Box Office

[Booking Information]

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate

Programme:

Purcell:  Chacony in G minor, Z730
 
A 'chacony' (or 'chaconne') is a type of musical composition popular in the baroque era when it was much used as a vehicle for variation on a repeated short harmonic progression.  Purcell, whose father and uncle were both court musicians, probably wrote this piece in the post that he had obtained in 1677 as composer for the court violin band. Benjamin Britten’s arrangement of the chaconne will be played in Sunday’s concert.
 
Glazunov:  ‘Alla Spagnuola’
 
Alexander Glazunov, born in St. Petersburg in 1865 the son of a wealthy book publisher, wrote Five ‘Novelettes’ during the mid 1880s the first of which is Alla Spagnuola (in the Spanish style).  Surprisingly, this work, long popular at chamber music concerts in Russia, has enjoyed little airing in the West.
 
Britten:  String Quartet No. 3, Op.94
 
Britten’s String Quartet No. 3 was his last completed major work.  It was written during his final illness, the first four movements at his home in Aldeburgh, and the fifth during his last visit to Venice.  "This is, after all, a work that gestures again and again towards some of life’s great mysteries, its most humbling challenges” (Roger Parker).  “It is where Britten officially takes his leave. A handful of works would follow, but this is the moment where he gives up his soul in music of affecting beauty. The last movement ensures he leaves with his head held high, innovating and captivating to the very end." (Brian Hogwood)
 
Mozart:  String Quintet in C major, K 515
 
The notion of a string quintet with two violas was new in the 1770s, when Mozart wrote the first of these works (K 174); but ten years later he produced one of the longest of all his chamber compositions with this sublime C major quintet.

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Apr
29
3:00 PM15:00

Hay Chamber Music Festival: The Fitzwilliam String Quartet with Anna Tilbrook

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Anna Tilbrook - piano

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye, HR3 5ED

Tickets:  £15 (students £7.50) from Box Office or at the door

[Booking Information]

Please note:  time given for end of concert is approximate

Programme:

Purcell (arr. Britten):  Chaconne
 
This chaconne is a fine example of a piece of music written by one composer and realised by another. Benjamin Britten had a long affection for the music of Henry Purcell and chose to edit the work for string orchestra.
 
Mozart:  Piano Concerto in A major, K414 (version for piano and string quartet)
 
During Mozart's first few years in Vienna, one of his primary sources of income was the subscription concert.  For such concerts, he generally composed piano concertos, enabling him to showcase his exceptional facility at the keyboard. Between 1782 and 1786, the years in which he gave the most concerts, Mozart wrote 15 concertos for piano and orchestra, nearly all for his own use, which have come to represent the Classical ideal of the genre. To his father, Mozart described these three concertos as "a happy medium between what is too easy and too difficult; they are very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural, without being vapid."
 
Like all three of Mozart’s early Vienna piano concertos, K414 and K415 can be performed with piano and string quartet alone.  In the second movement of K414 Mozart quotes a theme from the overture to La Calamita de Cuori by Johann Christian Bach, his former mentor in London, who had just died. Mozart also wrote back to his father concerning Bach's death, saying “what a loss to the musical world!“ so we may  regard the moving andante as a musical epitaph by the younger man for the old master.
 
Shostakovich:  String Quartet No. 14 in F sharp major, Op. 142
 
Shostakovich began working on the String Quartet No 14 in 1972, the year when he twice travelled to Britain, using the second trip to visit the young Fitzwilliam Quartet in York to hear their British premiere of No 13 - its successor was sent to them some months later, following a long illness.  Earlier the same year he had also travelled to Aldeburgh: this remote sea-side town on the east coast with its shingle beaches, salt marshes and reed-beds was the home of his friend Benjamin Britten.  Shostakovich had dedicated his Fourteenth Symphony to him three years previously and greatly admired Britten's work.
 
Mozart:  Piano Concerto in C major, K415 (version for piano and string quartet)


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Dec
11
7:30 PM19:30

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

Richard Booth's Bookshop

Tickets:  £15

'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.

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

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