Hay Chamber Music Festival 2017
The Fitzwilliam String Quartet:
Alan George, Marcus Barcham-Stevens, Sally Pendelbury, Lucy Russell
The Fitzwilliam String Quartet was welcomed with great enthusiasm when they returned at the end of March for the Third Hay Chamber Music Festival weekend. Once again, they were joined for the opening concert at St Mary's Church by their friends Marcia Crayford, Susie Mészáros and Moray Welsh of Dragonfly. The programme began with Bruckner's Intermezzo in D minor for String Quintet, a work quite new to me. This was followed by Schubert's magical String Trio in B flat and the concert ended with a splendid performance of the Brahms's two viola String Quintet in G major, received with loud applause by the audience.For the second year the Fitzwilliam String Quartet brought friendliness, joy and wonderful music to Hay for their Fitzwilliam Festival Weekend.
The Dragonfly String Trio:
Moray Welsh, Marcia Crayford, Susie Mészáros
On Saturday some of us ate a delicious pre-concert dinner prepared specially by Booth's Bookshop Café, after which we went upstairs to the first floor of the bookshop proper for the concert. This is a perfect space for chamber music, and the Fitzwilliam Quartet presented another programme of 'something old with something new'. J.S. Bach's Three Contrapuncti from the Art of Fugue was followed by Alan Mills' Variations on a theme of C.P.E. Bach, and then Two Novelettes by Glazunov. The crowning glory was Schubert's great string quartet 'Death and the Maiden'. What a performance we were given, and what depths of emotion the Fitzwiliams reached!
On Sunday, returning to St Mary's, with several children and young people in the audience, we were given something completely different. The Fitzwilliams were joined by young musicians from Sinfonia Cymru for a sparkling performance of Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, followed by his Symphony No 29 and Haydn's Farewell Symphony No 45, with the musicians leaving the stage one by one. Such well-known and popular music has to be performed especially well, and, led by Lucy Russell's immaculate and sensitive phrasing, it certainly was. This light and airy, absolutely delightful concert was perfect for a Sunday afternoon, and brought the festival to a very happy conclusion.
Throughout the weekend the Fitzwilliams mingled with the audience and infected them with their love of the music they play. They are always so happy to be in Hay, and they delight in their audience. With their friends, they have created a festival which will surely attract more people, from far and wide, to listen to such interesting programmes, played with such feeling and dedication by these wonderful musicians.
Hay Chamber Music Festival Outreach Programme
In addition to the main programme of events, the Fitzwilliam String Quartet held a number of outreach activities. On Thursday, following a very successful encounter in 2016, they again held a session for the Family Place (see below) in the Bookshop Studio. On Monday, after their demanding weekend, they had more to give with a 30 minute performance for the whole of Hay Primary School followed by a lecture recital at Gwernyfed High School for GCSE students from a number of local high schools. This was an introduction to the string quartet and a tour through the sound world of the Baroque, Classical and Romantic styles including the GCSE set work of Purcell's Rondo from Abdelazar.
They concluded with afternoon tea at Cusop Village Hall with HayDay Café (see below) where their playing was very warmly and enthusiastically received by all.
The Family Place provides specialist and flexible therapeutic interventions for families.
Their central aim is to strengthen relationships between children and young people and their main carers by deepening understanding in a safe and therapeutic environment. With a deep understanding of the impact of developmental trauma on families and the challenges this presents, the team specialises in providing tailored interventions for foster and adoptive families and their support networks, alongside a range of other family issues. The service is available over a wide geographical area from their base in Hay.
The essence of HayDay is to provide a safe and supportive atmosphere where people who have a dementia or associated condition, and their carers, can enjoy socialising in a café setting and have the opportunity to have some fun. Their aim is to enhance the well-being and dignity of people with a dementia (and associated conditions) and their carers, and their aims are threefold:
* To provide an opportunity for people to meet in an everyday social setting.
* To enjoy each other's company, share information, have fun and take part in stimulating activities.
* To achieve an improvement in the quality of life for participants and enhance their social inclusion.
We are most grateful to Lucy, Alan, Marcus, and the newest member of the ensemble, cellist Sally Pendelbury, as well as to the musicians of Dragonfly - Marcia, Susie and Moray, and to the talented young people of Sinfonia Cymru, for all the pre-Festival preparation in addition to their wonderful playing 'on the day', and particularly for their generosity of spirit which has given us another wonderful musical experience.
The 2017 Hay Chamber Music Festival was supported by individuals as well as:
Mid Wales Music Trust
Kodaly Society of Wales
Lindenleaf Charitable Trust
Thank you! - Diolch yn fawr!
Key to venues:
B = Richard Booth's Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye
D = Dorstone House, Dorstone
St M = St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye
C = The Castle, Hay-on-Wye
L = Llanigon
T= The Mill, Talgarth
January (B) The Consone Quartet
February (B) 'Oriental Miscellay': Jane Chapman and Yu-Wei Hu
January (B) Rhiannon Llewellyn (soprano) and Laura Snowden (guitar)
February (B) André Pereira (violin) and Josh Salter (cello)
March - Festival (St M/B/St M) Fitzwilliam String Quartet / Dragonfly String Trio / members of Sinfonia Cymru
April (St M) Chris Brannick (percussion) and Sara Stowe (soprano)
June (St M) The Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
July (St M) The Solem Quartet
August (B) The Camilli String Quartet
September (D) Emma Abbate and Julian Perkins - Piano Duo
October (D) Jayson Gillham - Piano
October (St M) Marsyas Trio
November (St M) The Schubert Ensemble
January (St M) Rachel Podger - Baroque Violin / Chad Kelly - Harpsichord
February (St M) Duo Concertante - Nancy Dahn - Violin / Timothy Steeves - Piano
April - Festival (St M/B/St M) Fitzwilliam String Quartet / Dragonfly String Trio / Tom Wilkinson - organ / members of Sinfonia Cymru
June (D) The Rautio Piano Trio
July (D) Clare Hammond - piano
August (C) Enigma Duo: Katherine Thomas - harp and Laurence Kempton - violin
September (D) James Gilchrist (tenor) and Anna Tilbrook (piano)
October (St M) Voskesrenije Choir of St Petersburg
November (B) Dragonfly String Trio
November (B) Flauguissimo Duo (Hay Winter Festival opening event)
December (B) Ligeti String Quartet with Peter Florence
January (B) Maciek/James - Clarinet/Piano Duo
February (B) Newbold/Thomas - Flute/Harp Duo
March (B) Welsh National Opera Chorus Members
April - Festival (St M/B/D) Fitzwilliam String Quartet with Dragonfly and Friends
July (D) Lee/Baek - Violin/Piano Duo
August (C) Scherzo Brass Quintet
August (C) Flourish Wind Quintet
October (St M) St Petersburg Chamber Choir
October (St M) Edgar Speyer Concert - Jeremy Fisher - Piano / John Hymas - Violin / Hannah Grove - Soprano / Olivia Gomez - Mezzo-soprano
November (B) Zoltan String Trio
December (St M) Choir of Clare College, Cambridge
February (B) Sterling Trio - Flute, Clarinet and Keyboard
March (B) Fitzwilliam String Quartet
April (B) Dragonfly Ensemble
May (B) Tre Voci - Cello Trio
July (C) Flourish Wind Quintet
August (B) Jones/Maruri - Cello/Guitar Duo
September (B) Kiel Baroque Ensemble
September (D) Jayson Gillham - Piano
November (B) Crayford, Welsh, Meszaros (Dragonfly)
December (B) Tom Guthrie - Baritone / Johan Löfving - Guitar
February (B) Harmonie Musik - Wind Quintet
March (B) Michael Jones - Cello
April (T) Julian Boyce - Baritone
May (St M) Choir of Hereford Cathedral School
June (B) Wingate Ensemble - Flute and Strings
July (D) Tianhong Yang - Piano
September (B) Sian Winstanley - Soprano / Stephen Gordon - Guitar
October (B) Janacek Film with Castalia Quartet
November (D) Jayson Gillham - Piano
December (B) Mavron String Quartet
January (B) Cambrian String Quartet
February (B) Caird Oboe Quartet
March (B) Catherine Hughes - Welsh Folk Songs
April (L) Ivan Ilic - Piano
May (B) Fitzwilliam String Quartet
July (B) SILD - Estonian and Welsh Folk Music
August (B) Downes/Jefferis - Violin/Cello Duo
September (D) Gagliano Piano Quartet
October (B) Castalia String Quartet
November (B) Moray Welsh - Cello
December (B) Music for Viols and Voice
April (B) Sterling Wind and Keyboard Trio
May (B) Aquarelle Guitar Quartet
July (B) Castalia String Quartet
July (B) Thomas/Kempton - Harp/Violin Duo
August (B) Louise Thomson - Harp
September (B) Rory Russell - Guitar
October (B) Alexander/Newbold - Bassoon/Flute duo
November (B) Handel German Songs
December (B) Gagliano String Trio