Jennie McGregor-Smith of Celebrating English Song writes:
"This is a very brief reminder that on 26th June we shall be lucky enough to hear Benjamin Appl at Tardebigge with Simon Lepper. Should you go to his own website www.benjaminappl.com and click on video you can hear him talking about his life as he became a singer. I'm particularly looking forward to hearing Ben's plan to juxtapose Ian Venables' songs with Gurney poetry and song.
Christopher Morley of The Birmingham Post reviewed Ben Appl's recent Birmingham Town Hall concert, giving it a seldom awarded five star appreciation. He particularly mentioned the song cycle by Nico Muhly which we are hearing at Tardebigge: ".... four of its five songs setting letters between soldiers and their loved ones during the First World War ..... Both probing and absorbing, this is a song-cycle worthy of repeated hearing .... Appl is already climbing the ladder to international stardom .... "
Ian Venables will be with us for the series, giving the pre-concert talk with his views about Finzi, but before that we shall be visited by members of Finzi Friends who will come for Stephen Banfield's talk Finzi and Modern Britain at 11.30, followed by lunch. All are welcome to the free talk, and to the lunch which needs to be booked beforehand."
Here's an interesting article from Gramophone magazine about a different kind of crossover - between period and modern instruments. - written by Jane Gordon, violinist in the Rautio Piano Trio, who plays with several period instrument orchestras including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, English Baroque Soloists and Arcangelo.
She says "Period instrument orchestras, which at first specialised in performing only Baroque and Classical music, are now broadening their repertoire, exploring performance practices of pieces written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. For example, this season the OAE performed Mahler's Second Symphony and, last season, soloists such as Viktoria Mullova and Isabelle Faust played Brahms and Mendelssohn concertos respectively on gut strings. Two worlds once so distinctly separate, have begun to merge."
I recently heard Isabelle Faust play an all-Bach programme at the Chipping Campden Festival with Kristian Bezuidenhout at the harpsichord (he's perhaps better known as a fortepianist). Apart from being a wonderful concert, with such enormous musicianship being shown by both performers, it was interesting that my companion asked "is she playing a modern violin or a period instrument?".
Blog written by Jill Davies, who runs the Severn Muses project as well as Chamber Music Plus.
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