Saturday, 19 January 2013

Britten Sinfonia at Lunch

Britten Sinfonia (c) Harry Rankin
Britten Sinfonia (c) Harry Rankin
As part of its 20th anniversary season the Britten Sinfonia is performing a series of lunchtime concerts, at venues in Brighton, Cambridge, Norwich and London. The first in the series was at the end of last year, but their programme At Lunch 2 is being performed tomorrow (Sunday 20 January 2013) at the Corn Exchange in Brighton, being repeated at West Road Concert Hall, Cambridge on 22 January, Wigmore Hall, London on 23 January and Assembly House, Norwich on 25 January. The At Lunch 3 and At Lunch 4 programmes follow in February and April.

At Lunch 2 interweaves works dedicated to Peter Pears with pieces inspired by Edith Sitwell verse, with performers Mark Padmore (tenor), Richard Watkins (horn), Caroline Dearnely (cello) and Huw Watkins (piano). Britten's The Heart of the Matter, his sequence of Edith Sitwell's verse with the canticle Still falls the rain is paired with Walton's Three Songs also setting Sitwell with the music being adapted from Facade. Gerald Barry's Jabberwocky will receive its world premiere and the programme is complete with Poulenc's Elegie written in memory of Dennis Brain, and Richard Rodney Bennett's Tom O'Bedlam's Song. Poulenc was in London the day that Brain was killed and immediately wrote and performed the Elegie. The Richard Rodney Bennett piece dates from 1961 and is in the composer's serialist style. Written for tenor and cello, it is dedicated to Peter Pears.

At Lunch 3 is performed between 8 February and 13 February (in Norwich, Brighton, London and Wigmore Hall). This programme mixes Britten's Three Divertimenti and Reflection with music by composers that he admired; Copland's Vitebsk and Shostakovich's Two Pieces for String Quartet. There is also a new work by Jay Greeenberg, winner of the University of Cambridge Composers Workshop 2012.

At Lunch 4 is performed between 3 April and 9 April (in London, Norwich and Cambridge) with Britten's virtuoso solo works complemented with music by his teacher Frank Bridge. The programme includes Britten's Six Metamorphoses after Ovid, Tema Sacher and Suite for Harp.

Further information from the Britten Sinfonia website.

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