Saturday, 26 January 2019

Beyond the Three Bs, Wigmore Hall's 2019/2020 season

Wigmore Hall 2019/2020 season - Rebecca Clarke, Myieczyslaw Weinberg, Bach, Britten, Brahms, Freya Waley-Cohen, Beethoven
Rebecca Clarke, Myieczyslaw Weinberg, Bach, Britten, Brahms, Freya Waley-Cohen, Beethoven
2020 will see the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth (with the 200th anniversary of his death in 2027, so we will be having a lot of Beethoven celebration), and organisations are already gearing up for this. The Wigmore Hall has recenty announced the programme for its 2019/2020 season, and already the music of Beethoven plays large role, but the season is far wider than that and it has at its centre celebrations of music by three B's, Beethoven, Brahms and Britten, not forgetting Bach. And most of the Beethoven programming will be available permanently from the Wigmore Hall's streaming service.

Beyond that, there are of course other focuses as well. The music of Myieczyslaw Weinberg is brought into greater focus with a centenary cycle of his 17 quartets, programmed alongside those of his friend and mentor Shostakovich, performed by the Quatuor Diotima during the 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 seasons. And violinist Linus Roth (who has recorded much of Weinberg's output for solo violin) will be leading a Weinberg focus day.

There is also a spotlight on the music of Rebecca Clarke allowing us to explore beyond her famous viola sonata, with Raphael Wallfisch, Ailish Tynan and John York. And there will also be a focus on new works by Freya Waley-Cohen.

Other contemporary composers featured include Huw Watkins (a new work for percussionist Colin Currie), Oli Mustonen (the UK premiere of Taivaanvalot), Kevin Volans (celebrating his 70th birthday, whilst jazz pianist and composer Vijay Iyer is composer in residence.

The centrepiece of the programming is a series of complete cycles. For Beethoven there are cycles of  the piano sonatas with Jonathan Biss, the violin sonatas with James Ehnes, the cello sonatas, the quartets with the Belcea Quartet, the piano trios and the string trios, plus a series on Beethoven's piano variations, and Philippa Cassard and Cedric Pescia will perform Liszt's two-piano arrangement of the Ninth Symphony, and Simon Keenlyside performs An die ferne Geliebte. For Brahms, there will be a cycle of his chamber music, with the Castalian String Quartet and friends, Michael Collins and Stephen Hough.

The Wigmore Hall was the location for a number of premieres of Britten's works during his lifetime, and during 2019/2020 there will be nine concerts (plus learning events) focused on his music. Allan Clayton will perform the Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo (which was premiered at the hall) and he features in six concerts in the Britten series, along with Sophie Bevan, the Aurora Orchestra and Ryan Wigglesworth, the Doric String Quartet, Iestyn Davies, James Newby and Vox Luminis, giving us the complete songs with piano, the Canticles, Les Illuminations, the three string quartets, Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, cabaret songs and an evening of choral music.

Angela Hewitt's Bach Odyssey comes to a conclusion during the season with the final three concerts, whilst Mahan Esfahani will be continuing his Bach Harpsichord series and Bach will also be the focus of Rachel Podger's six-date residency.

The 2019/2020 season also features a Learning Festival running throughout the season, with a theme of Musical Conversations.

Full details from the Wigmore Hall website.

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