Sunday 22 July 2012

Inaugural Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival

Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival
Hatfield House in Hertfordshire has a selection of possible venues for musical performance, not just the house itself but the nearby church of St. Etheldreda's and the Old Palace. Now these are being capitalised on in a new chamber music festival organised by cellist Guy Johnston (who was BBC Young Musician in 2000). Over a long weekend (20 to 23 September 2012) there are a variety of concerts and events.

Highlights for me include the opening concert in the Old Palace on 20 Septebmer when Schubert's String Quintet in C, played by the Navarra Quartet with Guy Johnston, is being programmed with Chausson's Concert Piece Op 21. This latter is also known as the concerto for violin, piano and string quartet; it is a terrific piece, a concerto for chamber forces and the quartet will be joined by Jack Liebeck (violin) and Tom Poster (piano).

Friday 21 September sees a concert in the Marble Hall of Hatfield House, with members of the Aronowitz Ensemble: Mozart's Clarinet Quintet, Sophie Daneman in Schubert songs and Beethoven's Archduke Trio. The Aronowitz ensemble return on Saturday with Dohnanyi, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky and Sunday afternoon with the Schumann Piano Quintet (another fabulous work, with a terrific piano part). The festival closes with a concert by the Sixteen on Sunday 23 September. There are also outreach events and a lecture linking Einstein's love of the violin with developments in modern physics, sounds fascinating.

The event has managed to combine interesting young artists, with striking venues and programming which mixes the familiar and the unfamiliar. Hearing a concert in the Marble Hall or the Old Palace quite special, but then so is hearing Chausson's Concert Piece or Doynanyi's Serenade Op. 10

Further details from the Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival website.

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