Sunday 30 September 2012

Spitalfields Winter Festirval

You don't have to wait until next year for your fix of music and the arts in Spitalfields. The Spitalfields Winter Festival is taking place from 7 December to 18 December, with an array of concerts with a distinctly early music theme. They kick off with a pair of concerts on 7 December from the London Handel Players. The first, at 11.30am is aimed at young people but sounds fascinating, Gaelic traditional songs and classical airs, a heady mix. Then in the evening the band return, led by Adrian Butterfield, with Scottish fiddle player Alasdair Fraser for folk-inspired baroque music from the Celts and Gauls. And there's also a hurdy gurdy, played by Clare Salaman. Oh joy!

On Saturday 8 December there's a Winter Market with free performances at lunch time. In the morning there's a showcase for young musicians from Tower Hamlets. THAMES (Tower Hamlets Arts and Music Education Service) brings you over 150 young musicians from the borough, including the THAMES Big Band. In complete contrast, Colin Carey, Catherine Martin and William Whitehead are performing a programme of Bach, Biber and new music at the Chapel Royal in the Tower, a fabulous venue. There will also be wew works will be from the OrgelBuchlein project, commissioning a 21st century extension of Bach's masterwork.

Children feature at the event at Rich Mix on 11 December, when there is Musical Rumpus:A Fairy Queen in the Forest, based on Purcell's Fairy Queen and aimed at the very young and their parents.

Friday 14 December sees I Fagiolini performing Bach's Jesu, meine Freude alongside David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion. Lang has based his piece on Hans Christian Anderson's fairytale, along with inspiration from Bachs' St. Matthew Passion. Sounds intriguing - there will also be shadow puppetry, and carols from Germany and Denmark.

Saturday 15 December, Paul McCreesh and the Gabrieli Consort and Players perform Britten's A Boy was Born alongside music by Howells, Holst, Jonathan Dove and Tudor masterpieces. The concert is the final event in their 30th birthday celebrations.

The English Concert, under Lawrence Cummings, appear on  Monday 17 December with a programme of Corelli and Bach, including the Magnificat BWV 243. The following day, Christian Curmyn directs his group, the Early Opera Company in a Vivaldi programme which looks at the music he wrote for the girls and women of the Pieta, with concertos from L'Estro Armonico, the Gloria and arias from Juditha Triumphans.

Further information from the Spitalfields Music website.

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