Monday 29 May 2017

Somewhere for the weekend: the Ryedale Festival

Sledmere House, one of the venues at this year's Ryedale Festival
Sledmere House, one of the venues at this year's Ryedale Festival
The centre-piece of this year's Ryedale Festival, which runs from 14 to 30 July 2017, is The Garden of Disguises, a staging of Mozart's La finta giardiniera in a new translation by John Warrack. Nina Brazier directs and Eamonn Dougan conducts with a cast including Alice Privett, Kieran Carrel, Clare Tunney, and Anna Harvey. But there are plenty of other delights on offer at the festival, artistic director Christopher Glynn, which takes place in and around Ryedale in North Yorkshire.

Disguises of another variety feature in the chamber music series, Truth's Disguise where the music of Dmitri Shostakovich is paired with the words of his great contemporary Anna Akhmatova, performed by the Carducci Quartet with reader Simon Callow. Another theme running through the festival is Schubert's last year, with a series of concerts exploring the music Schubert composed including Sir John Tomlinson and Christopher Glynn performing Schubert's Schwanengesang in Jeremy Sams new English translation (see my review of the performance at Wigmore Hall).

One feature of the festival is a pair of double concerts at Sledmere House where two programmes are performed twice in two venues (the house and the church) with the audience swapping over, and there is even a similar triple concert at Castle Howard!

The featured composer this year is Sally Beamish and there is the chance to hear her music in a variety of different contexts as well as hear her in conversation. There is also a celebration of Francis Jackson's 100th birthday. Jackson was organist at York Minster for over 30 years as well as developing an international reputation as composer and organist, and he will be present to join in the celebrations!

The festival opens with the Royal Northern Sinfonia in an all Richard Strauss coffee concert and a gala concert with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment performing four of Bach's Brandenburg Concertos and Sally Beamish's Spinal Chords; her piece for the Cultural Olympiad's 20x12 festival which sets text by Melanie Reid, author of the weekly 'Spinal Column' in The Times. Beamish's piece uses an actor to speak Reid's words and for this performance Beamish herself will be the speaker.

The festival closes with the Royal Northern Sinfonia being joined by violinist Bradley Creswick and viola player Lawrence Power for Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante and Sally Beamish's Viola Concerto No.3: Under the wong of the rock.

There is also a festival postlude in November when Sir Mark Elder conducts the Halle Orchestra, Halle Choir and Halle Youth Choir in Elgar's Dream of Gerontius at York Minster with David Butt Philip, Claudia Huckle and Iain Paterson.

Full details from the Ryedale Festival website.

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