Tuesday 25 February 2020

Brass septet Septura makes its Wigmore Hall recital debut

Brass instruments do not pop up in classical chamber music all that often, and the repertoire of brass chamber groups such as brass quintets can often seem to exist somewhat separately from the rest of the classical world. But the brass septet, Septura, is aiming to change all that by performing transcriptions and arrangements of mainstream classical music, creating what artistic directors, Simon Cox and Matthew call an imagined history of brass chamber music [for more about the group's approach, see my interview with Simon and Matthew].

Now, Septura is making its recital debut at the Wigmore Hall, on Thursday 27 February 2020; a major recognition of the group's importance in re-defining brass chamber music. Their programme will focus on women composers with music by Maddalena Casulana (c1544-1590) and Clara Schumann (1819-1896), alongside that of Giovanni Gabrieli, Orlande de Lassus, Robert Schuman and Felix Mendelssohn.

Maddalena Casulana was an Italian lutenist, singer and composer; she was the first woman to have a whole book of her music printed and published! Frustratingly, we know only a little about her, she seems to have been born in Siena and trained in Florence and where she was close to Isabella de'Medici (the daughter of Cosimo I de'Medici). Septura will be performing some of Casulana's madrigals, alongside Lassus sacred madrigals, Lagrime di San Pietro.

Clara Schumann is represented by a transcription of her Piano Sonata (composed 1841-42, just after she was finally able to marry Robert), and will be heard alongside her husband's March in E flat and a transcription of Felix Mendelssohn's Organ Sonata in C minor, Op.65 No.2.

Full details from the Wigmore Hall website.

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