Friday 1 May 2020

A poignant tale, effectively told: Jeremy Hamway-Bidgood's film of On Wenlock Edge from Oxford Lieder Festival

The 2019 Oxford Lieder Festival presented RVW's On Wenlock Edge in a performance by tenor Daniel Norman, the Brodsky Quartet and pianist Sholto Kynoch with an accompanying film created and directed by Jeremy Hamway-Bidgood [see my review].

The film was created with live performance in mind, and in a concert setting, Hamway-Bidgood edits the film to fit the nuances of each individual performance. Now a film version has been produced edited to a recording of On Wenlock Edge by Norman, the Brodsky Quartet and Kynoch which is available for download from Stone Records.

Hamway-Bidgood has woven a story around the six disparate songs in On Wenlock Edge. Two young men in search of work, a farm, a farmer's daughter, love for the daughter, an intimate relation between the men, war, one is lost, the other comforts the girl, leaves her, all shot through with the memories of the man, now old and living in London, complete with a characterful dog. It is a poignant tale, effectively told, and brought out themes in On Wenlock Edge, and I think manages to make the work accessible to both adults and young people.

The film is available for a limited time only, in association with Positive Note Films [the group which is also producing the St John Passion in an on-line series from Oxford Bach Soloists], on YouTube, and the festival website includes more information, including  a 'Making Of' film, and Hamway-Bidgood's story board for the film.

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