Monday 17 May 2021

Summer at Snape

Snape Maltings
Snape Maltings

Britten Pears Arts is not presenting an Aldeburgh Festival this year, but they have announced an action-packed 
Summer at Snape season running until early September with the concerts in June having a strongly festival feel with an emphasis on new work and on the music of Britten. Things kick off on the weekend of 21 to 23 May, when performers include the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Ryan Wigglesworth in music by Mozart, Julian Anderson and Ryan Wigglesworth (and the performances are given in memory of pianist and conductor Steuart Bedford, who died in February this year and was an Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival from 1974 - 1998), and mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly and pianist Joseph Middleton in music by Brahms, Mahler, Bridge and Tippett.


The centenary of horn player Dennis Brain will be marked by performances of two works written for Brain, Britten's Serenade for tenor, horn and strings and Canticle III: Still falls the rain, along with Britten's In Memoriam Dennis Brain. Horn player Ben Goldscheider will be performing music by Tansy Davies and Peter Maxwell Davies


There will be premieres of a series of new versions of Britten's music, Colin Matthews' string orchestra versions of the Double Concerto (a student piece written when Britten was just 18) and Charm of Lullabies, Robin Holloway's orchestration of the song cycle Winter Words (with tenor Nick Spence, London Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Edward Gardner), Joseph Phibbs' new chamber version of Our Hunting Fathers (with soprano Elizabeth Watts and the Hebrides Ensemble).


There will be a chance to hear Britten's folk-song arrangements alongside the folk originals when folk-singer Maz O'Connor joins pianist Roger Vignoles and Britten Pears Young Artists soprano Milly Forrest and tenor Laurence Kilsby.


During June, there are several projects which should have premiered at last year's festival along with new works for 2021, including the first public performance of Colin Matthews' Seascapes (with soprano Clare Booth and the Nash Ensemble, who premiered the work at the Wigmore Hall earlier this month),  and music by Tansy Davies, John Tavener, John Woolrich and Stephen Hough. There are two new music-theatre pieces, soprano Juliet Fraser in Samuel Beckett and Morton Feldman, and soprano Nadine Benjamin's new piece which follows one woman’s journey from fragmentation to wholeness. Tenor Allan Clayton (who was due to be artist in residence at the 2020 festival) joins pianist James Baillieu and the Aurora Orchestra for performances of music by Mark-Anthony Turnage, Priaulx Rainier and Britten, plus the complete Britten canticles.


Full details from the Snape Maltings website.

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