Preview of the 2017 Chipping Campden Festival

30/11/2016

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Chipping Campden Festival Honours Monteverdi and Other Leading Composers (14-27 May 2017)

As we experience the first frosts of winter it is always a comfort to know that the cold weather will not last and that in six months’ time we shall be enjoying the Chipping Campden Music Festival – the 16th.

The 2017 Festival looks particularly promising and I would like to single out the concert on Tuesday 16th May when the Festival celebrates Monteverdi’s 450th anniversary with a performance of his masterpiece, the Vespers. The performers will be the highly regarded Freiburger Barockorchester and the Belgian choir Vox Luminis.

I am tempted to predict that this will be the highlight of the Festival but hesitate to do so as every event is likely to be a highlight. Steven Isserlis for one, who will be coming to perform a dual role: as an author (he will be discussing his new book – a commentary on Robert Schumann’s Advice for Young Musicians)  (14th) and as a musician playing solo cello pieces by Bach and Kurtág (for which he surely needs no advice from Schumann!).

There will be more Baroque music from the Academy of Ancient Music on Thursday 18th conducted from the harpsichord by Richard Egarr, and on Monday 22nd Septura Brass Ensemble will regale us with more early music.

There is a strong piano strand again. Veteran pianist Richard Goode is planning an all-Beethoven programme (17th) while the much younger Nikolai Lugansky will play Tchaikovsky and Chopin (26th). The Festival President, Paul Lewis, will also be popping into St James’ Church on Saturday 20th to perform a recital of music by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Weber. He will return for the final concert to play the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Chipping Campden Festival Academy Orchestra.

Baritone Roderick Williams will also be performing with the Orchestra – in an arrangement he has made of Vaughan Williams’ The House of Life. (Thursday 25th). The previous evening he will be dispensing more familiar fare: Schubert’s Die schöne Müllerin with pianist Iain Burnside.

Modern music is not forgotten.  Violinist Alina Ibragimova and Cedric Tiberghien will be in town to play 6 Melodies by John Cage alongside more familiar works by Bach, Brahms and Schumann (21st). On 23rd Jack Lieback will be playing Magnus Lindberg’s First Violin Concerto and the Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Cappricioso with the Festival Academy Orchestra. Finally, the Takács String Quartet will make their fourth visit to Chipping Campden to play three Beethoven quartets (19th), and David Pollard will give a vocal masterclass on 20th.

Details of the splendid weekday Lunchtime Concerts featuring up-and-coming musicians have yet to be announced.

For more details see www.campdenmusicfestival.co.uk.

Roger Jones

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