Alicia Chaffey (Piano)
Our next concert is on Saturday 24th December at our usual venue St Johns Methodist Church, Argyle Road Whitstable and features the pianist Alicia Chaffey.
Alicia has the unique ability to connect with her audience by expressing the power of emotion in her playing. She is devoted to piano music of the romantic era and more recently has championed some of the lesser known contemporary repertoire.
Alicia graduated from Royal Holloway University of London in 2013, where she was twice winner of the annual concerto competition and recipient of the Dame Felicity Lot Bursary. She recently graduated from Trinity Laban Conservatoire where she studied with the renowned Italian concert pianist Gabriele Baldocci.
This season we are championing the work of women composers and Alicia will commence her recital with the Three Romances Op.11 by Clara Schumann. Other works include Three Sketches by Frank Bridge, the Dohnanyi Rhapsody in C major, the Chopin Ballade in A flat Op 47 No.3 and the Schumann Fantasiestucke Op.12.
Do make a note of the concert in your diary and we very much look forward to seeing you there
Fujita Piano Trio
Our second concert in this current series forms part of The Canterbury Festival and takes place on Saturday 27th October at 7.30pm at our usual venue Whitstable Methodist Church Argyle Road Whitstable CT5 1JS.
On this occasion we are pleased to welcome back to Whitstable the wonderful Fujita Piano Trio, one of the most remarkable piano trios of their generation. The Fujita sisters have been playing chamber music together since early childhood and because we recognise the extraordinary quality of their playing, all completely from memory, this will be the third occasion on which they have been invited back to perform for us in Whitstable. This in itself is a mark of the very high regard in which we hold this trio bearing in mind the exceptionally high standards we set ourselves as a chamber music society.
In this current season we have decided to draw attention to the work of some exceptional women composers whose remarkable works are sometimes overlooked. We are therefore delighted that in addition to works by Haydn, Frank Bridge and Felix Mendelssohn the trio have included the remarkable Piano Trio in G minor Op 17 by Clara Schumann.
Do make a note in your diary and I very much look forward to seeing you on 27th October.
Dear Members and Friends
Welcome to a new season of Whitstable Music Society Concerts.
Our first concert in this current series is on Saturday 29th Sept at 7.30pm at our usual venue Whitstable Methodist Church Argyle Road Whitstable CT5 1JS.
The concert features the Heath Quartet with a wonderful programme which includes the Haydn Quartet Op.71, Tchaikovsky Quartet No.1 and the late Beethoven Quartet Op.132.
The dynamic and charismatic Heath Quartet are fast earning a reputation as one of the most exciting British chamber ensembles of the moment. In May 2013 they became the first ensemble in 15 years to win the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artists Award. Formed in 2002 at the Royal Northern College of Music they were selected for representation by YCAT, were awarded a Borletti-Buitoni Special Ensemble Scholarship and in 2012 won Ensemble Prize at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The Heath first played for us about ten years ago and this will be their third visit to Whitstable Music Society. Since their first visit to Whitstable they have developed their own very distinctive voice and are now one of this country's most sought after string quartets with a strong and growing international reputation.
More information about the Heath and their programme by using the links below as well as details of the other concerts in our current season.
Do make a note in your diary and we very much look forward to seeing you on 29th September.
Trio Shaham, Erez Wallfisch
It hardly seems possible; a visit of the world beating piano trio playing in Whitstable but it happened. It was the last concert of their international tour; and what a concert. Any previous concert by piano trios could easily be put aside. The music had obviously been chosen to allow the musicians to get the best of expressions by all three instruments. Doing it they each had the thought of the others, the violin in particular was given space by both the cello and piano and the result something quite exceptional.
The music too was chosen to all the three musicians to play at their best. The concert opened with the Trio, andante con moto by Grieg. He only wrote the slow movement. It was a good introduction. It was followed by Dvorak's Piano Trio Op. 90 (Dumky) with its various 6 movements. The concert ended with the well known Schubert's D898. The audience response was also something exceptional. They were on their feet after every work and in the end the applause went on and on. In response we got an encore, a movement from Beethoven's Archduke Trio.
What an end that was bringing again exceptional applause. Nothing like had ever been heard before. It will be heard again. Another has been booked in eighteen months time.
Whitstable Music Society
Our concert on Sat 28th April will be the final concert of our 2017/18 season and you might be forgiven for thinking that we've saved the best 'till last!
Trio Shaham, Erez Wallfisch consists of three of the finest musicians in Europe today. The are currently on a UK concert tour and Saturday 28th April is the last day of their tour so we were very fortunate to secure them for Whitstable.
Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch was founded in 2009 and comprises three of the finest international instrumentalists performing today. Playing chamber music together at the Pablo Casals Prades Festival Hagai Shaham and Raphael Wallfisch recognised an immediate musical synergy. Arnon Erez joined them for trio concerts in Lucerne and the Netherlands later that year and the Trio Shaham Erez Wallfisch was established. Since 2009 the Trio have performed, broadcast and recorded widely throughout Europe and Israel, giving concerts in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, France, Israel and Spain. They perform regularly at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and will return there for performances in 2017/18 season. Similarly, they have been chosen by the Wigmore Hall to present the complete Beethoven Piano Trios in 2020, Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year. I think that probably speaks for itself!
Their programme for Whitstable includes:
You may like to watch this short video featuring the trio in rehearsal, in concert and backstage at London’s Wigmore Hall (June 2013).
We particularly thank our sponsors Roger and Heather Parry and Pockocks Solicitors of Whitstable who have been very generous in their support for this concert. Our grateful thanks are especially due to Canterbury Arts Council for their sustained support over many years.
We will be finishing our current season on a high so I very much hope you will be able to join us for this very special concert.
The Lisa Bucknell Trio Concert
In this penultimate concert of the season, the Lisa Bucknell Trio performed works written for a less traditional ensemble formation: viola-clarinet-piano, and what a treat it was!
The three Australian musicians displayed their personal and musical connections from the moment they walked on stage and throughout their performance. The friendly dynamic between the players was evident especially in Mozart’s ‘Kegelstatt’ Trio, K. 498.
The programme was well balanced, with works by Schumman, Bruch, Mozart and a contemporary piece written by Huw Watkins in 2011 named ‘Speak Seven Seas’, in which the trio expressed its meaning effortlessly, considering its technical and textural difficulties.
Sharing similar ranges and timbres, the colours in the viola and clarinet complimented each other effectively, especially in the solo passages from the selection of Bruch’s Eight Pieces, Op. 83.
The rare opportunity to hear this trio was a musically enlightening occasion, made into an even more pleasurable experience as they entertained an appreciative audience.
Ana Vandepeer, BMus(Hons)
We are delighted to welcome The Lisa Bucknall Trio ( Lisa Bucknall Viola, Chad Vindin Piano and Som Howie Clarinet) to play at our next concert.
A clarinet-viola-piano trio differs from the traditional piano trio in that the viola and the clarinet share roughly the same range. The combination of viola and clarinet is thus distinguished by the timbre (tone quality or colour) of the instruments rather than register (high versus low ranges, like violin and cello). W A Mozart was the first to write for this combination of instruments with his Kegelstatt Trio, K.498 (1786). The other two most notable works for this distinctive combination of instruments is the Schumann’s Märchenerzälungen, and Max Bruch’s Eight Pieces. Each of these three masterpieces feature in our concert on 31st March.
The fourth piece in this concert is Speak Seven Seas by the British composer Huw Watkins. In 2011 Huw Watkins was invited to be Composer in Residence at the “Spannungen” Chamber Music Festival in Heimbach, Germany. As part of the residency, Watkins was commissioned to write a new work for viola, clarinet and piano, which was entitled Speak Seven Seas. It showcases Watkins’s propensity to create an unselfconsciously lyrical flow of material and to balance it with a consciously meticulous craftsmanship. This trio has an apparently easy ebb and flow, but its dramatic tension was manipulated with the same unerring control.
Lisa Bucknell began her studies on viola after winning a scholarship at the Sydney Conservatorium Open Academy, and has completed a Master of Performance with Distinction at the Royal College of Music. She was a prize-winner at the North London Festival of Music, and has extensive orchestral experience. She has performed in prestigious venues including the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal Opera House, Cadogan Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. Lisa, Chad and Som all studied for their Bachelor’s degrees at the Open Academy at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, before they each relocated to the UK.
This delightful combination of instruments in the hands of such consummate musicians promises to be one of the highlights of this current season.
The Maxwell Quartet Concert
There was a particular sense of expectation about this month’s concert, as the Maxwell Quartet had originally been due to perform in January but had to postpone their Whitstable appearance due to the insertion of an extra international engagement in the Netherlands.
They were certainly worth waiting for: this proved to be an evening of chamber music at its very best, with string quartet playing of the highest order. The artists had all been close friends since childhood, making music together as they grew up together in Scotland, and this seemed to give them a special degree of rapport with each other. Not only was there was a homogeneity of age but also to some extent of appearance; all four were on the hirsute side, sporting four beards and a ponytail between them! Even their all-black dress code was given a quirky twist by the violist Elliott Perks who sported some brightly patterned socks that put one in mind of sailing boats. Meanwhile, much entertainment was to be had watching the expressive face and mobile eyebrows of 2nd violinist George Smith, and following the hyper-lively body language of cellist Duncan Strachan, whose balletic movement whilst seated not infrequently included lifting both feet off the ground at once!
The Maxwell Quartet’s programme included works from the late 18th century, latish 19th century and early 20th century, with a contrasting first half of Haydn (Op 76 no.2) and Ravel (Quartet in F major), followed after the interval by Tchaikovsky’s 1st Quartet. The performers brought out the full humour and quirkiness of the Haydn, imbuing it with both delicacy and sparkle, but the effortlessness of their ensemble was on best show in the Ravel, which unfolded with a wonderful degree of fluency and a sensuous, easygoing lyricism. Ravel’ s Quartet occupies a distinctive soundworld, making use (inter alia) of the octatonic scale, and this performance transported us into some truly magical realms.
The quartet’s rendition of the Tchaikovsky, though also most enjoyable, perhaps fell a touch short of the extremely high bar they had set themselves with the pre-interval repertoire. While the outer movements were convincingly rendered, the famous Andante cantabile really needed to sing more, and could have done with a stronger melodic line from 1st violinist Colin Scobie; for my money, the movement didn’t feel quite relaxed enough. The Scherzo & Trio were suitably vigorous with the sense of dance well captured, but would have perhaps benefited from greater dynamic light and shade.
We were treated to a delightful encore in the shape of some Scottish and Irish folk music (the violinists swapping positions with each other at this point). This was a brilliant way of rounding off the evening and sending the audience home with a spring in their step.
All told, it was a privilege to experience such a superb evening’s music-making, and the Maxwell Quartet’s evident enjoyment of their repertoire, and of each other’s company, proved infectious in the best possible sense! We wish this young quartet well as they continue to conquer the heights of the chamber music world.
Artistic Director, Music on the Green
1st Prizewinner and Audience Prizewinner at the 9th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in 2017, and hailed as “brilliantly fresh, unexpected and exhilarating” by The Scottish Herald, and "superb storytelling by four great communicators" by The Strad Magazine, the Maxwell Quartet is now firmly regarded as one of Britain's finest string quartets, with a strong connection to their folk music heritage and a commitment to bringing together wide-ranging projects and programmes to expand the string quartet repertoire.
For more information about the quartet click on Artists and scroll down to the photo of The Maxwell Quartet where you will also find more videos of their playing.
Make sure this concert is in your diary. One not to be missed!