Robert Plane (Clarinet) with the Gould Piano Trio
Our concert next Saturday is the final concert in this current series and we are delighted to welcome the Gould Piano Trio together with the clarinetist Robert Plane.
The Gould Piano Trio - Lucy Gould (Violin), Richard Lester (Cello), Ben Frith (Piano) directly compared to the great Beaux Arts Trio for their “musical fire” and “dedication to the genre” in the Washington Post, have remained at the forefront of the international chamber music scene for a quarter of a Century. The Gould has made extensive tours of N. America, the Far East and New Zealand, and has performed throughout Europe. In addition they have given master classes at the Britten Pears Young Artist Programme, Dartington, RWCMD and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where they enjoy discussing interpretation with the most promising young ensembles of our day.
Robert Plane’s hugely varied career has seen concerto appearances in Europe, Asia and the USA, with performances of the Mozart Clarinet Concerto in Madrid with the City of London Sinfonia, Beijing with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and in the USA with the Virginia Symphony. He made his BBC Proms debut at the Royal Albert Hall in 2011 with Simon Holt’s double concerto ‘Centauromachy’. Exploring a wide range of repertoire and commissioning new works, highlights of past seasons have included Piers Hellawell’s Agricolas with the Ulster Orchestra and RTE Symphony Orchestra, Finzi with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Christian Jost with the Dortmunder Philharmoniker and Stanford with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra.
Their programme includes the Trio for Clarinet, Piano and cello by Louise Ferrence together with works by Theodore Kirchner, a new work by the Welsh composer Huw Watkin and the Brahms Piano Trio Op.8 in B major. A terrific programme so do join us on Saturday at 7.30 pm at our usual venue.
We heard late on Wednesday that The Korros Ensemble are unable to give their recital on Saturday.
Despite the very short notice I am delighted to let you know that we have arranged a recital by Huw Wiggin (Saxophone) and John Lenehan (Piano).
Details of the concert together with the programme are below which we hope you agree is very appealing. We have been thinking for some time that we ought to have a saxophonist so although we are sorry about the sudden change we are confident that Huw Wiggin and John Lenehan will give us a superb recital.
Commonwealth Musician of the Year, First Prize and Gold Medal winner of the 2014 Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition, Huw Wiggin is one of the most popular saxophonists of his generation.
Huw studied at the Royal Northern College of Music and the Hochschule für Musik, Cologne, before gaining a Master’s Degree with Distinction in 2012 from the Royal College of Music. He is now professor of saxophone at the Royal Academy of Music in London and has given master classes at the Royal Northern College of Music, Chetham’s School of Music, NAFA in Singapore and the Universities of Calgary and Lethbridge in Canada. He has also been on the judging panel for major competitions including the Royal Over-Seas League Annual Music Competition.
With more than 70 albums to his credit, reflecting an enormous variety of genres and styles, John Lenehan ranks as one of the most versatile pianists on the classical scene today. Praised by the New York Times for his “great flair and virtuosity” and the (London) Times for “a masterly recital”, Lenehan has appeared in concerts throughout the World from Abu Dhabi to Zurich and from Aberdeen to Zimbabwe.
As a soloist he has appeared with orchestras such as the London Symphony at the Barbican and the Royal Philharmonic in the Royal Albert Hall. He has also collaborated with some of the leading instrumentalists of our time and is recognised as an outstanding and versatile chamber musician.
Emmanuel Bach (Violin), Jenny Stern (Piano)
Music societies around the UK have long been able to benefit from young musicians who have been sponsored by charitable organisations dedicated to the development of artists at the outset of their performing careers. This legacy has enabled concert promoters to devise concert seasons that include such award holders, thereby easing to some degree their financial constraints.
One such organisation is the Countess on Munster Trust which for many years has funded further study and concert fees for young artists.
Whitstable Music Society was able to take advantage of this scheme for their last concert when it hosted the exciting young violinist Emmanuel Bach. He is a graduate from Oxford and The Royal College of Music and is rapidly showing himself to be a bright hope amongst British string players.
His talent, depth of musical perception and knowledge were well in evidence across a wide repertoire. Thus, in Bach’s exposed and challenging unaccompanied Sonata in A minor, BWV 1003, the textural clarity and sense of phrase structure revealed a mind fully aware of early music performing practice. The affecting delicacy of the slow movements were off set by the energy and rhythmic direction of the long fugue and final Allegro movements.
All the wide contrasts of mood and colour in Beethoven’s G major Sonata were clearly pointed. Here, Mr. Bach was more than ably accompanied by Jenny Stern, a pianist of extensive experience at this level. This work is very much a duo of equal partners and the shared understanding of the protagonists was palpable to all.
After the interval the audience was introduced to the Sonata No. 3 by an unknown composer from Russia named Lera Auerbach. This one movement piece had a variety of moods which were expertly dispatched with an obvious sense of involvement.
The more demanding Sonata (1917) by Claude Debussy, in which the composer makes conscious use of the great heritage of French compositions from the 17th and 18th centuries, received a colourful and cogent reading with, once again, a high level of ensemble and shared musical understand from both performers.
A delightful evening closed with Ysaye’s Caprice on a piano etude by Saint-Saens. The Belgian composer Ysaye was one of the foremost violin virtuosos of his time and his violin works, in particular his six unaccompanied sonatas are regarded as the ideal response to those by J.S. Bach. The delightful Caprice focusses on unbridled violin virtuosity and fun, the combination of which Emmanuel Bach cleared revelled, bringing a delightful evening to a rousing conclusion.
Emmanuel Bach (Violin), Jenny Stern (Piano)
J.S. Bach: Solo Sonata No. 2 in A minor BWV 1003 (1720)
The unaccompanied opening piece was the perfect introductory showcase for the soloist’s technical mastery. From the large leaps in register obvious in the first bars to the lyrical simplicity of the third movement, we were reminded of Bach’s unique music: full of challenges and creative possibilities, so well captured in tonight’s rendition of the sonata.
Beethoven: Sonata No.8 in G. Op.30 No.3 (1802)
The well-versed dialogue violin-piano is evident throughout the piece, from the Allegro assai in 6/8 time to the light-hearted Allegro vivace finale. The musicians captured the tempestuous or the more delicate passages with suitably balanced aplomb.
Lera Auerbach: Sonata No.3 (2006)
The mournful introductory notes by piano are soon followed by delicate sounds and elegiac violin tones. A mixture of contemporary sound and familiar reverberations, the soaring harmonics skillfully captured the mystery of a less known piece.
Debussy: Sonata in G minor
Premiered a year before Debussy’s death (with the composer himself on the piano), the intricate and subtle mixture of moods and emotions that exude from the entire piece have expressed the intended melancholic theme.
Ysaÿe: Caprice, d'après L'Étude en Forme de Valse, Op.52, No.6 Saint- Saëns (1901)
Extravagant and mischievous, the piece was often played by the composer himself. This evening’s duo showcased convincingly Ysaÿe’s masterful arrangement in a lively and subtle performance.
Overall, Emmanuel Bach and Jenny Stern delighted the receptive audience with a rich and diverse repertoire spanning three centuries.
Emmanuel Bach (Violin), Jenny Stern (Piano)
Dear Members and Friends
Just to remind you that our next Whitstable Music Society Concert is on Sat 23rd February at 7.30pm at our usual venue and features the remarkable young violinist Emanuel Bach with the pianist Jenny Stern.
Emmanuel has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at venues including Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, St George’s Bristol, St Martin-in-the Fields and St James’s Piccadilly. He won the 2018 Royal Over-Seas League String Competition. He has performed in the UK and abroad, playing concertos by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Paganini, Tchaikovsky, and others. In 2017, he played in a live-streamed masterclass conducted by Maxim Vengerov, on the Brahms Concerto. He was notably invited to play as a co-soloist with Anne-Sophie Mutter in Bach’s Double Concerto.
Jenny Stern studied at the Royal College of Music under the late Lamar Crowson and subsequently at the University of Natal, South Africa. On graduating, she was awarded the prestigious Emma Smith Overseas Scholarship, enabling her to return to London for further study where she now lives. Jenny is active as a performer, having appeared widely in South Africa and Europe as a soloist and chamber musician, and is an experienced accompanist. She is regularly invited to adjudicate festivals and competitions.
Their programme includes both the Beethoven Sonata No. 8 in G and the Debussy Sonata in G minor together with works by J.S. Bach, Lera Auerbach and Ysaye.
These musicians have a remarkable chemistry and a wonderful feel for the violin/piano repertoire so this concert is one not to be missed.
Galliard Wind Quintet
A Happy New Year!
So far 2019 has proved to be a very turbulent year at least in the political arena so like me you may relish the chance of a break from Brexit and come to our first concert of 2019 on Saturday 26th January at our usual venue St Johns Methodist Church, Argyle Road Whitstable at 7.30pm.
We are delighted to welcome the Galliard Wind Quintet.
The Galliard is known for its virtuosic, entertaining and distinctive performance style and its recordings have been widely praised; the Sunday Times, BBC Music Magazine, Gramophone, and BBC Radio 3 have all selected a Galliard Ensemble CD as “outstanding” or as the Critics’ Choice.
They have worked closely with many leading contemporary composers, including György Ligeti and with Sir Harrison Birtwistle, on his quintet Five Distances (for their performance at the BBC Proms) which lead to their award-winning CD of Birtwistle’s chamber music for winds.
This season we are championing the work of women composers so in addition to works by Mozart, Darius Milhaud, Ravel, and others the Galliard have programmed a wonderful piece by Cecilia McDowell "Subject to the Weather."
Born in London in 1951, British composer Cecilia McDowell has been described by the International Record Review as having “a communicative gift that is very rare in modern music”. Often inspired by extra-musical influences, her writing combines a rhythmic vitality with expressive lyricism. This piece bears the characteristic hallmarks of her music.
Do make a note of the concert in your diary and we very much look forward to seeing you there.
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