All concerts 19:30 at Richmond School, Darlington Road, Richmond DL10 7BQ Main doors open 18:30, auditorium doors open 19:00
2023-24 season dates for your diary: Concerts will be on Saturday 7:30, at Richmond School, Darlington Rd, Richmond, North Yorkshire DL10 7BQ
30 September: The Carice Singers, conductor George Parris
21st October 2023 : Trio Meister Raro: Robert Plane, Rachel Roberts, Tim Horton
18th November 2023: Britten Oboe Quartet with Nicholas Daniel
17 February: Marmen Quartet
23 March: Maxwell Quartet
6 April: Katona Twins, Guitar duo
Last season's (2022-23) concerts. This was our 75th anniversary season. We celebrated this special anniversary by supporting young musicians with a wonderful and exciting series of concerts. Each concert in the season included outstanding young performers and works by young emerging composers alongside classical masterpieces from the chamber music repertoire. Local schools had the chance to work with some of the artists, with tickets for students to any concert only £1.
Royal Northern Sinfonia 28 September 2022: Review
Bruch Octet for Strings
Grace Evangeline Mason My Thoughts Fly in at your Window
We were thrilled to open our 75th anniversary season with members of Royal Northern Sinfonia. Review: Well – what a wonderful way to start our very special 75 th Anniversary Season! It’s always a real joy to hear the Royal Northern Sinfonia in Richmond and last night was no exception. The intensity and depth of string sound in Bruch’s rarely heard Octet was truly amazing. Do orchestral players bring something different to chamber music when compared to those who only ever play in smaller groups, I wonder? A point for debate. The second piece by Grace Evangeline Mason was a wonderful contrast with a real lightness and delicacy of sound that portrayed the poetry behind it so convincingly. The second half was taken up by the piece that most people, perhaps, think of in terms of octets – the Schubert Octet. It’s a monumental work and the players did it full justice, clearly showing their own enjoyment of the piece.
19 October 2022: Review
“Arcadiana” is a chamber music show about different paradises featuring a string sextet and gorgeous lighting designs. Led by Guest Director Max Baillie, six Manchester Collective players presented a sparkling programme that included Adès’ brilliant string quartet (and a short exploration of its secrets), Jörg Widmann’s blistering “180 Beats per Minute” and Brahms’ breathtakingly beautiful Sextet in G major. This is music of incredible magnetism, charisma and energy.
Review: What fantastic playing by Manchester Collective last night. These were musicians of the highest calibre, playing extraordinary music with the utmost skill and musicianship. They captured the ethereal beauty of Ades’ string quartet, often using extended techniques (such as wide use of harmonics, or playing very close to the bridge), pushing the sound capabilities of their instruments to the farthest limits. I don’t know about everyone else, but I was very glad of the short exploration of Thomas Ades’ quartet before the main performance. “Spectral”, “kaleidoscope”, “decay” and “disintegration” were words used to describe the music. And if you haven’t already listened again to Jorg Widmann’s 180 Beats per Second, it’s worth it to re-live the experience. Back on more familiar ground with Brahms’ sextet, I just sat back and enjoyed. It was gorgeous. Generously sponsored by Nick and Sally Reckert
Meliora Collective 16 November 2022
Debra Cheetham Nonet “Ngarrgooroon”
Martinů Nonet no 2
Mendelssohn Symphony no 3, arranged for chamber ensemble
Meliora Collective is a newly established, flexible ensemble of dynamic, creative and spirited recent conservatoire graduates. Formed as a dectet of five wind players and five string players, the Meliora Collective also presents more intimate chamber groupings. They performed two nonets: Ngarrgooroon by Australian Aboriginal composer Debra Cheetham, which was premiered in April 2022 by Chineke! Chamber Ensemble; and Martinů’s Nonet no 2, followed by Mendelssohn’s Symphony no. 3 arranged for chamber ensemble. Generously sponsored by Gale and Phillipson
Tabea Debus (recorders) with Sergio Bucheli (lute)
25 January 2023
Described by The Times as a ‘charismatic virtuoso’ Tabea is much sought after as soloist, collaborator, teacher and communicator. “Neat, unforced, beautifully articulated” – The Times Tabea’s wide-ranging programme entitled ‘Ohrwurm’ explores music for recorder and lute by John Dowland, Henry Purcell, Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Philipp Telemann, Dani Howard, Gareth Moorcraft, Leo Brouwer and world premiers by composers from The Wells Cathedral School. Generously sponsored by Isabel and Malcolm Tooze
Coco Tomita (violin) with Simon Callaghan (piano)
15 March 2023: Review
Noah Max Silent Spring Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata Janacek Violin Sonata Ravel Pièce en forme de habanera Ravel Violin Sonata no. 2
Coco Tomita won the BBC Young Musician Strings Category in 2020. Her dazzling debut album ‘Origins’ received rave reviews in The Strad, Gramophone Magazine, BBC Music Magazine and The Observer and was selected as ‘Disc of the month’ by Apple in April 2022. This programme for solo violin and violin with piano combined classical masterpieces with contemporary compositions and was a thrilling evening. Photos credit: Jane Morris
Concert Review, kindly provided by Keith E Robson. I was delighted when I read the contents of this concert. As a violinist I had played all three sonatas for violin and piano myself when I was still working as a violin teacher and solo performer. The Japanese violinist and British pianist Coco and Simon gave us a concert to remember. They as a duo worked well together all evening.
The first work was by Noah Max whose work ‘Silent Spring’ consists of three movements, Prelude, Hymn and Dance. It was very varied in a descriptive sense and well performed by the violinist.
This was followed by one of the most celebrated sonatas for violin and piano, the Kreutzer Sonata by Ludwig van Beethoven. This is a huge challenge which was mostly successful. However, I found the phrasing in slow passages to be over-emphasised, too much rubato and poco rit moments, it gave the interpretation more of a Mozart-Haydn impression. It lacked à Beethoven’flow’ with its feminine cadences. The second movement Andante con variazone was faultless and beautifully executed and the Finale Presto was totally Beethoven himself! We were then treated to a magnificent performance of Janacek’s 1922 sonata, it begins like a miniature opera and included a theme from Katya Kabanova, after which the tempo and mood turned dramatic and urgent, complex rhythms abounded. The second movement called Ballada which was borrowed from an earlier sonata contained a beautiful melody and it too contained a theme from the same opera, the playing was first rate. The Allegretto was very impassioned with unstable rhythmic patterns on both instruments. Even in the Adagio finale, there existed an intense and savage atmosphere, repetitive rhythm patterns continued on the violin whilst the piano became serene, not responding to the character of the violin’s ferocity. A great listen!
We were then treated to Ravel’s brief Habanera, a sensual and gorgeous piece.
And finally the wonderful violin and piano sonata No.2 by Ravel. The first movement has a serene and elegant character with plenty of movement in the two instruments, especially lyrical on the violin. And so we come to the Blues movement which begins with a powerful stomping which reminded one of a jazz band, heavy and dramatic, with a touch of bitonality. Rapid chords on the violin with much fast and furious pizzicato suggesting the banjo. The Finale ‘Perpetuum Mobile contained fast and furious semiquavers on the violin, virtuosic and at breakneck speed!
The musicians gave us a great ending plus a Debussy encore, to a most enjoyable evening.
Generously sponsored by David and Angelica Carr
Mozart Quartet in D major K575 Janacek Quartet “Intimate letters” Joy Lisney: a new work Schumann Quartet op.41. no.3
First prize winners of the 2019 Joseph Joachim International Chamber Music Competition as well as the 2018 St Martin in the Fields Chamber Music Competition, the Barbican Quartet are quickly establishing themselves internationally. Based in London, the quartet’s members are violinists Amarins Wierdsma and Kate Maloney, violist Christoph Slenczka and cellist Yoanna Prodanova. They will be played Mozart's quartet in D major (K575), Janacek’s “Intimate Letters” second quartet written in 1928 which has been described as a manifesto on love, a new piece by Joy Lisney and Schumann’s third quartet opus 41. Generously sponsored by Millgate House