City of Sheffield Youth Orchestra, highly ambitious, imaginatively programmed Summer Concert of Walton’s often-ruminative (though optimism is in evidence) Viola Concerto, premiered by composer/ viola player Paul Hindemith, which had Walton a little nervous, as he had modelled it after the German’s style. Ingeniously sharing the concert with the concerto is the angry Symphony No 4 by Vaughan Williams, the only one of his symphonies regularly taken up by non-British conductors, probably because there is not the remotest hint of Englishness about it. The conductor, as always, is Christopher Gayford and the soloist in the Walton is James Douglas, a gifted young viola player with RCM connections, at Ecclesall Parish Church, Monday, 7.30pm – £12, £10 concessions, £4 students, under 18s. Available in advance at Sheffield Scene, Surrey Street; The Famous Sheffield Shop, Ecclesall Road; or by calling 07763 128598
BUXTON FESTIVAL 10 July to 26 July
Box Office: 0845 12 72190
NB: All ticket prices are inclusive of booking fees.
•Only opera performances and music events listed – there is also a free, ten-minute Song at Six at 6pm every day, except Wednesday, from the Pavilion Gardens Bandstand with members of the Festival Chorus.
•For details of a comprehensive, often star-studded Literary Series, see the Festival website - www.buxtonfestival.co.uk
•Each opera performance is preceded by a 30-minute Pre-Opera Talk at the Opera House, 6.15pm (£2) unless otherwise indicated.
•Festival for a Fiver – ticket offer of £5 on all available seats for under-30s.
Benjamin Baker with Robert Thompson, highly rated New Zealand-born violinist who clearly has something to say, or the Young Classical Artist Trust (YCAT) would be not be supporting him, plays Schubert: Duo in A, otherwise Grand Duo, the four-movement work published posthumously, written a year after his three sonatinas in 1816; also by the composer, his famous song Der Erlkönig in a transcription for solo violin by Heinrich Ernst (1814-65); and Richard Strauss: Violin Sonata Op 18, another rarely heard but eminently worthwhile work. Pavilion Arts Centre, Wednesday (July 22), 12.15pm-1.15pm – £15.
Lucia di Lammermoor, last two performances sung in Italian with English side-titles for a problematic staging of Donizetti’s opera – Elin Pritchard is super in the title role, though. Opera House, Wednesday (July 22), 2.30pm-5.45pm – Pre-Opera Talk, 1.30pm; Saturday, 7.15pm-10.30pm – £20 –£65. Review under FEATURES
La Serenissima, violin/ director Adrian Chandler and Katy Bircher: flute, perform Vivaldi concertos. No surprise there, but: two Concertos for violino in tromba marina, strings and continuo RV221 and RV313? Concerto Il gran mogul for flute, strings and continuo RV431a; Concerto for flute, strings and continuo RV440; and The Four Seasons – Manchester Edition? It seems the parts of latter, in the hand of Vivaldi’s father, are housed in Manchester’s Henry Watson Library, inspiring Adrian Chandler to create a new edition. A violino in tromba marina is a ‘loud’ violin (the technicalities are complex), which has been recreated from archival evidence. He penned three concertos for it. The Il Gran Mogul concerto is the Indian part of four ‘national concertos’, the French, Spanish and English sections being lost. Opera House, Wednesday (July 22), 7.30pm-9.30pm – £15 –£35.
Debussy and his Muse, a portrait of the composer and Marie Blanche-Vasnier with whom he fell in love at the age of 18, although she was 14 years his senior, married and the mother of two children, written by festival regular soprano Gillian Keith who performs it with her inseparable piano accompanist Simon Lepper. The so-called ‘Vasnier period’ saw him write around 40 songs, or mélodies, 27 of them dedicated to Marie, some of which are performed here complemented by mélodies by Debussy’s friend Paul Vidal and Lalo, along with an early Séguidille by the composer only published this year. Pavilion Arts Centre, Thursday (July 23), 12-noon-1.10pm – £18.
Giovanna d’Arco Scenes, the understudies from the Festival Chorus for the production of Verdi’s opera are in the limelight at the Palace Hotel, Thursday (July 23), 2pm-3pm – £10.
Frith Piano Quartet, Benjamin Frith: piano, who seems to have dropped off Music in the Round’s radar; Robert Heard: violin; Louise Williams: viola, another familiar face from Lindsay Quartet days; and Richard Jenkinson: cello, perform Schumann: Piano Quartet Op 47; and Dvořák: Piano Quartet No 2 Op 87. Pavilion Arts Centre, Thursday (July 23), 3.30pm-4.30pm – £18.
Organ Recital, Alexander Pott from Oxford University with the second of this year’s two recitals by Oxbridge organ scholars with Bach, Mendelssohn, Franck and Delius on the programme at St John’s Church, Thursday (July 23), 5pm-6pm – £10 unreserved.
Louise, last outing for a first rate concert performance of Charpentier’s neglected operatic masterpiece, sung in French with English side-titles. Opera House, Thursday (July 23), 7.15pm-10.30pm – £15 –£50. Review under FEATURES
Jay Rayner Quartet, renowned restaurant critic, Masterchef judge and sometime jazz pianist drops in with vocalist Pat Gordon Smith, saxophonist Dave Lewis, bassist Robert Rickenberg and tunes from the Great American ‘food and drink’ songbook by the likes of Johnny Mercer, Harold Arlen, Blossom Dearie and Dave Frishberg, plus culinary anecdotes and growing up with his mother, agony aunt columnist Claire Rayner! Pavilion Café, Thursday (July 23), 9pm-10.30pm – £20.
Ingbert Blüthner, from the family that has been manufacturing Blüthner Pianos in Leipzig since 1853 in conversation with F Philip Holland prior to a recital on the instrument owned by the festival. Pavilion Arts Centre, Friday, 11am-11.30am – free.
Stephen Hough, here it is played by a pianist rated by many as Britain’s finest who puts it through its paces (and himself!) with Schubert: Sonata No 14; Franck: Prelude, Chorale and Fugue; Debussy: Estampes, and Liszt: Transcendental Studies No’s 11 and 10. Pavilion Arts Centre, Friday, 12-noon-1.30pm – £20.
Laura Snowden, highly thought of young guitarist – “exceptional range of colour and economy” (Classical Guitar magazine) – displays both in Dowland: Three Fantasias; Villa-Lobos: Five Preludes; Gerhard: Fantasia; de Falla: Homenage pour le tombeau de Debussy; Roussel: Segovia; Lennox Berkeley: Sonatina; and Johann Kaspar Mertz (Hungarian guitar virtuoso, 1806-56): Fantaisie Hongroise, at St John’s Church, Friday, 3.30pm-4.30pm – £15 reserved, £12.50 unreserved.
Giovanna d’Arco, last performance of Verdi’s Joan of Arc opera in an ultimately successful staging and sung Italian with English side-titles, Opera House, Friday, 7.15pm-9.45pm – £20 –£65. Review under FEATURES
Another Hundred Years of Jazz, following last year’s highly successful century, a further trip down the years in the company of Pete Long: saxophone, clarinet; Georgina Jackson: vocals, trumpet; Enrico Tomasso: trumpet, trombone; Richard Pile: drums (and surprises!); Nick Dawson: piano; and Dave Chamberlain: bass, guitar. Pavilion Café, Friday, 9pm-10.30pm – £20.
Albion and Ales, although a Festival Fringe event, it would be remiss not to have it in this week’s bulletin. The pocket chamber choir will be doing what it always does, singing the music of these islands, doubtless including some new arrangements by Fraser Wilson, in its own winning, inimitable way and is offering a free pint of its specially brewed Albion Ale (or wine/ juice), courtesy of Abbeydale Brewery. St John’s Church, Friday, 9.15pm-10.30pm – £12, £8 concessions.
Psappha, much acclaimed Manchester-based contemporary music ensemble return with John Adams: John’s Book of Alleged Dances, four of the ten, Hammer & Chisel, Pavane: She’s So Fine, Toot Nipple, Judah to Ocean – all fairly brief! sandwiching them between Brahms: String Sextet No 1 Op 18; and Schoenberg: the fabulously rich sonorities of Verklärte Nacht in its original sting sextet version, at St John’s Church, Saturday, 12-noon-1.30pm – £20 reserved, £17.50 unreserved.
Inner City Brass, a quintet: two trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba, making a name for itself present a programme of what looks to be largely original works, Bruce Broughton (1945-): When a Body Meets a Body; Gabrieli: Canzoni 1 and 5; Bach: Chromatic Fugue (arr); Brahms: Chorale Prelude No 10 (arr); Gareth Wood (1950-): Quintet for brass; Jan Koestler (1911-2006): Kleiner Zirkusmarsch; Enrique Crespo (1941-): Suite Americano No 1; Anthony DiLorenzo (1967-): Fire Dance, at St John’s Church, Saturday, 3.15pm-4.15pm – £15 reserved, £12.50 unreserved.
From Berlin to Bacharach, the Berlin is Irving not the city and, with many-a classic in the mix, the personnel is largely the same as 24 hours earlier. Pavilion Café, Saturday, 9pm-10.30pm – £20.
... and that is effectively it for another year with only two literary events and a Festival Mass (Victoria’s Missa Quarti Toni) at St John’s on Sunday.
Oklahoma! Belinda Lang and Gary Wilmot star in a production of the famous Rodgers & Hammerstein musical, a much fêted stage show (1943) long before the celebrated film (1955). Lyceum Theatre, daily (except Sunday), 21st July to 1st August, 7.45pm – Monday –Thursday, £24 –£32; Friday-Saturday, £26 –£34; plus matinees: Wednesday (July 22), Thursdays, 2pm – £19 –£27; Saturdays, 3pm – £24 –£32.
Lunchtime Singing, monthly, 45-minute workshops on the City Hall stage (though not always) led by Val Regan and Andrea Small, Thursday, September 3, 1pm – £6. Also, October 1; November 5; December 3.
Compose Yourself! weekly composition classes starting Thursday the 17th of September run by Sheffield composer Jenny Jackson aimed at musicians with an urge to compose but don't know where to start, or composers needing a new perspective and an opportunity to try new methods of working or scoring. If interested and would like to know more, follow the link to Jenny’s website: http://www.jennyjacksoncomposer.com/compose-yourself, or contact her to discuss any queries, or can't make Thursdays. Shirley House, adjacent St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church, 1pm to 3pm – £15 per session. NB: Places need to be pre-booked in six-week blocks.
For details of Choral Evensong at Sheffield Cathedral and St John’s Church, Ranmoor, and music at daytime services, please see the respective websites of both in the ‘Who’s Doing It’ section of Classical Sheffield.