Samuel Moore, if you fancy an Iberian encore after last Thursday’s ARKangel concert at Sheffield Cathedral, here it is, when a nationally respected expert in the genre takes a flamenco guitar journey into the heart of Andalusia using the rhythmic forms used to create flamenco, which is improvised should you not know, such as fiery bulerías and introspective solea, plus tarantas, farruca, alegrias and rumba, at the weekly Sheffield Cathedral Lunchtime Recital, Thursday, October 15, 1.15pm – free, donations welcome.
Fay Hield and The Hurricane Party, the latter the locally based folk singer’s longstanding band joined here by members from her Radio 2 award-winning The Full English for the UK concert premiere of her new CD, Old Adam (due for release January 2016), which explores how we use songs, stories and music to understand what it means to be human. Music in the Round; Crucible Studio, Thursday, October 15, 7.45pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Escher String Quartet, highly regarded American foursome based in New York where it was formed at Manhattan School of Music in 2005. Between 2010-12 it was on the BBC New Generation Artists scheme and, by way of a little name-dropping, Pinchas Zukerman invited the ensemble to be quartet in residence on the Young Artists Programme at Canada’s National Arts Centre. It has toured Australia, China and is something of a hit on mainland Europe and you can hear why here in the Op 44 No 2 quartet by Mendelssohn and the Op 51 No 2 quartet by Brahms with, sandwiched in between, the Third Quartet by Zemlinsky, an Escher speciality. Music in the Round; Crucible Studio, Friday, 7.15pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Gildas Quartet, the widely travelled foursome return to a venue it first visited twelve months ago, almost to the day, to perform string quartets by Haydn: Op 20 No 6; Mendelssohn: Op 13 No 2; and Ravel: his solitary, familiar essay in the form. Sheffield Music Club (now in its 77th season!) at Shirley House, adjacent St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church, Friday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 concessions, £3 students.
London Concertante, is on the road again and makes the first of two visits to the city with a rather enticing candlelight Baroque evening of Vivaldi: Concerto for two violins in A minor; Bach: Harpsichord Concerto in F minor; Vivaldi: Summer from The Four Seasons; Bach: Double Violin Concerto; and more Vivaldi: Concerto for two violins and cello. Alexander Sitkovetsky is the guest violin/ director, at Sheffield Cathedral, Friday, 7.30pm – £18 - £26.
Jean Toussaint, the American-born saxophonist explores the music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers of which he was a member between 1982 and 1986 (moving to London the following year) with an all star quintet of British musicians: Bryon Wallen: trumpet; Dennis Rollins: trombone; Julian Joseph: piano; Daniel Casimir: bass; and Troy Miller: drums. Music in the Round in association with Sheffield Jazz; Crucible Studio, Saturday, 7.15pm – £15, £12 senior citizens, unemployed, £7 students (with card), £3 under 16.
Hallam Sinfonia, begins its new season with an acknowledgement – well two, actually! – of the 150th birthday this year of Sibelius: the Karelia Suite and his Symphony No 5, separating them with Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme. The orchestra’s music director Natalia Luis-Bassa is the conductor and Natalie Halliday the cello soloist in the Tchaikovsky, at High Storrs School, S11 7LH, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 concessions, free under 25.
Music of the Two Elizabeths, music from the reigns of Britain’s Elizabethan queens from the Sterndale Singers, conductor Robert Webb, by Tallis: Salvator Mundi; Dowland: Fine knacks for ladies; Come again, sweet love doth now invite; Byrd: O Lord make thy servant Elizabeth our Queen; three madrigals from The Triumphs of Oriana by three Johns: Bennet, Mundy and Wilbye; Gibbons: O clap your hands; and, from more recent times, Judith Weir (current Master of the Queen’s Music): Drop down ye heavens; Jonathan Harvey: Come Holy Ghost (not for faint-hearted singers!); Vaughan Williams: Three Shakespeare Songs; and Finnish composer (and linguist) Jaakko Mäntyjärvi: Four Shakespeare Songs – Come away Death; Lullaby; Double, Double, Toil and Trouble; Full Fathom Five. Holy Trinity Church, Millhouses, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £5 students, free under 16.
Samson, regarded as one of Handel’s finest dramatic works, it opens a new season of concerts from the Sheffield Bach Choir and its eminent conductor Simon Lindley. Handel wrote it as an oratorio, directly after Messiah (which many say it is second only to), but it gets occasional stagings as an opera. Its most popular numbers are Samson’s (tenor) aria Total Eclipse and the Israelite Woman’s (soprano) aria Let the Bright Seraphim – you have to wait a while for that as it comes at the end! The soloists are Kristina James, Helen Strange: sopranos; Kathryn Woodruff: mezzo-soprano; Christopher Trenholme: tenor; and Quentin Brown: bass, with Alan Horsey: organ, the National Festival Orchestra, at St Mark’s Church, Broomhill, Saturday, 7.30pm – £12, £10 concessions, £6 students, free under 16.
Ensemble 360, concert as part of Sheffield Urban Design Week featuring Mozart: String Quartet No 20 K499 Hoffmeister; Berg: his adaptation of the Adagio from his Chamber Concerto for violin, clarinet and piano; and Brahms: Clarinet Quintet. Music in the Round; Crucible Studio, Monday, 7.15pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Beethoven Plus – 1, first of four concerts from Krysia Osostowicz: violin, and Daniel Tong: piano, taking in the complete Beethoven violin sonatas and pairing each with a related, commissioned companion piece by some of today’s leading composers (around five minutes long). So, here we have Beethoven’s Sonata No 1 followed by a piece by Jonathan Dove: Ludwig Games; Beethoven’s Sonata No 6 followed by Austrian composer Kurt Schwertsik: Unterwegs nach (On the way to) Heiligenstadt; and Beethoven’s Sonata No 9, the Kreutzer, followed by Matthew Taylor; Tarantella Furiosa. Sheffield University Concert Season at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Tuesday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 over 65, £5 under 26, unwaged. See ‘Beethoven Plus’ at www.bernardleemusic.wordpress.com
Elias String Quartet, perform works by Haydn, Schumann and Dvořák for Peak Music Society, Cavendish Hall, Edensor, Tuesday, 7.45pm – £15. If interested, check availability as it is part of a subscription series, 01433 630982.
Beth Nichol, talented young clarinet player gives a Sheffield University Lunchtime Concert, Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday, October 22, 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
Nick Fletcher, after flamenco guitar this Thursday, Sheffield’s classical guitar player a national repute moves in with José Luis Merlin: Suite del Recuerdo – a six-movement work; Agustin Barrios Mangore: Don Perez Friere; and a self-composed work: Voice From the Past, at the Sheffield Cathedral Lunchtime Recital, Thursday, October 22, 1.15pm – free, donations welcome.
Peter Heginbotham, the organist at St Matthew’s, Carver Street gives the 45-minute, monthly recital on the newly refurbished organ at St Mark’s Church, Broomhill, Thursday, October 22, 8pm – free, retiring collection.
Bassekou Kouyate, African musician who has revolutionised the sound and narrative possibilities of the ngoni, a lute-like instrument that is essential to Mali’s Griot culture; musician storytellers whose lineage stretches back centuries. A world superstar as a result, here he performs solo, or with single musician accompaniment, including stripped down versions of some of his best known songs and chats with author/ journalist Andy Morgan as part Sheffield University’s series of Global Soundtracks concerts, at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday, October 22, 8.30pm – in advance £14, £12 over 65, £5 under 26, unwaged – www.sheffield.ac.uk/concerts on the door £16, £14, £6.
Pelléas et Mélisande, Debussy’s landmark opera, performed in an orchestral reduction by Belgian composer Annelies van Parys, makes a once-in-a-blue-moon appearance in the nearby vicinity as part an English Touring Opera autumn season of French opera, sadly without Sheffield on the itinerary. On paper, the cast is highly promising with Jonathan McGovern (who seems to spend most of his time in Europe) and Susanna Hurrell as the ill-fated lovers, Stephen Loges (Golaud), Michael Druiett (Arkel) and it is sung in French with English surtitles, at Buxton Opera House, Friday, 7.30pm – £19.50 to £36.50. 01298 72190
Otello, the New York Metropolitan Opera season of live relays of Saturday afternoon matinees continues with a new production of Verdi’s opera which opened the season and made house history – it was the first time the singer in the title role had not ‘blacked-up’! Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko takes the part here, although most of plaudits appear to have gone to Bulgarian soprano Sonya Yoncheva who stepped in as Desdemona at the last minute. Serbian baritone Željko Lučić is Iago and the much vaunted Yannick Nézet-Séguin is the conductor, at Cineworld Sheffield, Saturday, 5.55pm – £19.40, £15.60 concessions – they’re around £2 cheaper online if you register.
The Tales of Hoffmann, Offenbach’s determined, ultimately surreal attempt to write a serious opera is English Touring Opera’s second French opera offering, this one sung in English, and well worth catching for the splendid soprano taking on the three soprano roles, Ilona Domnich. The villains are sung by Warwick Fyfe, hailed as one the finest baritones Australia has produced, while The Guardian as given Welsh tenor Samuel Furness a positively rave review for his performance as the hapless Hoffmann. Buxton Opera House, Saturday, 7.30pm – £19.50 to £36.50.
Werther, with Massenet’s score reduced to piano, violin, cello and clarinet and the opera re-set in Midwest America in the 1950s by English Touring Opera in its final offering, also sung in English. Everyone appears to be saying it works, even having a baritone singing the title role (Massenet himself is said to have prepared this) – emergent young baritone Ed Ballard here! Two other highly thought of young singers are responsible for all his woes, mezzo-soprano Carolyn Dobbin as Charlotte and baritone Simon Wallfisch as Albert, at Buxton Opera House, Sunday, 3pm – £19.50 to £36.50.
Compose Yourself! weekly creative composition classes over six weeks run by Sheffield composer Jenny Jackson aimed at adult musicians with an urge to compose but who don't know where to start. A new batch of six classes begins on Wednesday the 11th of November, 1pm to 3pm – £15 per two-hour session, and places need to be pre-booked in six-week blocks. Classes are held at Jenny’s home in S11 and, if interested, or would like to know more, follow the link to her website: http://www.jennyjacksoncomposer.com/compose-yourself
Lunchtime Singing, monthly, 45-minute workshops on the City Hall stage (though not always) led by Val Regan and Andrea Small. Thursday, November 5, 1pm – £6. Also, December 3.
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.