Rosanna Todd and Nicola Lucas, joint University Lunchtime Concert featuring two final year pianists, the former offering Debussy: 6 Epigraphes Antiques; and Khachaturian: Toccata; the latter, two movements from Tchaikovsky’s Seasons Op 37a: February (Carnival), October (Autumn Song); two Debussy Préludes from Book 1: No 5 – Les Collines d’Anacapri, No 12 – Minstrels; and two of Carl Vine’s Five Bagatelles: No 1, No 5 Threnody, at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday, 5th of May, 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
Royal Northern Sinfonia, and the Sheffield Philharmonic Chorus offer a performance of one of Haydn’s best known and popular works, his so-called ‘Nelson’ Mass at the penultimate concert in the 2015-16 Sheffield International Concert Season. Four excellent soloists are on duty for it: Anna Patalong: soprano, Frances Bourne: mezzo-soprano, Timothy Robinson: tenor, David Soar: bass, and a symphony by Vaughan Williams – bravo! – fills out the proceedings, his Fifth. James Burton is the conductor at the City Hall, Friday, 7pm -£21, £19, £16, £5 students, under 18s. Pre-concert talk, Trisha Cooper in conversation, 6pm.
Dore Male Voice Choir/ Sheffield Oratorio (Chorus) Chamber Choir, joint concert in support of the David Clover Festival of Singing featuring a selection of folk songs, spirituals, anthems and motets at St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church, S11 8YL, Saturday, 7pm – £10.
Hallam Sinfonia, with an invitation to sit within the ranks of the orchestra for an all-Russian affair of Balakirev: Overture on Three Russian Themes; Mussorgsky: Intermezzo in modo classico (arr Rimsky-Korsakov); Borodin: In the Steppes of Central Asia; Rimsky-Korsakov: Flight of the Bumble Bee; and Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 5. Natalia Luis-Bassa: presents and conducts the concert so troikas to High Storrs School, S11 7LH, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 concessions.
Starcross’d Songs, Shakespeare-inspired concert presented by the choirs of SingSoc (Singers’ Society) at Sheffield University, including items by Vaughan Williams: In Windsor Forest (the whole piece perhaps given the make-up of SongSoc’s three choirs!); Britten: from A Midsummer Night's Dream; Matthew Harris: Shakespeare Songs – plenty to go at with six books of them; plus numbers such musicals as Kiss Me Kate, West Side Story, The Lion King, and non-musical contributions from the Sheffield University Theatre Company, at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Saturday, 7.30pm – £8, £4 students, concessions.
Wolfgang Capek, respected Austrian organist gives the weekly organ recital at St John’s Church, Ranmoor Sunday, 4pm – free, retiring collection.
Sheffield University Symphony Orchestra, with Adrian Moore (forsaking his sound studio) and Emily Compton sharing conducting duties for two Tchaikovsky works: Symphony No 6 Pathétique, Romeo and Juliet fantasy overture; Kabalevsky: Violin Concerto in C Op 48, with Jacob George as soloist; and new work by Katie Williamson in the University Concert Season at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Sunday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 senior citizens, £5 unwaged, under 26, students.
The Forgotten Songs of Lerner and Loewe, after the runaway success of The Lost Songs of My Fair Lady last year from the Department of Music’s Dominic McHugh and department alumnus Matthew Malone, more unknown Lerner and Loewe, the second and third of their eight collaborations: What’s Up (1943) and The Day Before Spring (1945) – Brigadoon appeared next in 1947 and it wasn’t just the songs that were forgotten! The concert, featuring ‘a full Broadway-sized orchestra’ and cast performing the surviving songs from the shows (some unheard for over 60 years), also marks the launch of a new PhD research project focusing on Lerner and Loewe – did you know that Loewe, as Friedrich Löwe, was and remains the youngest solo pianist to appear with the Berlin Philharmonic at the age 13? Sheffield University Concert Season at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Tuesday and Thursday, 12th of May, 7.30pm – £10, £8 senior citizens, £5 unwaged, under 26, students.
Lucy Turner/Jake Constable, another joint University Lunchtime Concert from two more final year students with former, a soprano, offering Handel: Qual farfalletta from Partenope; Sibelius: 6 Lieder Op 50; Britten: Cabaret Songs; and Head: Bird Song (an educated guess is that either the Sibelius or Britten (or both) will not be performed complete given the concert’s 45-minute running time); and the latter, a guitarist, is strumming at least six arrangements of ‘80’s music – Jump Van Halen, Africa Toto, Overjoyed Stevie Wonder, etc, at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday, 12th of May, 1.10pm – free, donations welcome.
Music in the Round’s annual festival running daily from Friday, the 6th of May until the 14th of May, at the Crucible Studio, except where shown.
See ‘Beethoven Revisited’ @ www.bernardleemusic.com
Unless otherwise noted, all concerts are given individually or collectively by members of Ensemble 360: Benjamin Nabarro, Claudia Ajmone-Marsan: violins; Ruth Gibson: viola; Gemma Rosefield: cello; Laurène Durantel: double bass; Juliette Bausor: flute; Adrian Wilson: oboe; Matthew Hunt: clarinet; Amy Harman: bassoon; Naomi Atherton: horn; Tim Horton: piano.
Magnificent Seven, opening concert featuring two septets, the one by French-born of English parentage George Onslow (and no stranger to long-standing festival-goers) for piano, wind quintet and double bass Op 79, known as the Grand; and the more familiar Op 20 by Beethoven for clarinet, horn, bassoon, violin, viola, cello and double bass; Friday, 7.15pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students. Pre-concert talk: eminent Beethoven scholar William Drabkin, Emeritus Professor of Music at Southampton University, examines Beethoven’s popular Sextet and other large-scale chamber music, 6.15pm – free.
Bring and Play Strings, open to string players of all ages to Grade 5 + standard working on two of Handel’s concerti grossi led Sheffield Music Hub’s Ian Naylor, culminating with a free informal concert at 3pm; Arundel Room (Millennium Gallery), concert in Winter Garden, Saturday, 11am –3.30pm – participant tickets £10, £8 disabled, unemployed, £6 under 18s. Pre-booking: www.musicintheround.co.uk
Brilliant Brass with Beethoven, brass players from across the region blow brilliantly! in Tudor Square, Saturday, 11.30am –12noon – free.
Heroics, Beethoven’s Symphony No 3, the Eroica, in Hummel’s flute quartet transcription; Saturday, 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
In Beethoven’s Hand, William Drabkin stays overnight to give a 50-minute talk about the composer’s sketch books and surviving autographed manuscripts which reveal his writing process; the Upper Chapel at Channing Hall (access through the Surrey Street entrance), Saturday, 3pm – £5, free students, under 18s.
Harry the Piano, his surname is actually Harris and he has to be seen and heard to believe what you hear: Once in Royal David’s City as a James Bond theme; Michael Jackson reinvented in the style of Mozart, and all spontaneously improvised to audience requests, presumably what he is doing here; Saturday, 4.30 –5.30pm – £8, £5 students, under 18s.
Introducing Roderick Williams, Music in the Round’s recently appointed, first singer-in-residence (although he is not exactly a MitR stranger) chats with MitR artistic director Angus Smith about plans to perform Schubert’s song cycles and a variety of British songs for which the baritone is world famous and, rumour has it, there may be the odd song or two; Saturday, 6pm – free to festival ticket-holders, but booking essential.
Kreutzer vs Kreutzer, much acclaimed ‘play for voices’ that interweaves Beethoven’s Kreutzer violin sonata and Janáček’s Kreutzer string quartet into its fabric by Sheffield-brought up playwright of note Laura Wade. Based on Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata in which a man confesses to killing his wife, the play is built round two characters that do not physically appear in the novella, a violinist and the murdered wife who were allegedly having an affair. Beethoven’s sonata, dedicated to the violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer, inspired Tolstoy (born the year after the composer died) to write his novella, while it was this that inspired Janáček’s string quartet. Performing the play, which is directed by Celine Lowenthal, resident assistant director at Sheffield Theatres, are Sheffield actress Stacey Sampson and Sandy Batchelor with music in a capable hands of Ensemble 360 members; Saturday, 7.15pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Seascapes, the title of David Bedford’s 1986 work for school children serves to open a ‘salt water’ day with some new soundscapes composed by young Sheffielders under the supervision of David Ashworth and sea shanties, including the Rio Grande. The excellent Sheffield Young Singers, director Helen Cowan, are the performers with the Cassia Quartet joining Ensemble 360 to form Bedford’s ‘symphony orchestra’; Sunday, 2pm – £5, £3 under 18s.
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Coleridge’s epic poem set (with judicious cuts) by Howard Skempton for baritone and chamber ensemble (piano quintet, double bass and horn) with Roderick Williams in mind and who premiered it last December with the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group – receiving a rave review from The Guardian! Music in the Round’s recently installed singer-in-residence, who describes the work as “haunting, supernatural and hypnotic,” performs it again here with MitR’s ‘instrumentalists-in-residence’, Ensemble 360, who preface the work with an account of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op 59 No 2 – the second Razumovsky; Sunday, 4pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students. Pre-concert talk: Howard Skempton introduces his setting of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, 3pm – free.
Music Box: Ages 2 –4, two 35-minute workshops led by Vanessa Johnson and Ensemble 360 flautist Juliette Bausor aimed at getting the little ones singing, playing percussion instruments and moving to live music; Adelphi Room (Crucible), Monday, 10.15am or 11.30am – £6 per child, free accompanying adults. Pre-booking: www.musicintheround.co.uk
Inspiration: Part 1, first of two concerts reflecting on how composers influence each other, such as Bartók: String Quartet No 1, which imitated the structuring of Beethoven’s Op 131 quartet, though in a different sound world; and Mozart: Quintet for piano and winds K452, which definitely influenced an early work by Beethoven; Monday, 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Inspiration: Part 2, featuring the aforementioned Beethoven: Quintet for piano and winds Op 16, inspired by Mozart – it’s even in the same key, E flat; and the starting point for Bartók’s first quartet is also there, Beethoven: String Quartet Op 131, its celebrated fugal writing owing something, at least to Bach – indeed, Beethoven’s assiduous studying of works by older composers may have something to do with Haydn: Divertimento No 2 Op 100, getting a look-in to open proceedings; Monday, 7.15pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students. Pre-concert talk: Tim Horton on the connections linking the two concerts, 6.15pm – free.
Music Box: Babies, a success last year so a further two 35-minute sessions for parents and their babies when they can join in, move or bounce to the music as the Silver Strings Quartet works it way through Mozart, Pachelbel, Tchaikovsky and Duke Ellington, or just back and relax. Soft mats and toys provided in the Adelphi Room (Crucible), Tuesday, 10.15am or 11.30am – £6, free babies. Pre-booking: www.musicintheround.co.uk
Serenade, at least three guests join Ensemble 360 members for two lightish, lively Beethoven works: Serenade in D for flute, violin and viola Op 25, and Sextet in E flat for two horns, two clarinets and two bassoons Op 71 – allegedly written as an aid to indigestion! plus, preceding them, a work by the extremely popular in his day, and prolific, Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812): Partita No 2 Echo, for the same forces as Beethoven’s ‘aid to indigestion’; Tuesday, 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Avison Ensemble, starry period instrument group, especially the first violin, of Pavlo Beznosiuk, Caroline Balding: violins, Richard Tunnicliffe: cello, and Roger Hamilton: harpsichord, with a programme hinged how Classical composers, including Beethoven, came to develop the string trio. Handel: Trio Sonata Op 2 No 2; Bach arr Mozart: Two Preludes and Fugues K404a; Handel: Keyboard Suite in B flat; Trio Sonata Op 5 No 2; and Violin Sonata in D; Johann Stamitz (a Czech composer, 1717-57, and highly influential in the development of the Classical symphony): Orchestra Trio Op No 5; and more Handel: Trio Sonata Op 2 No 4 – the Baroque trio sonata, should you not know, was written for four instruments; Tuesday, 7.15pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students. Post-concert Q&A with Pavlo Besnosiuk – free.
Lineage, Øyvor Volle: violin, Bjørg Lewis: cello, from the Vertavo String Quartet, guest artists in Ensemble 360’s first festival ten years ago, return to join them in tracing a line between Bach: Flute Sonata in E flat BWV 1031, through Beethoven: Horn Sonata Op 17, to Schoenberg: Verklärte Nacht in its original string sextet form; Wednesday, 11th of May, 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
The Torch-Carrier, Schumann’s proclamation that Brahms would be Beethoven’s successor and here represented by his first string sextet, Op 18, with Vertavo Quartet members Berit Cardas: viola, and Bjørg Lewis: cello, sitting in after Beethoven: Clarinet Trio Op 11; and Webern: 5 Movements for string quartet Op 8; Wednesday, 11th of May, 7pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Diabelli, it should be pretty obvious what this is means: Beethoven’s 33 Variations on a Waltz by Anton Diabelli Op 120 played by Ensemble 360 pianist Tim Horton – a pretty substantial coda to his Beethoven piano sonata cycle!; Wednesday, 11th of May, 9pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
How We Make Our Music, Jenny Jackson, Tom James, Chris Noble and Tom Owen, Sheffield’s composer collective, Platform 4, present an exploration of their contrasting creative processes with live and recorded illustrations and some time for questions; Adelphi Room (Crucible), Thursday, 12th of May, 11am –12noon – £5.
Heritage, Schoenberg: String Trio Op 45 from Ensemble 360; and Beethoven: String Quintet in E flat Op 4 from the all-female Norwegian Vertavo String Quartet: Øyvor Volle, Annabelle Meare: violins, Berit Cardas, viola, Bjørg Lewis: cello, with Ruth Gibson: viola, sitting in; Thursday, 12th of May, 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Come and Compose, creative workshop with Platform 4, no compositional experience necessary, just some musical imagination and a willingness to give it a go (with professional help!) working on a sequence of music inspired by Sheffield’s industrial heritage – informal performance at 5pm; Adelphi Room (Crucible), Thursday, 12th of May. 2pm –5.15pm – £10, £8 disabled, unemployed, £6 under 16s.
Greatness: Beethoven: String Quartet Op 74 Harp from the Vertavo String Quartet; and Schubert: String Quintet in C from Ensemble 360 with Bjørn Lewis: cello, sitting in; Thursday, 12th of May, 7.15pm – £17.50, £12 disabled, unemployed, £5 under 35, students.
Composing for Beginners, a six-week course for adult musicians taught by Sheffield composer Jenny Jackson. Starts, 8th of June, Wednesdays, 7 –9pm. Learn how to compose a short piece from scratch with step-by-step guidance and support and finish your first composition in six weeks! All work is done in the classes (no homework!), which are held at Jenny’s home in S11, cost £90. More information and booking at www.jennyjacksoncomposer.com/composing-for-beginners
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.