Sheffield University Lunchtime Concert, the penultimate one in the present series given by second-year music undergraduates at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday (May 8), 1.10pm – free, donation welcome.
Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, returns to the city with its highly distinguished music director Yuri Simonov with a programme of excerpts from Tchaikovsky’s The Sleeping Beauty, Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 1 with Guy Johnston as soloist and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Sheherazade at the penultimate concert in the 2013-14 Sheffield International Concert Season. City Hall, Friday, 7pm – £20, £18, £15, £5 students, under 18s. Pre-concert talk, Trisha Cooper in conversation, 6pm. See Fairy Tales and Childhood under FEATURES
Hallam Sinfonia, and its music director Natalia Luis-Bassa end their present season with Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique after performances of A Winter Fantasia by Gareth Widdowson and Mendelssohn’s Incidental Music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream. High Storrs School, S11 7LH, Saturday, 7.30pm – £10, £8 concessions, £5 students, £3 under 18s.
University Symphony Orchestra, end the Sheffield University Concert Season with Adrian Moore on the podium for Vaughan Williams’s Symphony No 7 – Sinfonia Antarctica, Finzi’s Dies Natalis with soprano Ella Taylor and Elgar’s Cockaigne Overture. Firth Hall, Western Bank, Sunday, 7.30pm – £8.50, £6 concessions, £3 under 26, unwaged.
Sheffield University Big Band, bring the present series of University Rush-Hour Concerts to a close at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Monday, 5.45pm – free, donation welcome.
Stewart Campbell/ Richard Longman, tenor, piano, get the first in a new series of 45-minute, twice-weekly (also Fridays) Sheffield Cathedral Lunchtime Recitals underway after an 18-month gap to allow for renovation with Poulenc’s Le Courte Paille, Mussorgsky’s The Nursery and Barber’s Knoxville 1915. Sheffield Cathedral, Tuesday, 1.15pm – free, donation welcome. See Fairy Tales and Childhood under FEATURES
Sheffield University Lunchtime Concert, the last one in the present series given by third-year music undergraduates at Firth Hall, Western Bank, Thursday (May 15), 1.10pm – free, donation welcome.
LOVE AND WAR
Music in the Round’s annual May Festival, 9 –17 May, at Crucible Studio, except as noted.
Apart from where indicated, all concerts are given by members of Ensemble 360: Benjamin Nabarro, Claudia Ajmone-Marsan (violins), Krzysztof Chorzelksi, Sarah-Jane Bradley (sharing viola duties), Gemma Rosefield (cello), Laurène Durantel (double bass), Tim Horton (piano), Juliette Bausor (flute), Adrian Wilson (oboe), Matthew Hunt (clarinet), Naomi Atherton (horn), Amy Harman (bassoon)
Love and War, Prokofiev’s heavily chromatic, angry Piano Sonata No 7 (1942), probably owing more to Stalin’s murderous ways than the war, precedes the premiere of Charlie Piper’s The Dark Hour for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, double bass, piano and narrator which incorporates extracts from the diary of a young soldier at the front line in Northern France in 1916, before Brahms’s String Sextet No 2 Op 36 brings proceedings to amorous conclusion. Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola), Bjørg Lewis (cello) sit in for the Brahms and Simon Pontin is the narrator in the Piper. Friday, 7.15pm – £16.50, £11 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s. Pre-concert talk, writer and broadcaster Roderick Swanston sets the scene on music being played in the festival and at this concert, 6.15pm. See ‘Dark Hour Premiere’ under FEATURES
The End of Time, Messiaen’s Quatour pour la Fin du Temps – Quartet for the End of Time. Friday, 9.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s.
Poetic Inspiration, one poet, actually, Richard Dehmel whose poem Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night) inspired the richly scored, of Wagnerian/ Brahms persuasion string sextet of the same name from Schoenberg in 1899 and heard here with another work by the composer taking the same poet as its starting point, the unfinished Ein Stelldichein (A Rendezvous) for oboe, clarinet, violin, cello and piano performed in Friedrich Cehra’s 1966 completion. Sarah-Jane Bradley (viola) and Bjørg Lewis (cello) again sit in for the sextet and will no doubt be involved in the opening piece, Barber’s Adagio for strings. Saturday, 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s.
The Grave of Winter, poetry and prose compiled by Paul Allen from the poems of Edward Thomas and the biographical writings of his wife, Helen, after he was killed in 1917 with the readings presented by Penelope Wilton and Tom Durham, Saturday, 6.15pm.
Fond Farewells, three adieus from different standpoint: Ravel’s La Tombeau de Couperin which he dedicated to friends lost in WW1 in the arrangement by David Walter for piano and winds; Richard Strauss’s Metamorphosen, his elegiac 23-string response to seeing his beloved Munich being destroyed in WW2 in its first version for string septet; and Brahms’s Piano Quartet No 3 Op 60, in effect, his farewell to Robert Schumann following his death, although its content has more to do with fidelity to him while fancying his wife, Clara. Saturday, 7.15pm – combined ticket with 6.15pm event, £20, £13.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s. Ask at box office for concert-only tickets.
One Equal Music, a sequence of choral and instrumental music, interwoven and linked by plain chant featuring music by Biber (1644-1704) – the last of his 15 Rosary Sonatas, Passacaglia for solo violin: Haydn – three of the Seven Last Words from the Cross in the work’s string quartet version, No 3, No 5 and No 7; Arvo Pärt – An den Wassern zu Babel (1976 version); James MacMillan – Lux Aeterna; and Henryk Gorecki – Totus Tuus. Sheffield Cathedral, Sunday, 6.30pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s. See ‘One Equal Music’ under FEATURES
Captives and Captivated, in this all-Czech concert the latter is the besotted Janáček, although his String Quartet No 1 – Kreutzer Sonata does not betray his infatuation with Kamila Stósslova as overtly as his second. The underrated Pavel Haas, Janáček’s most gifted pupil wrote his Suite for oboe and piano in 1939, two years before incarceration at Terezin and subsequent murder at Auschwitz. Quite possibly ending up there had he not succumbed to TB in 1942 a year after been arrested, a work by the colourfully eclectic Erwin Schulhoff is also heard, Concertino for flute, viola and double bass (1925). Monday, 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s.
Bring and Play, performance of Shostakovich’s String Quartet No 8 directed by Martin Cropper with any number of violins, violas and cellos playing it Monday, 6.15pm – £3.
In Memoriam, three memorial works written in memory of fellow musicians: Poulenc’s Élégie for horn and piano; Mendelssohn’s String Quartet No 6 Op 80; and Tchaikovsky’s A minor piano trio, Op 50. Monday, 7.15pm – £16.50, £11 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s.
World War One, the badly overlooked André Caplet, an innovative composer gassed during the conflict which resulted in his death in 1925, contributes the chief work here: Quintet for piano and winds (no horn), penned in 1898. Elsewhere, are the Cello Sonata (1915) by his close friend Debussy and the rather dark La Valse for piano (1920) by Ravel. Tuesday, 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s.
Interregnum, a visit by the world-renowned viol consort Fretwork: Asako Morikawa, Liam Byrne, Reiko Ichise, Richard Tunnicliffe and Richard Boothby, who bring music from a conflict now way back in the mists of time, the English Civil War, including pieces by William Lawes, Matthew Locke, Thomas Tomkins and the lesser-known John Hingston, a favourite of Oliver Cromwell and later one of Purcell’s teachers. The possibly obscure concert title means a gap of time between reigning monarchs. Tuesday, 7.15pm – £16.50, £11 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s. Post-concert Q&A, the musicians chat with Angus Smith.
A Meeting of Minds, fast forward back to the 20th century and the Cold War background hinged on Copland and Shostakovich being in New York in 1949 for meeting of literary and musical figures, though the American composer’s spiky Vtebsk for piano trio was penned in 1928 and the Russian’s String Quartet No 2 in 1944 but has no overt WW2 reference. Neither did Bernstein’s jazz-inflected Clarinet Sonata in 1941 so just go and enjoy some worthwhile music without thinking too much what prompted it! Wednesday (May 14), 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s.
Love Triangle, the one that may but in all likelihood did not exist between Clara Schumann, represented by her three Romances for violin and piano Op 22, Robert Schumann, by his Piano Quintet, and Johannes Brahms, by his Serenade No 1 Op 11 in its original nonet version. Wednesday (May 14), 7.15pm - £16.50, £11 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s.
Peace, War and the Devil, Frank Bridge’s Phantasy Piano Quartet – “Brahms tempered by Fauré,” as Britten described it – completed in 1911; Prokofiev’s Flute Sonata Op 94, completed in 1943 with little or no reference to world conflict; and Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale in its five movement suite for clarinet, violin and piano from 1920. Thursday (May 15), 12.45pm – £11, £7.50 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s.
At the Front, baritone Matthew Brook and pianist Anna Markland, with a little help from Ensemble 360: Schumann’s Dichterliebe and Romances Op 94; Barber’s Dover Beach for baritone and string quartet; and a selections of songs by George Butterworth and Ivor Gurney – a potential festival highlight! Thursday (May 15), 7.15pm - £16.50, £11 disabled, unemployed, £5 students, under 18s. Pre-concert talk, 6.15pm and Post-concert Q&A.
La Bohème, last Leeds outings of Opera North’s double-cast revival of Puccini’s opera, one of them with much-talented young Sheffield baritone John Savournin as Schaunard whose scheduled appearances are indicated thus * in the remaining performance at the Grand Theatre, Leeds, Wednesday (May 7), *2.30pm, 7.30pm; *Thursday (May 8), Friday, 7.30pm; Saturday, *2.30pm, 7.30pm – £15 –£49.50. Box office 0113 233 3500.
La Cenerentola, Rossini’s opera after the Cinderella story is the last live relay from the New York Metropolitan this season with a star-studded cast picks itself at the Met, including Joyce DiDonato as Angelina (Cenerentola), Juan Diego Flórez as the Prince and Alessandro Corbelli as Don Magnifico. Sheffield Cineworld, Saturday, 5.55pm – £18.80, £15 concessions.
Vivaldi Gloria, Tideswell Singers-hosted come and sing event culminating in a public performance. Tideswell Parish Church, Saturday, 10am; concert 6pm – £5.
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.