Haydn Society of Great Britain director Denis McCaldin writes:
“Joseph Haydn – Innovation and Inspiration” was the theme of this year’s annual Chamber Music Festival (15-17 March) at the Royal Northern College of Music last weekend in Manchester.
The Chamber Music Festival was pioneered for string quartet players by Christopher Rowland at a time when music colleges gave scant attention to small ensembles. This year’s programme showed how far things have progressed. Devised by RNCM staff member Jeremy Young, the weekend offered student groups from piano duettists to mixed electronic/traditional music in an amazing diversity of chamber ensembles and arrangements. Also featured were the Quatuor Mosaiques and the Heath Quartet in two evening concerts which were as educational as they were impressive. A rewarding weekend for all who attended.
UPDATE: The event was reviewed in the Sunday Times here. Denis McCaldin’s notes were quotes thus:
Denis McCaldin, in his programme-book essay, nicely observed that [Haydn] isn’t so much the “father” of the symphony or the piano sonata as “the ‘father’ of classical music itself”.
We’re pleased to have been contacted by the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester about their chamber music festival from 15-17 March. This festival focuses on Haydn’s music. Jeremy Young, the artistic director, writes:
“This year’s festival pays homage to the innovative genius of Joseph ‘Papa’ Haydn, rightfully known as the ‘Father of the String Quartet’. We explore some of his inspiring and original chamber works as well as seminal compositions including The Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross. Throughout, we showcase our own talented students alongside guests Quatuor Mosaïques, Trio Wanderer, the Heath Quartet, Trio Gaspard, Simon Rowland-Jones and the Benyounes Quartet.
We also look at how Haydn’s ‘invention’ developed, the composers directly inspired by him, and some living composers who still refer to his genius. We explore what the string quartet, or indeed, chamber music as a whole has or might become. An ever-present in composition, education and performance, the quartet is capable of ground-breaking experimentation, radical invention and extraordinary expression, and is arguably now a vehicle for innovation in its own right.
There is a wide variety of events taking place, from more traditional quartet performances to modern imaginings and arrangements, film screenings, talks and masterclasses, allowing you to curate your own individual and unique journey through this busy weekend and reflect on Haydn’s immense impact as a true original.”
We are delighted to be supporting this project of exciting young pianist Roman Rabinovich, whose publicist says: “Following the recent release of the first volume of his Haydn piano sonatas series on First Hand Records, and with volume two on the way in 2019, Roman will play music from the recording and engage in discussion about Haydn’s often-neglected keyboard music. There will also be a chance to see footage from a new documentary made during Roman’s Haydn sonata cycle at The Bath Festival in May 2018, as well as witnessing Roman playing live alongside the original animation Imaginary encounters with Haydn. This short film features illustrations by Roman himself, and animation by Adam McRae.”
The Haydn Society of Great Britain journal no. 37 is now being sent out to members, just in time for Christmas. Look out for yours! If you would like to become a member of the Haydn Society of Great Britain, then do visit our Membership page for more details.
We have recently spoken with Ian Page of the Classical Opera company and we’re delighted to hear that they will give a performance of Haydn’s Applausus at Cadogan Hall next month with a first class cast of young singers. Ian writes:
Commissioned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Cistercian abbot taking his monastic vows in the small Austrian town of Zwettl, this work has been largely forgotten, but the music is revelatory, ranging from the ‘Sturm und Drang’ dynamism of its two bass arias to two exquisite tenor concertante arias featuring extended solos for harpsichord and violin respectively.
You can book to see Applausus on 15 March via this link or by phone on 020 7730 4500.