THE historic Church of St Lawrence at the summit of West Wycombe Hill, is again the
THE historic Church of St Lawrence at the summit of West Wycombe Hill, is again the location for September’s West Wycombe Chamber Music Festival, now in its fifth year,
writes Trevor Howell.
The church’s centuries-old walls, warm acoustic and complete absence of intrusive traffic noise make for an atmospheric venue. And, if previous experience is anything to go by, audiences will be blown away by the musicians’ virtuosity, their evident enjoyment and the freshness of their playing. It is chamber music at its most inspiring and an opportunity not to be missed.
The festival’s artistic director, Lawrence Power, one of the world’s leading viola players, brings together a clutch of eminent instrumentalists to perform a mixture of well- and lesser-known chamber works. This year’s guests are cellists Adrian Brendel and Bjorg Lewis, pianist Simon Crawford-Phillips, violinists Anthony Marwood, Stephanie Gonley and Annabelle Meare, and viola player James Boyd.
The programme of four concerts, plus a master class for young musicians, features important works from the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, “a period of music I have always found particularly fascinating”, says Power. “It will include such masterpieces as Vaughan Williams’
On Wenlock Edge, Ravel’s
String Quartet, Kodaly’s
Serenade, and Brahms’s
Horn Trio, and conclude with the magical
String Octet by Georges Enesco.
“We are also performing some cornerstones of the repertoire such as Mozart’s
G minor String Quintet, Bach’s
Keyboard Concerto and Korngold’s
Piano Quintet. I’m thrilled that Mark Padmore will be joining us for the opening concert to perform two masterpieces by Vaughan Williams, as well as Ravel’s evocative
Five Greek Folk Songs.”
The event will be held from September 17 to 19. For tickets, call 01494 528659 or 07948 897148 or email tickets@westwycombeÂ chambermusic.org.uk. For full programme details visit www.westwycombechambermusic.org.uk