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Intimate Engagements concert series 2022/23

Date: Saturday 5 November – Saturday 24 June 2023, 7.30pm
Location: Clare Hall, Herschel Road, Cambridge CB3 9AL

Join us for a series of spellbinding Intimate Engagements concerts this academic year.

Intimate Engagements is a chamber music series in which outstanding musicians accompany their performances with informal presentations, sharing with the audiences their musical journey of the programme performed. The series started in 2008 and has since then established itself as a uniquely enjoyable and stimulating contribution to musical life in Cambridge.

This year’s series explores a wide range of styles and periods. We open with a recital of classical and romantic German music, followed by two chamber music concerts juxtaposing some of the most important works of the 20th century with contemporary works, including a premiere by Cambridge-based composer Jeremy Thurlow. Finally, we enjoy a performance by a soprano duo known for the purity and blend of their voices. We are very grateful to our Music Angels, without whom this series of concerts would not be possible. Thanks to their generosity, Clare Hall is earning a reputation for its exceptionally high quality concerts. We look forward to welcoming you to this series.

Patrick Hemmerlé, Artistic Director

There are three remaining concerts in this series:

(Thomas Kelly gave a recital on 5 November 2022, which was the first in this year’s series).

4 March 2023: Jeremy Thurlow, Poppy Beddoe, Henry Chandler and Tim Lowe

Tickets

£20 General Admission, £15 Clare Hall members, £5 students and children – please purchase via Eventbrite:

Programme

Jeremy Thurlow – After Seven Thunders

Olivier Messiaen – Quatuor pour la Fin du Temps

Poppy Beddoe, clarinet; Henry Chandler, violin; Tim Lowe, cello; Jeremy Thurlow, piano.

Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time is one of the defining chamber works of the 20th century. Composed and premiered in 1941 while Messiaen (pictured above) was a prisoner of war, and inspired by the Book of Revelation, the work consists of eight movements for piano, clarinet, violin and cello – an unusual combination dictated by the musicians he had available in the camp. The string and wind players for this concert are soloists with established careers and a solid knowledge of this music. Jeremy Thurlow is well known on the Cambridge music scene, both as a pianist and composer. He has taken up the challenge of writing a piece for the same combination, using similar biblical references. The work will be premiered in this concert.

6 May 2023: Pixels Ensemble

Tickets

£20 General Admission, £15 Clare Hall members, £5 students and children – please purchase via Eventbrite:

Programme

Jean-Philippe Rameau – Pièces de clavecin en concerts: 3èmeconcert, for flute, viola and piano

Maurice Duruflé – Prélude, récitatif et variations, op 3 for flute, viola and piano

Claude Debussy – Syrinx, for flute

Richard Rodney Bennett – Tango after Syrinx, for piano; Summer Music, for flute and piano

Toshi Ichiyanagi – Flowers Blooming in Summer, for harp and piano

Karen Tanaka – Wind Whisperer, for flute, viola and harp

Claude Debussy – Sonata for flute, viola and harp

Fiona Fulton, flute; Vicci Wardman, viola; Hugh Webb, harp; Ian Buckle, piano.

This concert presents an intriguing programme of music ranging from a masterpiece of the French baroque to a UK premiere by Japanese composer Karen Tanaka. Exploiting the vivid possible combinations of flute, viola, piano and harp, the programme is built around well-loved trios by Duruflé and Debussy (pictured above). Richard Rodney Bennett’s response to Debussy’s Syrinx is presented alongside his lyrical Summer Music for flute and piano, with Toshi Ichiyanagi’s Flowers Blooming in Summer for harp and piano, offering an essay in crystalline sonority.

Pixels Ensemble is a versatile chamber music group with a shared passion for performing the finest repertoire, from the classical period to the present day. Its players are all established soloists, chamber musicians, recording artists, orchestral principals and explorers of contemporary music.

24 June 2023: Fair Oriana

Tickets

£20 General Admission, £15 Clare Hall members, £5 students and children – please purchase via Eventbrite:

Programme

Couperin – Leçons de ténèbres

Purcell – Morning Hymn, Evening Hymn, The Entrance of Night

Handel – Eternal Source of Light Divine, Hide me from day’s garish eye, As Steals the Morn O Sleep, why dost thou leave me

Angela Hicks and Penelope Appleyard, sopranos; Harry Buckoke, viola da gamba; Jonatan Bougt, theorbo; David Wright, harpsichord.

Fair Oriana are a soprano duo known for the purity and blend of their voices. They specialise in singing an historical repertoire, in collaboration with regular teams of instrumentalists, performing chamber concerts with a hint of theatre. Couperin’s Leçons de Ténèbres are composed of three pieces to be performed for the liturgies of Holy Week. Each Latin verse, from the Book of Lamentations of Jeremiah, is preceded by a melisma on the first letter of the Hebrew text. The first two were composed for one single voice, while the third was written for two voices. This last Leçon, where the two voices perform superb appoggiatura, ornaments, dissonances and vocalising, is considered one of the undisputed peaks of Baroque vocal music. The songs by Purcell and Handel are well known and present a lighter, more secular side to the evening’s programme.

Thank you

This concert series would not exist without the continuing support of our Music Angels, and we are immensely grateful for their contribution over the years. If you wish to support Intimate Engagements, we would like to hear from you, and you can contact Patrick Hemmerlé, Artistic Director of Intimate Engagements, at pianopat85@gmail.com or Clare Hall’s Alumni and Donor Relations team at development@clarehall.cam.ac.uk.

Intimate Engagements is largely funded by donors, which allows Clare Hall to pay the musicians a fee that is competitive and appropriate to their standing in the musical world.

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