Midsummer Music Festival 2014

midsummer music

Becoming less of a secret every year, Midsummer Music Festival gathers some of the world’s finest classical musicians into an intimate and charming performance space.

At Chalfont the pavement stops, in itself a novelty for urban Londoners venturing to the outlying halts of the Metropolitan Line. Centuries-old holly trees flank a twisting road which dips sharply to a Chilterns valley straight out of The Dark is Rising. Heady stuff.

Beyond (and to be fair, only a mile or so from Chalfont and Latimer tube station), St Mary Magdalene Church provides the venue for a chamber music festival now in its sixth year, and boasting a lineup more usually found at Glyndebourne, Carnegie Hall or the Wigmore.

No cameras, no critics. Organiser/performer Paul Lewis and his wife (vioinist Bjørg Lewis) decided from the start that their festival would allow performers to break out of their usual repertoire. Collaborative performances by multiple performers form the backbone of the programme, with only three of the renditions in 2014 scheduled as solos.

If 2013’s festival is in any way typical the dominant atmosphere is one of delight, as world-class performers take a break from the pressure of career-defining appearances and reconnect with the joy of playing music for pleasure. It’s tangible, and with an audience sat within a few feet of the musicians, immediately felt throughout the hundred or so places available. Experiencing the exuberance of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet in 2013, as the pianist best-known for his interpretations of Debussy launched into a robust Wagner prelude, was worth the price of admission in itself. To hear a sextet of string performers make alchemical connections with Mozart on the same day was a privilege uncommon indeed.

Still relatively undiscovered, it can only be a matter of time before Midsummer Music Festival grows too big for its current venue. For the moment though, it remains a rare chance to enjoy chamber music in a chamber setting (or near enough), and comes Trebuchet-recommended.

midsummer music

Midsummer Music 2014 Programmes

Programme 1
Friday 13 June at 7.30pm

Schubert Gesang der Geister über den Wassern

Mark Padmore and seven male voices with strings

Beethoven String Trio in C minor

Henning Kraggerud • Lars Anders Tomter • Bjørg Lewis

Schubert Die Schöne Müllerin

Mark Padmore • Paul Lewis

Programme 2
Saturday 14 June at 5.00pm

Bartok 3 Rondos on Slovak Folk Themes

Alasdair Beatson

Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major

Bjørg Lewis • Paul Lewis

Janacek Violin Sonata

Alexander Sitkovetsky • Alasdair Beatson

Mozart Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major K414

Paul Lewis • Henning Kraggerud • Alexander Sitkovetsky • Lars Anders Tomter • Bjørg Lewis • Christoph Wimmer

Programme 3
Saturday 14 June at 8.00pm

Szymanowski Mythes

Henning Kraggerud • Alasdair Beatson

Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp minor ʻMoonlightʼ

Paul Lewis

Schubert Piano Quintet in A major ʻTroutʼ

Alasdair Beatson • Alexander Sitkovetsky • Lars Anders Tomter • Bjørg Lewis • Christoph Wimmer

Programme 4
Sunday 15 June at 5.00pm

Rebecca Clarke Viola Sonata

Lars Anders Tomter • Alasdair Beatson

Liszt Schlaflos: Frage und Antwort; Richard WagnerVenezia

Paul Lewis

Dohnanyi Serenade String Trio in C major

Alexander Sitkovetsky • Lars Anders Tomter • Bjørg Lewis

Dvorak Piano Quintet in A major

Alasdair Beatson • Henning Kraggerud • Alexander Sitkovetsky • Lars Anders Tomter • Bjørg Lewis

Further Details/Tickets



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