Review: Currie and Reich – The Colin Currie Quartet Norwich Playhouse Monday 20 May NNFestival 2019

Colin Currie Group at Kings Place 2018Currie and Reich – The Colin Currie Quartet
Norwich Playhouse Monday 20 May NNFestival 2019
a review by Marion de Mello Catlin

The Colin Currie Quartet played a blinder last night in Norwich Playhouse. I didn’t know about them before the concert and was interested to go to a performance that was all percussion based as the percussion section rarely gets the glory in an orchestra, and I also like the music of Steve Reich. The Playhouse was packed with not a spare seat in the house – great to see such a turnout – obviously many people better informed than me!

The Quartet was formed fairly recently in 2018 by Colin Currie who is clearly completely passionate about percussion and the Quartet. After the first piece (Mallet Quartet by Joseph Perreira) he introduced the Quartet and explained that the composer Steve Reich was very important to the raison d’être of the quartet and that the works pivot around his compositions, with two pieces in the programme by Reich.

It was really helpful to have an in-depth but concise explanation of the basis of each piece, especially for those if us who are not familiar with this kind of music. I wish that more musicians would do that – Currie was good at it. The stage was full with instruments I hadn’t seen before – marimbas it turns out – two with long pipes and two with shorter, 4 musicians each with two ‘lollipop’ drumsticks in each hand, four per person. At times, the playing was so complex and blended that it was hard to discern the source of the sound. The marimbas’ deep tones flowed together, especially the bass instruments and sounded almost electronic.

Colin played a couple of numbers on his own Xenakis’ Rebonds B for solo percussion and Stockhausen’s Vibra-Elufa. Together they played Kevin Volans Four Marimbas and Reich’s Mallet Quartet before the last piece Reich’s Drumming Part 1.

The speed rhythm and energy was impressive throughout the evening, though none of the first 5 pieces could come near the finale piece Drumming Part 1 composed by Steve Reich. It was like the Olympics of percussion in its performance and virtuosity. Colin explained the basis of the piece, a simple (on its own) basic rhythm underpinning the whole piece beaten out on 8 tuned drums, again 4 musicians working together and in relays. The same 12 notes as a single rhythm repeated which, as an audience member was a godsend at times as it enabled me to find a point to return to and steady path throughout. Colin explained phasing and how the notes interlock and rotate around each other which really helped the appreciation of the piece.

Musically it was interesting, visually it was fascinating – watching the percussionists work in waves, first all together then periodically standing back, their arms working at blurring speed throughout. Physically, it was a feat of musicianship, almost unbelievable and breathtaking technical skill rivalling the most extreme of acrobats, daredevil motorcyclists or   demanding magical coordination and muscular energy. I can’t tell you exactly that it was a lovely piece of music as I was bewitched and hypnotised by the technical skill. After what seemed an eaon of blurred arms and drumsticks, they reached a crescendo and then instantly stopped with a resounding and precise ‘crack’, absolutely as one. In the drumming Olympics, then there is absolutely no doubt that they ran away with the Gold.

If you missed it, or want to listen to a sample there’s a YouTube link below but I would recommend catching a live performance if you ever get the chance. The Quartet is new and this is their debut programme so it is worth watching out for more as they add to their repertoire – they have an amazing future I am sure and hopefully will be back in Norwich before too long.

https://youtu.be/KmlbuRGubrI
https://www.colincurrie.com/news/2018/8/3/colin-currie-quartet

Norfolk & Norwich Chamber Music at John Innes Centre Sunday 7 April 3pm

 

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Norfolk & Norwich Chamber Music Club presents…

Sunday 7 April 2019, 3pm

James Ehnes, violin
Andrew Armstrong,
piano

Beethoven

Violin Sonata in D, Op.12 No.1
Violin Sonata in A, Op.12 No.2
Violin Sonata in A minor, Op.23
Violin Sonata in E flat, Op.12 No.3

(The cycle will be completed next season, 2019-2020)

James Ehnes and Andrew Armstrong begin their journey through the Beethoven violin sonatas with the first four works of the series. The triptych, Op.12, shows the young composer’s style at its most wilfully subversive, from the energy of the opening work and the elegant wit of the middle sonata to the dazzling virtuosity of the last in the series. More mysterious and subdued is the highly compressed A minor Sonata Op.23.

Pre-concert talk by Misha Donat 1.45pm

http://www.norwichchambermusic.co.uk/event/james-ehnes-andrew-armstrong/

Jazz at Anteros : Bahla – Imprints Album Tour Friday 2 February 2018

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=FI6gDctWYhw

Bahla – Imprints Album Tour
at Anteros Arts Foundation, Fye Bridge Street, Norwich NR3 LJJ
Friday 2nd February 2018

Formed by Venezuelan pianist Joseph Costi and English guitarist Tal Janes, London based group Bahla break new ground with their mix of cinematic jazz entangled with Jewish folklore. Interested in how migration and displacement shapes cultures, their debut album Imprints finds a way to embrace multiculturalism. Across the album, a distinctive palette is underset by a bold and dynamic rhythm section, while radiant vocals – echoing the modal form of Jewish prayer music – rise and fall over searching,
delicate melodies on keys and guitar.

Bahla are:
Ines Loubet – Voice/Percussion
Tal Janes – Guitar
Joseph Costi – Piano/Keys
Andrea Di Biase – Double Bass
Ben Brown – Drums
Doors 7pm   Music starts 7:30pm
Tickets £8   Ticket link: https://www.anterosfoundation.com/music

Music:

Connect:

New edition of Music in Norwich is out!

Please to say that the newest edition of Music in Norwich is now out on the streets in hard copy and is available to pick up free from the Tourist Information Centre, Theatre Royal, St Andrew’s Hall, Norwich Cathedral, Arts Roundup racks and many other place around Norwich and Norfolk as well as a pdf download from this siteMusic in Norwich spring 17.jpg

Sivan Rotem at The Assembly House Thursday 2 March 2017

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When the world’s busiest conductor, Maestro Valery Gergiev, heard that there is a soprano who works on five continents, as does he, he exclaimed with thus supreme authority that “she is the only one”. That classically-trained singer is Sivan Rotem, an Argentinian-born Israeli whose burgeoning career in opera, concerts, recitals, radio, television, cabaret, commercial recordings and master classes has taken her across the Americas via the West Indies and many continental European countries to Egypt, South Africa, China and Australia.

Described by the Salt Lake Tribune following her Brahms Requiem with the Utah Symphony as “a classy vocal talent” with “an angelic soprano voice”, Sivan Rotem is considered one of the most outstanding singers of Israel. Born in Buenos Aires, she started her musical training as a violinist. Graduating from Haifa University in English and Literature and the Rubin Academy of Music at Tel Aviv University in Singing, she continued her vocal studies in the USA with Ellen Faull.

She made her debut with Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, and appears regularly with all the leading orchestras of Israel. She also sang many leading roles with the Israeli Opera and in Germany, Finland and the USA.

Sivan Rotem enjoys a successful career worldwide and has sung with symphony orchestras across North and South America and in Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Georgia, Macedonia and South Africa. Recitals have taken her to the USA, UK, Albania, Czech Republic, Spain, Finland, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Slovakia, France, Argentina, Egypt, China and Australia.

Her flamenco quartet Classic Flamenco was invited to Madrid where it sold out at the Suma Flamenco Festival, subsequently appearing in England at the Henley Festival and in London to great acclaim.

Her discography includes Aharon Harlap’s Symphony No 2, “L’Oiseau de la Guerre” for Helicon, a Spanish CD, “Viva el Amor” for Romeo Records, and two CDs dedicated to songs by Giacomo Meyerbeer, the latest released in December, 2016.

The recital will also be given in London the previous evening, Wednesday 1 March.

Concert management Dario Salvi 07424 418863 See http://artaxismusic.com/

Recital at Raynham Hall

Today I have been invited to a recital at Raynham Hall. I have not been there before, nor really been aware of the Hall as a concert venue but it seems that the owners of the hall, Lord and Lady Townshend are keen to use their stately home to help raise money to repair some of their works of art which are in desperate need of restoration. In particular, they are trying to raise the fund of £48,000 to restore three invaluable 17th century paintings of the children of King Charles I.

They have spent the last 5 years restoring the fine art works and decor of the hall which has been in the Townshend family since 1620. Sir Roger Townshend started the building and then in the 1720s, the 2nd Viscount Townshend commissioned William Kent  who later went on to design both Holkham and Houghton Halls which are nearby – and well-recognised as treasures of Norfolk.

Kent’s design work was ornate and included elaborate carvings and mosaics, decorated doorways and lanterns most of which are intact today.

Tonight’s concert will be held in the Marble Hall of Raynham which apparently has astonishing acoustics. It is part of a series of concerts to bring world-class musicians to perform in the house so that people can experience the atmosphere created by the works which the money will help to maintain.

I am looking forward to hearing acclaimed violinist Rachel Podger who is a leading musician in the Baroque and Classical style and Maggie Cole who is also internationally acclaimed for her virtuosity on piano, fortepiano and harpsichord.

I think this will be a rare opportunity to recreate the atmosphere of an 18th century drawing room, and will possibly signal the emergence of Raynham as a distinctive concert venue – I will report back!

Tickets are £50 with proceeds going to the restoration fund and I believe are still available – the phone number is 01328 862133 if you would like to check

Marion de Mello Catlin
editor Music in Norwich

Saturday 17th September 2017 – The C18 Sound

Regular ticket holders of Raynham Recitals will remember an electrifying evening last June with Rachel Podger & Maggie Cole performing JS Bach. For the September recital Rachel & Maggie have chosen the following programme for violin & fortepiano:

CPE Bach – Sonata in C minor
W A Mozart – Sonata for violin & piano KV454 (1784)
L van Beethoven – Sonata for violin & piano No.7 in C Minor, Op.30 No.2 (1801-02)

The Saturday recital is nearly always the mega-star concert and September 17th is no exception as Rachel Podger is, as many of you know, a violinist of world class who performed JS Bach here 18 months ago with Maggie Cole in their first recital together. Maggie, famed not least for her recording of the Goldberg Variations, is a regular at Raynham and we are thrilled to have her here again with Rachel.

Coming up! Chamber Music Weekend

From Norfolk & Norwich Chamber Music

A Happy New Year to all and welcome to our first John Innes concerts in 2016. We start with a weekend of music devised by the brilliant young Belgian cellist David Cohen, who has assembled an impressive team of fellow musicians from Canada, Russia and the UK. Of particular interest is the final Sunday afternoon concert featuring the  Michael Nyman Quartet written especially for the Smith Quartet. David Higgins, who has been commissioned to write a especially for this concert, is one of the most exciting and innovative young composers  who has already notched up compositions for BBC Proms. Gordon Crosse’s new cello sonata also written for David Cohen, will get two performances (15th & 17th)– two world premieres in a weekend cannot be bad!  The weekend finishes with  Schubert’s glorious string quintet, which many consider to be amongst the finest pieces of chamber music ever written. Hope to see you sometime over the weekend. Roger

P.S. Both the Ibragimova concerts on 8th & 22nd January are fully reserved  so please don’t come along unless you are on the list! All other chapel concerts are fine for space just turn up and pay n the door!

 Chamber Music Weekend

Cello Con Brio “Magical Journeys”
David Cohen & friends

Cello Con Brio “Magical Journeys”
The Chapel, Park Lane
Friday 15th January 2016, 7:30pm

David Cohen – cello
Bach: Solo Suite No.1 in G
Gordon Crosse: Sonata No. 1 for solo cello – World Premiere
Gaspar Cassadó; Suite for solo cello

David Cohen website016

Cello Con Brio “Magical Journeys”
John Innes Centre
Saturday 16th at 7.30pm

David Cohen – cello Katya Apekisheva – piano Corinne Chapelle – violin

Pre-concert discussion with David Cohen at 6:30pm

  • Brahms: Piano Sonata No.3 in F minor, Op.5
  • Brahms: Sonata for Violin and Piano No.1, Op.78
  • Arensky: Piano Trio No.1, Op.32

 

John Innes Centre
Sunday 17th at 11.30pm
David Cohen – cello Katya Apekisheva – piano

  Schnittke: Suite in the Old Style

  • Beethoven: Cello Variations “Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen”, Op.66
  • Stravinsky: Suite Italienne
  • Paganini: Moise Variations on one string

 

John Innes Centre
Sunday 17th at 3pm
David Cohen & Smith Quartet

Nyman: String Quartet No.5 “Let’s not make a song and dance out of this”

  • Gordon Crosse: Sonata No.1 for solo cello
  • Gavin Higgins: ‘Howl’ for solo cello and string quartet

Schubert: String Quintet in C

Two concerts Fauré Quartet

The highly regarded Fauré Piano Quartet from Berlin, visit Norwich this weekend for two concerts, each with a very attractive programme.
John Innes Saturday 12th at 7.30pm and
the Chapel in Park lane Norwich on Sunday 13th at 12 noon.

Saturday 12th December 2015, 7:30pm
John Innes Centre
Fauré Piano Quartet
Pre-concert discussion at 6.30pm
Tickets Prelude 01603 628319

  • Programme:
  • Mozart: Piano Quartet in G minor, K478
  • Fauré: Piano Quartet in C minor, Op.15
  • Brahms: Piano Quartet in C minor, Op.60
  • Fauré Piano Quartet:
  • Erika Geldsetzer violin
  • Sascha Frömbling viola
  • Konstantin Heidrich cello
  • Dirk Mommertz piano

“The Fauré Quartet is right up there with the best ensembles you can listen to today.” (Harald Eggebrecht, Süddeutsche Zeitung)

Sunday 13th December 2015, 12:00 noon
The Chapel, Park Lane
Fauré Quartet
Tickets £12 on the door

  • Programme:
  • Mozart: Piano Quartet No.1, K478
  • Mussorgsky arr. Gruzman: Pictures at an Exhibition

Fauré Quartet website

Ziggurat Ensemble at 6.30pm this Sunday 1st November at The Chapel, Park Lane, Norwich

A concert of baroque music by the enterprising Ziggurat  Ensemble at 6.30pm this Sunday 1st November. The following Sunday 8th November at 6.30pm will now feature the London-based Pelléas Ensemble  – beautiful combination of viola, cello and harp – this replaces the Hoffmeister concert which has had to be postponed due the injury of one of the players.
Tickets £12 on the door

Sunday 1st November 2015, 6:30pm
Ensemble Ziggurat

  • John Crockatt & Jim O’Toole baroque violins
  • Natasha Kraemer baroque cello
  • Tom Foster harpsichord

Programme:

  • Lully: Trios pour le Coucher du Roi, LWV35
  • Purcell: Sonata in 3 parts, Z796
  • Geminiani: Three Scottish Airs
  • Castello: Sonata No.12
  • Biber: Partia VI: Harmonia Artificiosa

Sunday 8th November 2015, 6:30pm
Pelléas Ensemble

  • Henry Roberts flute    Luba Tunnicliffe viola
  • Oliver Wass harp
  • Programme:
  • Bax: Elegiac Trio
  • Richard Rodney Bennett: Sonata after Syrinx
  • William Matthias: Zodiac Trio
  • Ravel: Tombeau de Couperin

Friday 13th November 2015, 7:30pm
Contempo Quartet

  • Bogdan Sofei violin    Ingrid Nicola violin
  • Andreea Banciu viola    Adrian Mantu cello

Programme:

  • Mozart: Quartet in D major, K575, ‘Prussian’
  • Tan Dun: Eight Colours for String Quartet
  • Bartók: Romanian Dances

Contempo Quartet website

Sunday 29th November 2015, 6:30pm
Chroma

  • David Le Page violin    Clare O’Connell cello
  • Ian Watson accordion

Programme

  • Folk Tales: music from Romania and Hungary
  • Brahms: Hungarian Dances
  • Bartók: Duos (violin & cello)
  • Kodály: Gankino Horo – intermezzo (accordion)
  • and traditional Bohemian Songs & Czardas arranged for violin, cello & accordion

Chroma website

Concerts at The Chapel Park Lane, Norwich

The Chapel, 64 Park Lane, NR2 3EF
Friday 24th July 2015, 7:00pm
Kamus Quartet

  • Terhi Paldanius violin    Jukka Untamala violin
  • Jussi Tuhkanen viola    Petja Kainulainen cello
  • Path to Voces Intimae: a Sibelius 150th anniversary
  • Jean Sibelius: Allegro appassionata in C sharp minor
  • Einojuhani Rautavaara: String Quartet No.1
  • Jean Sibelius: String quartet in D minor “Voces intimae”

Kamus Quartet website

Sunday 13th September 2015, 6:30pm
Benedict Nelson – baritone
Joseph Middleton – piano

  • Programme:
  • Schubert: Winterreise

Benedict Nelson website

Joseph Middleton website

Sunday 20th September 2015, 6:30pm
Laetitia Grimaldi Spitzer – lyric soprano
Ammiel Bushakevitz – piano

  • French mélodies including:
  • Joseph Canteloube: Baïlèro (Chant de bergers de Haute-Auvergne)
  • Reynaldo Hahn: À Chloris
  • Reynaldo Hahn: Quand la nuit n’est pas étoilée
  • Henri Duparc: Au pays où se fait la guerre
  • Léo Delibes: Les filles de Cadiz
  • Claude Debussy: Trois chansons de Bilitis

Ammiel Bushakevitz website

Sunday 11th October 2015, 6:30pm
Zelkova Quartet

  • Caroline Pether violin    Simran Singh violin
  • Alex Mitchell viola    Jonathan Pether cello
  • Programme:
  • Beethoven: Quartet in G major, Op.18/2
  • Brahms: Quartet in A minor, Op.51/2

Zelkova Quartet website

Sunday 25th October 2015, 6:30pm
Aleksandar Djermanovic – piano

  • Programme:
  • Beethoven: Sonata in C major, Op.2 No.3
  • Medtner: 2 Fairy Tales, Op.20
  • Schumann: Fantasy in C major, Op.17

Baroque Evening
Sunday 1st November 2015, 6:30pm

  • John Crockatt & Jim O’Toole baroque violins
  • Natasha Kraemer baroque cello
  • Tom Foster harpsichord
  • Programme:
  • Music by Biber, Farina, Purcell, Bach & Geminiani

Sunday 8th November 2015, 6:30pm
Hoffmeister Trio

with Jonathan Wortley – piano

  • Jane Faulkner violin    Frank Cliff viola
  • Ursula Pank cello
  • Programme:
  • Schubert: String Trio movement in B flat, D471
  • Dohnanyi: Serenade for String Trio
  • Brahms: Piano Quartet in C minor, Op.60

Friday 13th November 2015, 7:30pm
Contempo Quartet

  • Bogdan Sofei violin    Ingrid Nicola violin
  • Andreea Banciu viola    Adrian Mantu cello
  • Programme:
  • Mozart: Quartet in D major, K575, ‘Prussian’
  • Tan Dun: Eight Colours for String Quartet
  • Bartók: Romanian Dances

Contempo Quartet website

Sunday 29th November 2015, 6:30pm
Chroma

  • David Le Page violin    Clare O’Connell cello
  • Ian Watson accordion
  • Folk Tales: music from Romania and Hungary
  • Brahms: Hungarian Dances
  • Bartók: Duos (violin & cello)
  • Kodály: Gankino Horo – intermezzo (accordion)
  • and traditional Bohemian Songs & Czardas arranged for violin, cello & accordion

Chroma website

Sunday 13th December 2015, 12:00 noon
Fauré Quartet

  • Programme:
  • Mozart: Piano Quartet No.1, K478
  • Mussorgsky arr. Gruzman: Pictures at an Exhibition

Fauré Quartet website