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Cornwall Symphony Chorus
THIS new and expanding choir, under its enthusiastic conductor Alistair Taylor, is already a major part of Cornwall's music scene, and has been earning its keep during August.
On Saturday 3 it was in Redruth and entranced the large audience with a variety of music, from oratorio and German lieder (by tenor John Treleaven, now a full-time opera singer based in Germany) to Verdi and Barry Manilow, all accompanied by Philip Davey on the organ and, for the first time, Paul Comeau on the piano. The rich voice of Ted Gundry made the ideal compère.
On Saturday, August 31, the chorus filled St Michael's Church, Newquay, with another fine concert, with another enthusiastic audience.
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The new organ was put through its paces by soloists Philip Davey and Luke Bond.
Large as the choir is, it's still willing to take on more members. Give Jane Smith a ring on 01736 788820.
INDIAN Queens Festival of Music runs from October 12 (for speech and drama) and from October 17 to 19 for music. The dance section is on Saturday, November 9. It's all in the Victory Hall.
Entries for speech, drama and music should already be in; for dance, the deadline is this Saturday, October 5. Details from Mrs M Boundy, 12 Manewas Way, Newquay, TR7 3AH; call 01637 871318.
The St Austell Festival of Music and Speech, held at the end of November, needs your entries by Monday, October 7. Contact Mrs Anne Keast, 6 Highfield Avenue, St Austell, PL25 4SN; telephone 01726 61444 or e-mail email@example.com. The general festival website is www.staustellfestival.org. So there's no excuse for not entering.
Mozart at Tresanton
IF YOU love Mozart, if you want to hear it at its best, if you want to hear it in the perfect acoustics of a lovely little Georgian chapel, then this is for you.
The concerts take place up a narrow lane from the waterfront in St Mawes. For the eighth Music at Tresanton, we have the young and vibrant Arden String Quartet (under artistic director and pianist Naom Greenberg) with soprano Ailish Tynan.
On Friday, November 8, at 7.30pm, your Mozart menu has his piano sonata in F major, string quartet in C major, violin sonata in F major and piano quartet in E flat major. On Saturday 9 at 11am, there will be a violin sonata in G major, piano trio in C major and divertimento for string trio in E flat major.
The Saturday evening concert at 6.30pm has a viola sonata in G major, a piano trio in B flat major and some lieder and arias.
On Sunday, November 10, at 3pm, there will be violin sonatas in B flat major and F major, a piano quartet in G minor, a piano concerto in A major and Chio Mi Scordi for soprano, piano and string quartet.
Tickets cost £14, or £45 for all five concerts, available from hallforcornwall.co.uk or 01872 262466.
An evening of magic
I HAVE been to plenty of evening concerts at the St Endellion Festivals but not until this year did I sample one of their late night ones.
It was the last full orchestral concert with three contrasting pieces, by Brahms, Wagner and Tchaikovsky.
Aidan Oliver and Ryan Wigglesworth shared the conducting and Rachel Nicholls was soloist in Wagner's atmospheric Wesendonck Lieder. The Tchaikovsky performance was passionate, very Russian.
Feeling satisfied with this I saw that, at the end, quite a large percentage of the audience departed, a team of stage hands dismantled the whole area of choir and orchestra, leaving only a small platform in the middle.
The work I had come specially to hear was Olivier Messiaen's Quartet For The End Of Time: a work I had last heard in Port Eliot House, at St Germans, in a room where audience and players were almost touching. Here at St Endellion the sound would have space galore.
Messiaen, a Jew, was interred in a German concentration camp during the war. However, the camp commander showed a great love of music – and he also knew of Messiaen.
He collected three former professional musicians together, a violinist, cellist and clarinetist (instruments he could find) as well as pianist Messiaen, who he asked to compose a piece.
What was produced was one of the most beautiful yet spine-chilling works I have ever heard. Within it we hear the voices of the prisoners: the crying, the screaming, the dying – and so much more.
Those who know the discordancies and the sad, sad tones of Messiaen's music know this was the perfect music for the situation. The commander later moved and let the players go free.
So to St Endellion. The four players – Jamie Campbell, Angus Meryon, Tim Gill and Freddie Brown – sat in the large space, the lights were turned off except on the music stands and the genius of the composer was recreated.
It was the best performance I have ever heard. At the end the players looked exhausted and the audience, if not in tears, was silenced by the experience.
It was an age before we could get up and deliver a standing ovation, the players could rise.
Like me, I imagine there is much music that moves you to great emotion; it need not be sad, it need not finish with a great blast of sound, but it hits you in the middle of the chest.
Thank you, St Endellion.
You will be back with us next year between April 12 and 20, and between July 29 and August 9.
To keep in touch visit endellionfestivals.org.uk
Wadebridge Choral Society
THIS busy group of singers will be holding a choral workshop, singing and learning Mozart's Requiem, on Saturday, November 9, at Wadebridge School.
Anyone is welcome to join in, especially younger singers for what will be an enjoyable day under director of music Nicholas Danks.
Details from George Dale on 01208 815981 or online at wadebridgechoral.org.uk
New members are welcome to rehearse for the Christmas concert at St Minver Church on December 21, when the music will be Mozart's Missa Brevis in D, Haydn's Te Deum and Eric Thiman's Christmas Rhapsody.
Two Moors Festival
I HAVE mentioned this imaginative festival before and here is an outline since it is a large programme of events throughout Devon.
There are concerts in Barnstaple, on Wednesday, October 16; North Molton on Thursday and Friday, 17 and 18; Dulverton on Saturday and Sunday, 19 and 20; Chulmleigh and South Molton on Tuesday 22; Witheridge and Exeter on Wednesday 23; Dunster on Thursday and Friday 24 and 25; and Ashburton on Saturday and Sunday, 26 and 27.
Top international performers bring us classical, big band, Indian, children's choirs, chamber music, opera and brass band. For details see thetwomoorsfestival.com or call 01643 831006.
As an unusual series of recitals, Two Moors is using Tiverton Parkway station. It apparently has excellent acoustics – between trains.
Between 11.38am and 12.09pm this Friday, there will be clarinet music by Bach, with flute music by Teleman and Karg Elert on October 11. I'd love to know if anyone hears either of these.
The mighty organ
FRIDAY lunchtime concerts on Truro Cathedral's organ end after this month.
On Friday 4, at 1.10pm, the recital will be by Neil Kelley, rector of Bushey; on Friday 11 by Colin Andrews, from Indiana, USA, and finally from Christopher Gray, director of music at the cathedral, on Friday 18.
FOUR exciting players, Piers Adams (recorders), Julia Bishop (baroque violin), Angela East (baroque cello) and David Wright (harpsichord) got together in 1997 and named themselves after the flame-haired priest Antonio Vivaldi.
They present this month's Truro Three Arts concert on Friday, October 18, in Truro College, called Baroque Music With A Twist.
During the quartet's distinguished life it has been described as "visionary and heretical", "wholly irreverent and highly enlightened", and "with a red-hot, wicked sense of humour". A bit like Vivaldi himself?
Get your tickets at £15 from www.hallforcornwall.co.uk or ring 01872 262466.
The Hall 2013-14
THOUGH we have had plenty of Britten this year, another anniversary composer doesn't seem to have surfaced this year – until now.
At the Hall you have the chance to melt under the force of two of Verdi's operatic masterpieces, Nabucco, on Thursday 17, and Aida on Saturday 19, part of Ellen Kent's Opera Festival.
In between these two giants we have sheer passion and pathos in Puccini's delightful La Bohème on Friday 18.
Truro School and Truro Prep School, which have bands, choirs and orchestras to delight, will be packing the Hall on Tuesday 22, as will Camborne Town Band, one of Cornwall's finest, joined by the Redruth Amateur Operatic Society and soloist Alistair Taylor in a Last Night Of The Proms evening on Thursday 24.
We have popular guitarist Albert Lee on Sunday 13 and Barbara Dickson on Tuesday 15; on Sunday 20 there is harpist Catrin Finch with Senegalese kora player Seckon Ketta.
There is dance from Sadler's Wells on Friday and Saturday, 11 and 12, and a theatrical sensation called Stomp from Monday 18 to Saturday, November 2.
On Wednesday, October 16, at one of the International Concerts, there will be a welcome visit from John Lill, with music by Haydn, Beethoven, Prokofiev and Liszt.
Get yourself a brochure, from tourist centres and libraries, or contact the box office on 01872 262466 or www.hallforcornwall.co.uk
MEVAGISSEY Male Voice Choir will perform at Paul Feast Concert on Sunday 20.
As part of Concerts Penzance, the Arcadia String Quartet will be in concert at St John's Hall, Penzance, on Friday 25: it will perform music by Beethoven, Janácek and Debussy. Tickets, £10, from 01736 364440.