Showing posts with label David Le Page. Show all posts
Showing posts with label David Le Page. Show all posts

Monday, November 13, 2017

Mixed Double: Ghost Variations and Alicia's Gift

Viv, Jess and Dave
And that's just for starters. Bit busy in these parts.

David Le Page, Viv McLean and I are performing Ghost Variations at Burgh House, Hampstead, London NW3, next Sunday, 19 November, 6.30pm. And the day after, at Barnes Music Society, London SW13, Viv McLean and I are bringing Alicia's Gift to the Old Sorting Office (OSO) Arts Centre - Monday 20 November, 7.30pm.

Meanwhile Viv is also playing the Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto in Southampton on Saturday night, 18th; and Mozart's A major Concerto K414 in Cockermouth on Tuesday 21st. Blimey, guv. But as he says, "It's going to be FUN." And Dave is busy too, with the Four Seasons in Gloucester Cathedral on Friday night, 17 November.

Here are the booking links.

GHOST VARIATIONS at Burgh House, 19 November

ALICIA'S GIFT at OSO Barnes, 20 November

Vivaldi, The Four Seasons: David Le Page and the Orchestra of the Swan, Gloucester Cathedral, 17 November

Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto: Viv McLean and the City of Southampton Orchestra, conducted by Philip Hesketh, 18 November

Mozart Concerto K414: Viv McLean and the Northern Chamber Orchestra, Cockermouth, 21 November

I think between us we seem to have a good bit of England covered, so do come along to anything and everything you like and can!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

This week...

This is one busy week.

MONDAY. It's this:


You'll find me and the fabulous musicians David Le Page (violin) and Viv McLean (piano) at the Crazy Coqs, Brasserie Zédel, Sherwood Street (just off Piccadilly Circus), with the words&music story of Jelly d'Arányi and the Schumann Violin Concerto, starting 7pm. Music includes Bartók, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Kelly, Ravel, Hubay and, uh, Schumann... Book here: https://www.brasseriezedel.com/live-at-zedel/ghost-variations-oct-2017/112243587

TUESDAY and FRIDAY. I'm honoured to be serving on the jury of the London Bach Singing Competition. We have the semi-finals on Tuesday evening and the final on Friday, both at St George's, Hanover Square. After the first round the other day, I can promise you we've found some simply glorious voices and we're looking forward to hearing ten of them again in the semis, singing recitatives and arias from the St Matthew and St John Passions. Four will go through to the final. Both these rounds are open to the public, so do join us for a spot of Bachian glory. Details of the events and names of the semi-finalists are now up, here.

WEDNESDAY So, Wednesday is looking a bit packed... I'm very excited to be going on BBC Radio 3's In Tune, where Katie Derham will be interviewing me about Ghost Variations and the Schumann Concerto, ahead of our Artrix Bromsgrove performance (3 Nov) and Burgh House Hampstead (19 Nov). Straight out of Broadcasting House, I must leg it to Cadogan Hall, where I'll be doing a spot of actor interviewing about Mozart and Salieri for the London Chamber Orchestra's concert, which culminates in the Mozart Requiem. Christopher Warren-Green conducts. Booking here.

SATURDAY Off to Leipzig for the first time ever, to see all sorts of amazing things relating to Bach, Mendelssohn, Schumann and maybe even Wagner...

I also have to write a feature and some sleeve notes. So I'm now off to have a quick nap.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

TONIGHT we're at Leighton House


TONIGHT: We're thrilled to be giving the 'Ghost Variations' concert to open the Kensington & Chelsea Music Society's new season, at the gorgeous Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ. Music by Ravel, Bartok, Mendelssohn, Brahms, FS Kelly, Hubay, Schumann, played by the fabulous David Le Page (violin) & Viv McLean (piano), narration by muggins based on 'the strangest detective story in music'. Leighton House is home to an incredible Turkish-style foyer and exhibits including paintings by the pre-Raphaelites, notably 'Flaming June' (above). 7.30pm start. Book signing to follow. Do join us if you can. Booking at WeGotTickets, here.
David Le Page. Photo: Natasha Bidgood




Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Please come to St Mary's Perivale on 7 September!

Ghost Variations is nearly here. Just three more days, I believe....and next week my performance partners David Le Page and Viv McLean - an absolute knockout of a violin and piano duo - join me for the first of four concerts we are giving through the autumn based upon 'Ghost Variations'. I narrate, they play the appropriate music and thus we tell the story together. 


The first concert is on Wednesday 7 September at the exquisite 12th-century church of St Mary's, Perivale, tucked away behind the A40. It's an intimate venue with a magical atmosphere and a marvellous concert series. Admission is free and seats unreserved (though you may make a donation at the end). 

The "pilot" for the project took place, to a very warm reception, at the Hungarian Cultural Centre back in March and  we have now extended it a little and added an interval, creating a full-evening recital. Incidentally, there will also be a shorter version, available for coffee concerts in the new year. Every piece has been chosen with forensic care to match the story, its protagonists and the necessary atmosphere.


(Above, Dave plays at the premiere...)

You'll have the chance to hear music written for Jelly d'Arányi - Ravel's Tzigane; Brahms Hungarian Dances arranged by her great-uncle, Joseph Joachim; music she played a great deal, such as the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto; a piece by Frederick Septimus Kelly, whom she had hoped to marry before he was killed at the Somme; 'Hejre Kati' arranged by her teacher, Jeno Hubay; and, of course, plenty of Schumann, including a juxtaposition that makes clear how close the slow movement of the Violin Concerto is to the theme of the Geistervariationen. Songs from the Thirties will welcome the assembling audience, creating the ambience in which the story unfolded (and I'm on the lookout for some vintage clothing...).

More details of the concert and how to get to St Mary's are available at the website: http://www.st-marys-perivale.org.uk/events-2016-09-07.shtml

PLEASE COME ALONG AND JOIN US!

Further performances very soon...watch this space...

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Ghost Variations: the world premiere

Viv McLean, JD, David Le Page and the HCC's director Eszter Pataki

David Le Page, Viv McLean and I gave the first-ever performance of our new concert, Ghost Variations, based on my forthcoming novel, last night at the Hungarian Cultural Centre in Covent Garden. It's a gorgeous venue - as you'll see from the pics - and we felt very thrilled to be part of their Monday Musical Soirée season. Moreover, a packed house and the huge enthusiasm of the audience proved most encouraging.


The concert traces the story of the great Hungarian violinist Jelly d'Arányi and her rediscovery of the Schumann Violin Concerto, mingling shortened extracts of the novel with some explanatory links and, of course, the music that she used to play. We feel this is a words&music programme with a difference - because without the music, there wouldn't have been any words at all. Dave and Viv played works including the Bartók Romanian Dances, extracts from the Mendelssohn and Schumann violin concertos, Ravel's Tzigane, Hubay's Hejre Kati, Schumann's Violin Sonata in A minor and the theme from the Geistervariationen...

Afterwards: time for some Hungarian wine

Enormous thanks to the HCC for an unforgettable evening! Meanwhile: this concert programme really works, so is now available for booking. Happy to say it is supremely well suited to festivals and music clubs: it's 100 per cent accessible due to its storytelling nature, the words and the music are 100 per cent integrated, and the story has the added benefit of being based on real events.



The novel will be published in the summer. You can still get your name into it as patron if you pre-order it via Unbound.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Who is the Johnny Depp of classical music?

Some would say it's Jonas Kaufmann.


Others suggest that my lovely Hungarian Dances violinist colleague, David Le Page, bears a certain resemblance to the film star.


But full marks to The Mozart Project - the producers of a superb interactive, multi-media e-book about the composer - for noting that in fact the mysterious hero of Hollywood appears to have been separated at birth from none other than...


...our very own Gabriel Fauré.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Bartók's birthday talk


I'm doing a talk at the Balassi Institute Hungarian Cultural Centre, Covent Garden, on Tuesday to mark Bela Bartók's 133rd birthday. It's called: "How I learned to stop worrying and love Bartók."

It's part of the HCC's Magyar Mind lecture series in which British academics and writers speak about Hungarian cultural topics. I'm intending to give a rather personal introduction to the magic of Bartók, skewering the silly preconceptions about him that seemed to be doing the rounds during my mis-spent youth and looking, too, at what makes the Hungarian tradition of musical training so very special. My friends David Le Page (violin) and Viv McLean (piano) will be there to perform a few key pieces. All welcome and admission is free, but please call the HCC and book a place in advance. More details here: http://www.london.balassiintezet.hu/en/events/current-events/559-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-bartok/

Meanwhile, there's an amazing new biography of John Ogdon out, by Charles Beauclerk, and I've just reviewed it for the Sunday Times. It's here (behind paywall).

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

TOMORROW in Wales!

Going to Pembrokeshire tomorrow for a Hungarian Dances Concert-of-the-Novel at PenFro Book Festival in the gorgeous setting of Rhosygilwen Mansion. David Le Page on violin, Anthony Hewitt on piano, me on words. Full details here. Do join us if you are anywhere nearby!

We are expecting a slightly adventurous journey. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Meet Tamsin Waley-Cohen

The super young British violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen has a delectable new disc out with Champs Hill Records: An American in Paris cleverly puts the sonatas by Poulenc and Ravel side by side with music by Charles Ives and George Gershwin (aided and abetted by Jascha Heifetz). Tamsin's joined at the piano by the composer Huw Watkins. In a lovely launch bash yesterday, Tamsin and Huw rocked that Ravel with graceful phrasing, gorgeous tone and genuine lyricism. As for Gershwin: they got rhythm. Sneak previews and album download available from Champs Hill Records, here.

Here is Tamsin herself, with a spot of Mozart and a few words about music, life, the universe and her Strad, which belonged to the late Lorand Fenyves. She's accompanied in the concerto by the Orchestra of the Swan (and Hungarian Dances aficionados may spot our own David Le Page in the leader's chair - often in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen).


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hungarian Dances in Lakes and London




A final reminder that tonight is your chance to catch HUNGARIAN DANCES: THE CONCERT OF THE NOVEL at the St James Theatre Studio, 12 Palace Street, London SW1, at 8pm.

AND AN UPDATE: the thrill of the adrenaline rush...is this maybe why performers get hooked on performing? My piece for Culturekicks: http://www.culturekicks.co.uk/2013/06/04/in-praise-of-the-adrenaline-rush/

We are just back from the Ulverston International Music Festival in the South Lakeland, where we, um, we got a standing ovation...! Which was rather gratifying to say the least, especially as this was a morning coffee concert and by then it was coming up to lunchtime. Huge thanks to everyone at the festival for a day to remember. Above: Anthony Hewitt (who's artistic director of the festival), David Le Page and me, milking our moment of glory in the Coronation Hall... 

I also did a pre-concert talk with everybody's favourite cellist on Thursday night... He and pianist Ian Brown gave a sensational recital featuring, not least, the cello sonata by Frank Bridge, which is a work everybody ought to hear and marvel at, especially when it's played with such eloquence. An English Rachmaninov? Not far off.







Ulverston was the birthplace of Stan Laurel, so look who's lurking just by the Coronation Hall doorway. Oddly enough, I nearly had the opportunity to say "Here's another fine mess you've got me into..." due to a strange incident at 1am the night before our concert... Suffice it to say that Gretel and I were in a huge flap, Tony's dad heroically ventured forth to save the day, and Dave slept through the whole thing.

See you tonight!




Thursday, May 16, 2013

PLEASE COME TO OUR 'HUNGARIAN DANCES' CONCERTS!



HUNGARIAN DANCES: THE CONCERT OF THE NOVEL



DAVID LE PAGE (VIOLIN), ANTHONY HEWITT (PIANO),
JESSICA DUCHEN (NARRATOR)

 Tuesday 11 June, 8pm
St James Theatre Studio, 12 Palace Street, London SW1
(a short walk from Victoria Station)
Tickets: £15. Book here: http://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/events/hungarian-dances/ 





Saturday 8 June, 11am
Ulverston International Music Festival, Cumbria
Boyd Tonkin, The Independent, on Hungarian Dances by Jessica Duchen

Mimi, a Hungarian Gypsy girl, is determined to play the violin, in defiance of family traditions. She becomes a classical virtuoso, but at a terrible personal price... 

Alternating narration and music, this emotional roller-coaster traverses 90 years, richly illustrated with music of irresistible beauty that blurs the boundaries between the classical and Gypsy styles.

DOHNANYI: Andante rubato alla zingaresca
DINICU: The Lark
MONTI: Czardas
KREISLER: Marche Miniature Viennoise
DEBUSSY: Violin Sonata
VECSEY: Valse Triste
BARTOK: Romanian Dances
BRAHMS: Hungarian Dance No.2 (arr. Joachim)
RAVEL: Tzigane
HUBAY: Hejre Kati
DAVID LE PAGE, born in Guernsey, is the leader of the Orchestra of the Swan, Stratford-upon-Avon, and of the Adderbury Ensemble. He trained at the Yehudi Menuhin School and in Bern with Igor Ozim and Sidney Griller. He was a prizewinner in BBC Young Musician of the Year and the Yehudi Menuhin Competition. He plays the living daylights out of this repertoire.
ANTHONY HEWITT won top prize at the William Kapell International Piano Competition in 1992 and studied at the Menuhin School, the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia and the Franz Liszt Academy, Budapest. He is artistic director of the Ulverston International Music Festival, Cumbria.
JESSICA DUCHEN writes about music for The Independent and is the author of four novels, two biographies and a number of stage works mingling words and music. Plus JDCMB, of course.
HUNGARIAN DANCES is published by Hodder.
PLEASE NOTE: TICKETS FOR 11 JUNE ARE VERY LIMITED IN NUMBER. EARLY BOOKING IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
http://www.stjamestheatre.co.uk/events/hungarian-dances/



Friday, May 03, 2013

Friday Historical: Isolde Menges plays 'Hejre Kati'



This sweet-toned, quick-witted performance of Hubay's version of Hejre Kati was recorded by the British violinist Isolde Menges in the 1920s. The sound quality is remarkable for the time and the whole thing beautifully bridges the divide between high-art classical playing and the rather earthier Csardas that Hubay transcribed. Menges is definitely inclined more to the classical side of things...

...but the recording is nevertheless getting me geared up for the Hungarian Dances concert-of-the-novel, for which our new team - David Le Page and Anthony Hewitt - has rehearsal no.1 next week. This piece ends our programme. First concert will be in the Ulverston Festival on 8 June, then the St James Theatre Studio on 11 June and we're going on Radio 3's In Tune to talk about it, and play some, on 3 June.