This year the Contemporary Craft Festival weekend has a very special extra element: a concert we are organising on the Saturday night. On June 9th the world famous Brodsky Quartet will bring us an extraordinary contrast: bottled sunshine - in the form of Elgar’s string quartet - set against an epic picture of life in wartime Russia from Dimitri Shostakovich. His third quartet is thrilling, harrowing and intensely moving. No-one who heard the eighth quartet played here in 2015 will want to miss this.
Add to that two glimpses of present-day Mexico - one depicting the mysteries of the night, the other a bustling metro station - and this promises to be a great gig. If you haven’t seen the Brodskys, well, they’re the string quartet famous for collaborations with Elvis Costello, Bjork, Paul McCartney, and - as a live act - are truly something else! They’ve played here to wildly enthusiastic sell-out audiences three times now, so do join us. You won't regret it!
“What is so striking about the playing of the Brodsky Quartet is their brimming love for the music.” Gramophone Magazine
“…The famous four … constitute simply one of the best string quartet groupings in the world.” Herald Scotland
"[in Shostakovich] the players manage to find a glimmer of hope that creates the strange impression of smiling benevolently through streams of tears. Indeed, it sets the seal on what may well be the Brodsky Quartet’s crowning recorded achievement." The Strad
ALVAREZ | Metro Chabacano
LAVISTA | Reflejos de la Noche
ELGAR | String Quartet op.83
SHOSTAKOVICH | String Quartet no.3
to book online go here
Schubert's piano trio in Bb is a bright, breezy breath of fresh air which could be the ideal way to kick off a weekend of concerts! It was the first of a pair composed almost back to back - in 1827-8 - at the very end of his life: Schubert at the peak of his powers.
For the second half the trio will be joined by clarinettist Peter Whyman to play a truly iconic twentieth century piece, Olivier Messiaen's Quartet For The End Of Time - written for the musicians the composer found in the prison camp where he was being held - and premiered there in 1940. Messiaen's music is influenced by his own fervent spirituality and a fascination with birdsong - as well as the new music being created around him in the mid-century. The result sounds like no-one else, at various times quirky, strange, intense, exotic ... but also impassioned, especially in the parts of the work which focus on the violin and cello, where Messiaen's endless melodies seem to spiral and soar up and away into space.
SCHUBERT | Piano Trio in Bb D.898
MESSIAEN | Quartet For The End Of Time
ticket prices etc TBC
Zephyrus - the English Bagpipe Orchestra - offer the glorious harmony and sinuous counterpoint of six sweetly toned modern English bagpipes underpinned by driving percussion. Formed by Jon Swayne in 1998, Zephyrus brings together some of the best pipers around. The polyphonic style of writing developed by Jon is quite unique and exploits to the full the amazingly rich sonority offered by six pipes.
For Nourish they will be playing a later piece also by Jon, his English Suite - six different pieces in which English dance and song forms are used as the basis for new and beautiful themes.
Ian Wellens adds: "I met Jon in the 1990s after getting to know the music of his band Blowzabella, buying some 'border pipes' of this type, and learning to play them. I even played a little with Jon and another member of Zephyrus. These instruments make a gorgeous sound - much more mellow than the familiar Highland pipes - which, when combined and played in harmony is like nothing you'll have heard before. Come along and be amazed!"
"It's like being inside a Breughel painting"
SWAYNE | English Suite
tickets etc TBC
Two concerts for the price of one!
In the first half, Craig Ogden, one of the UK's top classical guitarists, take the stage on his own with a set which takes us from the sixteenth century to the present day, from classic Spanish works through the 'gipsy jazz' of Django Reinhardt to Lennox Berkeley's fantastic little Sonatina from the 1950s. After the interval he will be joined by celebrated flautist Judith Hall for an equally varied journey, setting off from France and heading for the sensuality and rhythm of Latin America ... with a few surprises in between.
Judith Hall and Craig Ogden have a natural affinity which makes their performances together quite exceptional. They have performed as far afield as the Bahamas and throughout Britain to great critical acclaim, including festivals such as Newbury Spring, Calstock, Ryedale, Little Biggar, Budleigh Salterton and Salisbury International Festival: after the latter, the Director Maria Bota reported 'great feedback from the audience, several of whom said it was the highlight of the Festival'.
As you can see, their programmes are lively and intriguing, mixing better-known music with contemporary and exotic pieces. This promises to be another great Nourish concert!
DOWLAND | Lachrimae Pavan & Fantasia no.7
BERKELEY | Sonatina
ALBENIZ | Asturias & Sevilla
REINHARDT | Nuages
RYAN | Lough Caragh & Rondo Rodeo
POULENC | Mouvements Perpetuels
HOUGHTON | Cave Painting (from The Dreaming)
LLOYD | The Five Senses
VILLA-LOBOS | Cantilena from Bachianas Brasileras no.5
PIAZZOLLA | Histoire du Tango
tickets etc TBC
Louis & Griselda’s intricately skilled performances are a festival of exotic strings. The virtuosic pair entertains on a selection of fine-sounding instruments, playing original compositions & songs rooted in traditions from Ireland and Sweden to the Balkans. Honed over years of midwinter sessions around the hearth, busking or whiling away the hours in festival fields, this mother and son show exemplifies the joys of spontaneous music-making – genuine home-entertainment breaking free.
For a while ideas were shared at arms’ length at recording sessions, family gatherings or stage performances with the likes of The Radial Band. Encounters with players such as Michalis Kouloumis, Dessie Wilkinson, Chris Newman and Johan Hedin further served to bolster Louis & Griselda’s repertoires. Now the pair have officially joined forces to create a wonderfully swirling journey inspired by a rich musical heritage that goes way beyond our shores.
Griselda plays bowed strings – fiddle, Hardanger and nyckelharpa, while Louis focuses on the plucked string family – cittern, tambura, bouzouki & guitar. See them between 10 and 12 in 'the square' on Fore Street.
Swedish singer Annika Skoogh is one of the true gems of the music scene in Devon, and a jazz singer who can hold her own with the very best.
She is heard in various trio and quartet formats, and very often in the company of prodigiously talented pianist Matt Carter, who will be backing her at Nourish. So in the middle performance slot - sometime after noon - make time for a coffee in the square, and find out for yourself just how good these two are!
Sophia (fiddle) and Mike (guitar, accordion, vocals) share a love of the traditional repertoire of Britain and Ireland as well as further afield, and are equally at home playing a haunting lament or tearing up a lively set of reels. Expect a rich variety of tunes and songs to complement the eclectic selection of food on offer.
The two have played alongside each other in various Devon-based ceilidh and folk/traditional settings for longer than they care to admit, most notably in lively local folk trio Devonbird. Mike shared the stage at last year's Nourish with his duo partner Steve Banks, giving a performance which absolutely delighted the packed crowds in Fore Street.
At this year's festival, make sure to catch Sophia and Mike who will be appearing in the afternoon slot: from 2-4pm.