Concerts to warm up our chilly Autumn days

We have been busy playing concerts in London and surrounding areas….. A first for us was a concert at St. John’s Church, Watford, which took place on Sunday 24th November. The church is a lovely, warm space and we were honoured to be the first group to play on its newly-restored parquet floor. We played Glinka, Bach, Ibert, Caplet, Vinter and Sullivan to an enthusiastic audience.

Anna and Chris’ wedding

Harmoniemusik was invited to partake at the lovely wedding of our cellist Anna Tam and our violist Chris Brody in Whitstable in June 2019. We all had a great time – there was lots of music, including Anna playing the Nickelharpa…

Heatwave and Harmoniemusik in Berlin

Early June, and four of us were in Berlin for four concerts over four days as temperatures hit the 30s.

Luckily most of the church venues kept cool for our programmes of mixed baroque and 20th century repertoire.

Audiences were large and enthusiastic and we had the odd hour off in between travelling and rehearsing to enjoy a beer or two.

Plenty of wind chamber music on offer in 2019

There’s lots of chamber music to look forward to from Harmoniemusik in 2019. We start our concert-giving year on 14th January playing music ranging from Madeleine Dring’s wonderful trio to excerpts from Bizet’s Carmen at Benslow Music in Hitchin, Hertfordshire.

March 22nd sees us paying our annual visit to Conway Hall in Red Lion Square, London. Besides being an excuse for a party at Alec’s (to which all audience members are welcome) we’re going to enjoy playing a Haydn piano concerto, featuring Paul Guinery, Britten’s mysterious Fantasy Quartet for oboe and strings, a fabulous concerto for recorders and strings by baroque master Corelli, and a feast of melodies from Bizet, Bruch and Gershwin.

In June we’re planning a concert tour of Berlin – more details on this to come soon. After that, cream teas, beaches and the wonderful acoustic of St Columb’s Parish Church will draw us back to Cornwall for our three Classic Cornwall concerts in late August.

Looking forward to seeing you at some or all of our 2019 concerts!

Practice makes perfect in Cornwall

From Scotland to South London, members of Harmoniemusik are practising their parts in preparation for the usual feast of chamber music on offer in St Columb, Cornwall. The first concert is on Tuesday 21st August but we’ll be there from Sunday 19th, putting up the stage and lifting the piano into place, before rehearsing in the cool of St Columb Parish Church – and hopefully finding the odd moment for cream teas and trips to the beautiful North Cornwall coast.

Some of the pieces are old friends, like Schubert’s ‘Trout’ Quintet, the Clarinet Quintet by Brahms (never off Mark’s music stand), and Beethoven’s Quintet for piano and wind, but every concert brings a different interpretation depending on who’s playing, and the ideas that come up in rehearsal. There’ll be new works to discover too. Janna and Sarah are enjoying unfurling Corelli’s seductive harmonies in his Concerto Grosso for recorders and strings, there’s a virtuosic outing for flute, bassoon and piano in a trio by Mozart’s protegé Hummel (something for Alec to get his teeth into), and Paul is thrilled to be playing Haydn’s D major piano concerto.

So if you’d like to join us for a few days of fun and fantastic music (and surely still glorious sunshine) come on down to Cornwall – we really look forward to seeing you!

 

Chamber music you should hear live

This is the time of year for building inspiring programmes of chamber music for the group to play over the coming months. As usual, Harmoniemusik likes to mix the familiar with the less well known, while keeping each member of the group – from flute player to double bass – happy with the music they’re going to play. Well that’s the aim anyway…

As a warm up for the annual trip to St Columb in Cornwall (programmes to be revealed very soon), we’ve two concerts in June coming up – one featuring music for piano and wind, and the other octets and nonets. Samuel Barber’s atmospheric Summer Music sits alongside the sparkling Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano by Francis Poulenc. Both are pieces you never get tired of, no matter how many times you play or hear them – and well worth listening to live on a summer afternoon. As is the less well known but equally attractive sextet for piano and wind by the Belgian composer Joseph Jongen. Come along to St Anne’s Church in Kew on at 3.30pm on 17th June and enjoy the Sunday afternoon experience of uplifting wind music, followed by tea and cake (our favourite combination).

And on to the next concert…

The annual Conway Hall performance and party is done – thanks for coming if you were there, and sorry if you missed it! Paul played a huge number of notes (all the right ones, and all in the right order) in Louise Farrenc’s entertaining sextet for piano and wind; it was great to revisit Norman Hallam’s foot-tapping Dance Suite – if you missed the concert, you can always listen to it on one of our CDs; Mark was supreme in Schumann; the audience fell for the extraordinary charms of C.P.E. Bach, and nobody got lost in Stephen Frost’s rather haunting sextet.

The audience seemed more than happy (and not just with the amazing selection of Belgian beers provided by Alec afterwards): “Concert was excellent, really enjoyed it, many thanks for such wonderful playing”, said one correspondent through this website, and the unusual and varied programme seemed to be enjoyed by all.

The group is busy planning for the Classic Cornwall concerts in August – programmes announced soon, and the next date in the Harmoniemusik diary is Sunday June 17th, in St Anne’s Church, Kew. Hope you can join us then.

A warm welcome to Conway Hall…

Harmoniemusik’s annual Conway Hall concert might be in deepest winter, but it’s always a warm, friendly occasion, with entertaining and informative introductions to each piece matched by the musical rapport on stage.

The group’s six core players will showcase a colourful range of musical styles in a delightfully varied programme of music from across the centuries. The harpsichord features in baroque trios by Handel and CPE Bach, together with flute and oboe, and a pair of recorders. If you’re looking for romantic music, you’ll find it in Schumann’s deeply expressive Fantasy Pieces for clarinet and piano and Louise Farrenc’s attractive but relatively rarely performed Sextet for piano and wind. Norman Hallam’s entertaining Dance Suite for wind quintet inevitably gets feet tapping, while the most recent piece is an enigmatic Sextet for piano and wind, written specially for Harmoniemusik by Stephen Frost.

7.45pm Tuesday 20th February 2018

Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, London WD1R 4RL

Buy your tickets HERE

St Columb Festival 2018 dates

Dates just announced. Harmoniemusik’s Classic Cornwall concert series 2018, will be held in the parish church of St Columb Major on  21, 23, 25 August.

New website

We hope you like our new website. Please share with your friends and relations!