Festivity: Bringing in the Spring
The vernal equinox has already taken place and the days are getting longer, but Spring begins in Beverley next week when New Paths Music comes to town, bringing with it over 30 exceptional musicians for a festival bursting with concerts, community events, late-night events, organ recitals, performances for children and families and sparkling music making.
Festivals have taken place around this time of year all over the world since ancient times. We are hugely excited that our third festival is now only a week away. We are thrilled to joining people around the world in celebrating beginnings, rebirth and fresh starts.
A number of our events are now virtually sold-out so don’t delay in buying your passes and tickets.
Feel the power of Spring flowing throughout the festival. Here are just a few highlights:
We are extremely proud that Katarina Karnéus, former winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, stars in our closing concert, The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies. Katarina comes to Beverley to sing Wagner’s stunning Wesendonck-Lieder, five passionate love songs which bask in the “unimagined bliss” of Spring. This is a special opportunity to hear such a distinguished artist who, along with three other Scandinavian musicians, join us especially for Viking Invasion, our big theme which celebrates music and musicians from the Nordic region.
“Begin afresh afresh afresh”
Mathilde Wesendonck is just one of a number of poets showcased in the festival this year. Heading-up the list is local man Philip Larkin, a setting of whose Spring poem, The Trees, can be heard in Larkin’ About in which five festival musicians are joined by local actor Malcolm Tomlinson. Other poets in the spotlight during the festival are TS Eliot in Notes from the Asylum and Dehmel in Transfigured Night.
“Forget not the withered leaves”
We are delighted that our artists in residence this year are the choir of Jesus College, Cambridge, under Richard Pinel. (Their performance of Bach’s St John Passion last week received a glowing ★★★★ review in The Independent.) The choir sings Stenhammar’s beautiful part-song Vårnatt(Spring Night) at the Festival Ceilidh. There’s also a chance to hear them workshop the piece with Swedish language coach, Annika Lindskog, earlier in the week in an open rehearsal. The choir performs Schubert’s serene setting of Psalm 23 in Songs of Praise, a gorgeous programme of music for a Sunday afternoon, which includes Brahms’s heartfelt Four Serious Songs.
“Free but lonely”
We have now reached ‘cruising altitude’ on our long-haul flight through the great chamber music and songs of Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms, from whom the “New Paths” name derives. A special moment in this musical pilgrimage (which began in 2016) comes this year on Saturday 7th April in the ‘Musical Takeover of Beverley’ when four (!) of the festival violinists will perform the FAE Sontata (written as a collaboration between the composers for a friend).
Each of the violinists will perform a movement of the sonata. Don’t miss this free performance at 11:30am in the East Riding Theatre; sure to be one of the highlights of this entire day of free music at venues throughout Beverley. We think that the piece and the way we’re presenting goes to the heart of the New Paths ethos: artistic collaboration of the highest quality; and friendship through music.
We’ll be publishing a guidebook for the Musical Takeover of Beverley tomorrow. Visit our website to take a look and begin planning your day out ‘down town’.
Music in the mean time
There’s a chance to hear some Brahms in Beverley this Friday when Beverley Chamber Choir performs the Requiem at its Good Friday concert in St Mary’s Church at 7:30pm. We’re greatly looking forward to listening to it and to seeing many of you there.
We hope that you have a splendid week. We shall be in touch on Sunday to wish you a very Happy Easter and to share some final exciting news about the festival before it kicks-off on Bank Holiday Monday with The Easter Sing in Beverley Minster.