What a remarkable couple of days we have just had in Beverley! For many there, Oktoberfest was their first live music in eight months. The numbers may – out of necessity – have been small, but the enthusiasm and emotion were palpable.
Baritone Marcus Farnsworth joined Libby Burgess for a profound and intimate Dichterliebe, as well as captivating songs by Cecilia McDowall. Martin Roscoe brought with him one of his longest-standing duo partners, Tasmin Little: they gave an outstanding performance of Beethoven and Franck, and the ravishing Romance by Amy Beach – a new discovery for many. Martin’s solo recital the next morning provided a moment of peaceful reflection and poignant beauty, with Haydn, Mozart, and Schubert, concluding with a magnificent performance of Beethoven’s Op 110 sonata. Finally, popular New Paths string players Jamie Campbell, Andrew Berridge and Cara Berridge joined Libby for effervescent and moving piano quartets by Mozart and Schumann – all the more powerful for the sense that it might be the last live music for some time.
One audience member commented that she left “feeling so well nourished after such a famine,” and another said that “the four separate hours in St Mary’s were like an oasis of joy in a barren landscape; we truly lost ourselves in their delights.” Here at New Paths we feel extremely lucky to have been able to go ahead, only hours ahead of changing regulations, and thank all those who helped us to do so safely under present circumstances.
However, we were deeply conscious that many of our loyal and loved audience could not be with us on this occasion: please know that you were in our hearts and minds over the last two days! And so we are releasing the next in our POSTCARDS video series, as a missive from the East Riding to our followers near and far:
The Percy Tomb in Beverley Minster is widely recognised as an exceptionally fine example of stone carving. It depicts the journey of the soul after death, with a detailed carving of the soul in Jesus’ hands. Inspired by that, this Postcard video contains Bach’s setting of the text Die Seele ruht in Jesu Händen (‘The soul rests in Jesus’ hands’): originally a cantata movement for soprano soloist, this piano solo arrangement was made by pianist Harold Bauer.
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As we face the next steps of local and national restrictions, we hope that New Paths’ music – live or virtual – brings you comfort and sustenance to face the winter ahead.
With all best wishes,
Roland and Libby