We’re grateful to the local community publication for its support and coverage of our festivals since the start of New Paths.
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William Butler Yeats, widely considered to be one of the greatest poets of the English language, was born on this day in 1865. We pay tribute to this towering figure of 20th century literature with his much-loved poem, He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven:
Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet; Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W. B. Yeats was a favourite poet of composers of Rebecca Clarke’s generation and these beautiful words inspired one of her earliest mature songs. She also set Yeats’ classic Down by the Salley Gardens to music, as did her contemporary, Ivor Gurney:
Down by the salley gardens my love and I did meet;
She passed the salley gardens with little snow-white feet.
She bid me take love easy, as the leaves grow on the tree;
But I, being young and foolish, with her would not agree.
In a field by the river my love and I did stand,
And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand.
She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs;
But I was young and foolish, and now am full of tears
Gurney’s song can be heard here in a performance by festival artist, mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately:
We are delighted that Kitty appears at the festival in Beverley on 27th September in a recital with New Paths’ artistic director Libby Burgess – who shares a birthday with Yeats! And so we end this news post by wishing Libby a very happy birthday. We greatly look forward to her collaboration with Kitty in the autumn.
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We are delighted that Martin Roscoe is joined by Jennifer Pike for the closing concert of the 2019 Beverley Chamber Music Festival on 28th September. Their beautiful programme includes one of the best-loved pieces of English music, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.
The iconic piece is a thread which runs through Jennifer’s summer: on Friday and Saturday (14th and 15th June) she performs and records an arrangement of the piece for violin and chamber choir with the Swedish Chamber Choir in Gothenburg; and in July she plays the version of the piece for violin and orchestra with the BBC Philharmonic at the Buxton Festival.
In Beverley we hear the piece in its original scoring for violin and piano. Vaughan Williams began working on it in 1914 just before the outbreak of the First World War. Inspired by George Meredith’s poem of the same name about the song of the skylark, the piece became for the English a symbol of the longing for beauty and freedom. The manuscript copy for violin and piano,which shows cuts, additions and corrections in the composer’s hand, as well as the poem on the front cover, can be seen in the British Library:
Many people will remember Jennifer’s poignant playing of the piece in Westminster Abbey in 2014 at the solemn service of commemoration on the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War. In this news post we share a video of her performing it the following year in New York:
Join us in the East Riding of Yorkshire this autumn to hear this “silver chain of sound”.
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We are thrilled to welcome mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately to the 2019 Beverley Chamber Music Festival for a recital with Libby Burgess.
Their recital includes the world premiere of America composer Juliana Hall’s Godiva – a monodrama for mezzo-soprano and piano on a libretto by Caitlin Vincent. The full programme can be seen here.
Listen to Kitty singing Ivor Gurney’s beautiful setting of W. B. Yeats’ Down by the salley gardens:
Kitty and her dad were featured in The Sunday Times Magazine this weekend. Read the article here.
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Local internet TV channel, BillboardTV, ran an interview with New Paths’ founder, Roland Deller, and artistic director, Libby Burgess, about the fourth New Paths spring festival in its March broadcast. Watch the interview here:
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The 51st edition of Just Beverley magazine ran this story about the fourth New Paths Music spring festival on Page 9:
A link to the online version of the magazine can be found here.
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On 29th March 2019, the East Riding Mail published this nice article about the festival, headlined “On the right path for four days of inspirational music”:
The online version of the article can be viewed here.
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