Join us for a traditional Sunday roast lunch including Yorkshire pudding!
In honour of St George’s Day, come and hear the charming and entertaining tale of The Reluctant Dragon, set to music by UK favourite John Rutter, and performed by New Paths artists. This accessible and engaging performance will appeal to all the family. Arrive from 1:45pm for St George’s Day craft activities. Audience welcome to come dressed up as characters from the story – knights, dragons, princesses, villagers, or St George! The narrator for this captivating show is the highly talented young actress, Rachel Barnes.
Vaughan Williams’ ever-popular baritone Songs of Travel explore themes of home and travel, setting the tone of longing and belonging for today’s concert. Britten’s arrangements of popular British folksongs were written from America, a homesick nostalgia for the British Isles – while Messiaen’s flute work Le Merle Noir is inspired by the blackbird’s song of his own garden, setting up a life-long fascination with birdsong and nature. Birdsong also features in Dvorak’s American Quartet, full of the folk music of his native Bohemia, but written - like his most popular symphony - “from the new world”.
The music of Johannes Brahms and Robert Schumann reflects and celebrates many loves in their lives. Brahms remembered his beloved mother in the Horn Trio; and his love for the clarinet playing of Richard Mühlfeld drew him out of retirement to write sonatas and chamber works. Schumann composed for the love of his beloved Clara Wieck, in his choice of Lied texts and his dedication of works such as the Piano Quintet to the capable fingers of this most talented of pianists. Katy Hamilton, whose talk last year was enormously popular, discusses some of the loves and links between the two men, and the musical century from Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben to Britten’s Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo ahead of the festival’s final concert.
Two major quintets bookend this glorious closing programme: Mozart’s sublime Quintet for Piano and Winds, one of the masterpieces of all the repertoire, and Schumann’s rapturous Quintet for Piano and Strings. In the middle of the programme we visit two masters of the English song repertoire: Benjamin Britten, in his deeply personal Michelangelo Sonnets, and Gerald Finzi, is his summing up of music and art, ‘To A Poet’.
What human qualities are needed to make scientific discoveries, and which to make great art? Many would point to 'imagination' and 'creativity' in the second case but not the first. Tom McLeish FRS compares creativity in science and art, and challenges the assumption that science is in any sense less creative than art.