November’s concert features the wind quintet Cinquain (Elizabeth Walker- flute, James Eastaway- oboe, Jane Booth- clarinet, Catriona McDermid- bassoon, Jonathan Farey- horn) in a varied programme of stunning music written and arranged for wind quintet.
Byrd arr. McDermid– Vigilate
Nielsen Wind Quintet op. 43
Each piece exposes the intrinsic character of the five instruments. The concert starts with the aptly named Humoreske, a one movement Allegretto, written by Alexander Von Zemlinsky at the end of his life in New York (1939). The primary theme, lively yet whimsical, returns in Rondo form throughout the piece. The second piece, in total contrast, is an arrangement by Catriona, of William Byrd’s Vigilate for voices, first published in 1589. The text of this motet reads “Watch ye therefore (for you know not when the lord of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in the morning): Watch therefore, lest coming on a sudden, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch.”
Finally, Cinquain finish the concert with the remarkable Nielsen Wind Quintet. Nielsen commented “each instrument is like a person who sleeps, whom I have to wake to life.” And this he achieves with character. The bassoon initiates the first movement with a lyric awakening melody and a chattering second theme, full of leaps and grace notes. The second movement is a classical feeling Minuet and Trio, the clarinet and bassoon sharing the tune, followed by the pairing of flute and oboe. The finale is longer than the first two movements combined. It opens with slow and dark Praeludium with a particularly rich colouring from the oboist swapping to play the cor anglaise, and the flute repeatedly falling down to the lowest available note of B natural, followed by a theme and eleven variations, and brief finale. The theme is taken from a solemn chorale tune by Nielsen “My Jesus, make my heart to love Thee” from his Hymns and Sacred Songs of 1912-16.
Elizabeth Walker performs regularly on baroque, 8 keyed and modern flutes, primarily in orchestras based in the UK, and has given solo recitals in festivals and conventions in Holland, Toronto, Chicago and Orlando, Switzerland and throughout the UK. She teaches at the specialist music school in Wells and runs the successful summer flute course ‘Flutes in Tuscany’. Elizabeth is an International Artist for Pearl Flutes and has recorded the Telemann Solo Fantasias “…if you like her sound as much as I do, you will want to listen to…Elizabeth’s recent recording of Telemann Fantasias… over and over again”. British Flute Society Journal and the Flute Sonatas by J.S. Bach for Quartz Music and a CD of Schubert’s works for flute and piano for Devine Music. http://www.lizwalker.co.uk
James Eastaway specialises in playing period oboes in repertoire from Lully to Stravinsky. He has played principle oboe for all the leading period ensembles under conductors such as Trevor Pinnock, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Sir Mark Elder and Sir Charles MacKerras including for 3 seasons at Glyndebourne. Performing has taken him all over the world from Carnegie Hall and Sydney Opera House to St Petersburg Philharmonic Hall, Theatre Beijing And Iona Abbey. Also trained as a doctor James is fascinated by the natural world and spends his free time gardening and looking after 11 acres of Kentish woodland.
Jane Booth is a specialist in the early clarinet and chalumeau. Previously Head of Historical Performance at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London, Jane now leads their successful Coaching and Mentoring Faculty within Guildhall Innovation. In addition to regular masterclasses and international adjudicating, she has pursued a busy international career, playing all over the world with many renowned ensembles including the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Tafelmusik and The Academy of Ancient Music. Jane has recorded for Analekta (Canada), ATMA (Canada) and sfz music (UK) and Devine Music (UK) performing Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet, solo repertoire for the Basset Horn, wind music by Gossec and Méhul and Lieder by Schubert. Her chamber music discs, Mozart Chamber Music Vols.1 & 2 (Devine Music 2017, 18), and Beethoven and the art of Arrangement with Ensemble DeNOTE (Omnibus Classics, 2015) gained 4* and 5* reviews in The Observer, The Guardian and Early Music Review.
Catriona McDermid leads a varied career as a modern and period instrument bassoonist and keen educator, with recent highlights including her solo performance on BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’ and premiering a new work by Toby Young with Navarra String Quartet. Catriona is in demand as an orchestral bassoonist, playing guest principal with orchestras such as London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and RTÉ Symphony Orchestra and she also performs with leading period instrument ensembles such as English Baroque Soloists, Florilegium, English Touring Opera. As a soloist Catriona is a former Countess of Munster and Handel House Talent artist. Catriona is also a passionate chamber musician, as a baroque bassoonist performing with ensembles Ensemble Molière and Convivio. As a modern player she is a member of wind quintet Magnard Ensemble, current Making Music artists and previous Tillett Trust, Tunnell Trust and Britten Pears Chamber Music Residency artists.
Jonathan Farey is a freelance horn player, based in London since completing a Masters at the Royal Academy of Music with distinction, and an undergraduate in Maths and Music at Cardiff University. Recent engagements include performances with the Royal Opera House, BBC Symphony Orchestra and Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Jonathan’s passion for chamber music has led him to concerts with the European Union Chamber Orchestra, Schubert’s ‘Auf dem Strom’ alongside Ailish Tynan and Simon Lepper, as well as the Brahms Horn Trio with the Peddibi Trio.