In a programme which ranges from early Medieval dance music to elegant baroque music for the royal courts of Europe, the new season of six concerts from the Totnes Early Music Society (TEMS) features its usual mix of musical styles, sounds and instruments, strange and familiar. This year’s programme has some outstanding young performers, who organisers say are destined for the top.
Devon Baroque return to Dartington after their summer break with a scintillating programme of music for String Orchestra and two stunning Concertos featuring the virtuoso musician Russell Gilmour on Natural Trumpet.
The human voice doesn’t really mature until twenty-five or more, so when, like Maddie Perring, you’re only sweet sixteen and giving your first solo recital, it’s not going to be the finished product just yet.
One of the nicest things about this year’s Lunchtime recital series is the diversity of instruments, musical genres and expertise on offer. It’s also been good to see that whereas some events appear more formal, others feel more casual – and something especially well-suited to a passing audience popping by for something to eat, or to catch up with friends afterwards.
When an organ recital opens with a piece called Exit, two piano solos find their way onto the programme, and the church organist – usually heard but not seen – imparts erudite knowledge with the delivery of a stand-up comedian, you know you’re in for something special.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, organ recitals have been the most frequent events in this year’s St Andrew’s Lunchtime Series. They give the instrument a regular workout, while encouraging each artist to bring something different to the table, programme-wise.
Levowan might be one of Cornwall’s smaller, and certainly newest vocal ensembles, but it kept its large audience spellbound with almost an hour’s uninterrupted singing, as part of the ongoing Lunchtime Recital Series at St Andrew’s.
Although six of this season’s lunchtime recitals involve solo organ, each one individually reflects the personality and playing style of the performer.
Perhaps it’s the bracing moorland air, but Tavistock just seems to attract one festival after another, even when the Dantes’ biennial event officially centres on the Tamar Valley.
It’s no surprise that almost half of this year’s Summer Lunchtime Recitals at St Andrew’s involve the church’s impressive organ, since it’s one of the largest in the South West.
The two most appealing things about summer lunchtime recitals at St Andrews are the diversity of styles on offer, and the range of musical expertise of the performers, from professional to amateur, and well-seasoned, to primary-school novices.
Getting two large-scale choirs to come together is one thing, but finding somewhere for them to perform could prove a lot harder.
The city has always been fortunate to have an amateur orchestra of the size and quality of Plymouth Symphony Orchestra on its doorstep.
The Gala Concert of this year’s Peninsula Arts Words and Music Festival was in many ways a joyful affair, full of schmaltzy melodies, lush orchestrations, conductor Simon Ible’s now-legendary successful mix of styles, and the contribution from soprano soloist, Jeni Bern.
When a Cabaret Duo gets to perform at a private function in Clarence House in front of members of the Royal Family, it must really be something special.
There couldn’t have been a better way to kick off this season’s series of Summer Recitals than Ed Jones’s outstanding performance at the splendid St Andrew’s organ.
This was the regular end-of-academic-year concert by the University of Plymouth Choral Society, but it also marked the end of an era.
Dartington Community Choir is one of those large-scale vocal ensembles that always seems to have the knack of appropriate programming for any time of the year.
A packed church was ready to greet their relative next-door neighbours for what was an exciting and highly-enjoyable concert, given as part of Tavistock’s ongoing Arts Festival.
There couldn’t have been a better way to finish the current season of the Totnes Early Music Society series, than this delightful recital by Concentus VII.
Presidents of musical associations and ensembles tend more often to be merely figureheads. But when you’re also a highly prolific and respected local composer in your own right, then you should expect a part of the action on the night.
With the title Mindful Visions: Metamorphosis, Daydreams and Fantasies, it was clear that the small, yet discerning audience would be in for a thought-provoking time. How much of this would appear truly engaging in the musical sense, however, would always be open to conjecture and subject to the listeners’ individual preferences.