Hellensmusic preview

by Christopher Morley
Hellensmusic is based in a haunted 1000-year-old manor house in Much Marcle, deep in Herefordshire.and the festival has certainly been haunted by bad luck this year as it prepares for its week-long run.
An attractive and unusual opening concert had been announced for May 1, with the Kurdish singer-songwriter Hani Mojtahedy performing her liberating songs alongside a quartet of western classical musicians, but visa problems have led to its cancellation.
More bad luck has led to the withdrawal of soprano Alice Coote, due to perform a song-recital on Friday May 3, but stricken with pneumonia. Christian Blackshaw, one of Hellensmusic's festival directors, is stepping in at St Bartholomew's Church with a piano recital of Bach, Mozart, Schumann and Schubert.
Christian is joined by violinists Maya Iwabuchi and Markus Daunert, co-festival director violist Mate Szucs and cellist Bruno Delepelaire for Brahms' F minor Piano Quintet (May 2), in a concert beginning with Schubert's enigmatic Quartettsatz and including Weber's Clarinet Quintet with clarinettist Matthew Hunt.

Matthew Hunt and these string-players, all drawn from various prestigious European orchestras, deliver Hellensmusic's concluding formal concert, joined by pianist Julien Quentin, tumbling with a variety of offerings including the Suite from Stravinsky's Soldier's Tale on May 4. Farewells will be made next day with concerts from the music college students who have been attending masterclasses with the professionals all through the week.
Details on www.hellensmanor.com or. 01531 660504

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