Posted by & filed under The Music, Uncategorized.

The great trumpeter and composer Kenny Wheeler, who died yesterday, appeared a number of times at St George’s, where his unmistakeable flugelhorn sound – simultaneously full-bodied and half-formed, plangent (that inevitable trumpet adjective), melancholy, always distinctive – found a perfect complement in the hall’s celestial reverb.


He performed with his own orchestra (a big band including Lee Kontiz, who Kenny had first encountered as a teenager in his native Canada, when he attended a Claud Thornhill gig) in a celebration of his 75th birthday in 2005, playing music from the superb ECM double album ‘Music For Large and Small Ensembles’ plus a special BBC commission, and the following year in a double bill of two Wheeler bands, the drummer-less trio Ordessa and a less restrained quintet. He also appeared with pianist Fred Hersch, singer Norma Winstone and percussionist Paul Clarvis in the group 4 in Perspective.

But my favourite Wheeler performance, and one of my favourite jazz performances ever, was the 1999 date by the quintet of Kenny, Lee Konitz, bassist Dave Holland and guitarist John Abercrombie (replacing the album’s Bill Frisell) playing music from ‘Angel Song’. There’s an interview with the publicity-averse Wheeler (a shy, quietly humorous man) that I did at the time here, and a review of the show here.
One other moment stands out, from a Dave Holland octet concert at St George’s that I can’t manage to date, maybe about 10 years ago. It was a mixed American and Anglo band and when Wheeler had completed one of his quite outstandingly beautiful and perfectly constructed solos, the saxophonist Antonio Hart turned to his fellow band-members and then to the audience and mouthed a silent “WTF” reaction accompanied by a too-hot-to-handle mime. It eloquently spoke for us all, for Kenny Wheeler was a giant of contemporary jazz, yet many US jazzmen had barely heard of him. Happily, that sound lives on in Bristol through the example of trumpeter, composer and bandleader Andy Hague, who studied with Kenny in the Banff summer school in Canada, and whose own excellent original work always brings that handy adjective “Wheeleresque” to mind.

Phil Johnson – Senior Programme Producer

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with Tom Service and Jessica Isaacs
introduced by Suzanne Rolt

Meet presenter, Tom Service and Editor, Jessica Isaacs to find out more about the planning of the Brahms Experience week and an opportunity to ask any questions about Radio 3.

This event takes place in the crypt.

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with Natasha Loges

Brahms and the Future

Brahms lived in a time of tremendous change. The idea of the ‘future’ was never far from peoples’ minds, as they saw new technology emerging, the political map of Europe redrawn, and long-cherished ideas of art and culture overturned. In this talk Natasha Loges will look at how Brahms felt about the future: recording technology, piano design – and his own place in the future of Western art music.
Broadcast at 22:45 on Friday 10 October


Natasha Loges teaches at the Royal College of Music, where she has responsibility for research-based and taught postgraduate programmes.

She is a pianist and a frequent commentator on the music of Brahms and his contemporaries. Future publications include (with Katy Hamilton), ‘The Singer-Songwriters of the German Lied’ Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2016). Her coedited volume Brahms in the Home and the Concert Hall: Between Private and Public Performance appears with Cambridge University Press in autumn 2014.

Running Time: 30 minutes approx
This event is being recorded for broadcast / No late admittance

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with Lesley Chamberlain

Brahms and Nature

With Lesley Chamberlain. In the German Romantic tradition Nature is Art’s rival and the artist’s consolation. Brahms’s love of nature, which came to him in hours of shared and solitary walking, intensified the demands he made on himself as a composer.
Broadcast at 22:45 on Tuesday 7 October

Brahms and Freud

Brahms and Freud co-existed in Vienna, as psychoanalysis was being born. But they belong to two vastly different epochs: what can we learn by setting them side by side?

Often at a loss for words, frequently gruff and spiky, Brahms was a man with complex personal traits. Devastated by his parents disintegrating marriage, he found relationships exceptionally difficult. A question Freud once asked of us all might help us understand the hidden personality of Johannes Brahms: what is the sublimation of sexual desire, and how much unfulfilled libido can we bear?

Lesley Chamberlain takes us back to the Vienna of the 1890s, where Brahms was composing his late masterpieces and Freud was carrying out his groundbreaking early work.
Broadcast at 22:45 on Thursday 9 October


Lesley Chamberlain is a historian of ideas and novelist who specialises in German and Russian culture of the last two centuries. Among her fourteen books are Nietzsche in Turin (1996) and The Secret Artist A Close Reading of Sigmund Freud (2000), both of them unconventional non-fiction works exploring the creativity of exceptional German-speaking writers and thinkers. She has loved German music from an early age, principally Beethoven, Schumann and Wagner, with Brahms’s chamber music as a later passion.

She writes: “Brahms is an astonishingly varied composer. The cultural inheritance particularly in the small and intimate compositions includes a vivid sense of art competing with nature to create beauty, the kind of topic I can never leave alone. Freud was not the vulgarian many people assume when it came to the inner workings of the creative personality although I thought I’d better spring to Brahms’s defence if an unconventional sex life was going to be made a condition of his fabulously romantic output.”

Running Time: 30 minutes approx
This event is being recorded for broadcast / No late admittance

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with Natasha Loges

Public Brahms, Private Brahms

In this talk, Natahsa Loges will explore Brahms as a private musician. She writes “Brahms has a reputation as a rather fearsome, gruff personality. I have long been interested in how this picture could be reconciled with the composer of such tender, intimate music as the famous Lullaby and the late piano works. I turned to the memoirs and letters of those who knew him best, his friends from his native Hamburg, and Vienna, where he lived for over thirty years“.
Broadcast at 22:45 on Monday 6 October

Brahms and Germany

When Brahms was in his late thirties, a long-cherished dream came true – the birth of a unified, strong German nation under the Iron Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Most of the time, Brahms deliberately kept his music free of political associations, but occasionally, he allowed his music to be the vehicle for his views. In this talk, Natahsa Loges explores the nationalist elements of his music, his relationship to the more openly patriotic Richard Wagner, and the ways in which his ‘German’ image was manipulated in the next century.
Broadcast at 22:45 on Wednesday 8 October


Natasha Loges teaches at the Royal College of Music, where she has responsibility for research-based and taught postgraduate programmes.

She is a pianist and a frequent commentator on the music of Brahms and his contemporaries. Future publications include (with Katy Hamilton), ‘The Singer-Songwriters of the German Lied’ Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming 2016). Her coedited volume Brahms in the Home and the Concert Hall: Between Private and Public Performance appears with Cambridge University Press in autumn 2014.

Running Time: 30 minutes approx
This event is being recorded for broadcast / No late admittance

Posted by & filed under Learn with us.

DSCF4402

St George’s Bristol recently showcased a fantastic exhibition, featuring artworks created by children from six local primary schools, inspired by Saint Saens Carnival of the Animals.

Many of the images can now be viewed online at http://www.stgeorgesbristol.co.uk/learn-with-us-2/carnival-of-the-animals-gallery/

Is there a piece of music that gets your creative juices flowing? Or a sound that inspires you to paint, draw and sculpt? If so, get in touch, as we are keen to repeat this project in future and would love to have your help choosing a theme.

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Boasting the most star-studded line up to date, and offering a diverse array of festival activities, May Day Bank Holiday 2015 promises to be bigger than ever…

BFF welcomes its patron Seth Lakeman to the stage for the first time since 2011’s inaugural festival as he plays with one of the incredible headliners – folk supergroup The Full English. Also comprising Sam Sweeney, Fay Hield, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Ben Nicolls, Rob Habron, The Full English are recent recipients of the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Group and Album of the Year!

2013 BBC R2 Young Folk Award and 2014‘s Horizon Award winners Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar will also be joining us. Following glowing critical acclaim from fRoots and The Telegraph, these hotly tipped young guns have both been professionally trained from a young age, and are set to be one of the future’s legendary folk duos.

Bristol’s own Heg & The Wolf Chorus return by popular demand, championing their other-worldly breed of folk music. Having supported the Moulettes, Arthur Brown, Lucy Ward and Bridie Jackson & The Arbour, they are one of the South West’s rapidly rising talents.

Many more names from the long list of incredible folk artists booked for this year will be revealed over the coming months, and this will of course also include the winners of the festival’s Isambard Folk Award.

In addition to the two main stages of music at St George’s and The Folk House, smaller stages like last year’s very successful Doric Stage will provide a platform for the scene’s rising and lesser known talents. Ceilidhs, workshops, stalls, talks, plenty of sumptuous regional food and drink, and, naturally, Bristol’s much-loved Morris dancers will also feature as part of a rich and diverse selection of things to watch, listen to and get involved in.

You can find out more about the festival and its history, get updates on the line-up and book tickets at bristolfolkfestival.co.uk.


Earlybird Ticket Offer

Book in advance and get a Weekend Ticket for £60 (Usual price £70)

 

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Boasting the most star-studded line up to date, and offering a diverse array of festival activities, May Day Bank Holiday 2015 promises to be bigger than ever…

BFF welcomes its patron Seth Lakeman to the stage for the first time since 2011’s inaugural festival as he plays with one of the incredible headliners – folk supergroup The Full English. Also comprising Sam Sweeney, Fay Hield, Martin Simpson, Nancy Kerr, Ben Nicolls, Rob Habron, The Full English are recent recipients of the 2014 BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards for Best Group and Album of the Year!

2013 BBC R2 Young Folk Award and 2014‘s Horizon Award winners Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar will also be joining us. Following glowing critical acclaim from fRoots and The Telegraph, these hotly tipped young guns have both been professionally trained from a young age, and are set to be one of the future’s legendary folk duos.

Bristol’s own Heg & The Wolf Chorus return by popular demand, championing their other-worldly breed of folk music. Having supported the Moulettes, Arthur Brown, Lucy Ward and Bridie Jackson & The Arbour, they are one of the South West’s rapidly rising talents.

Many more names from the long list of incredible folk artists booked for this year will be revealed over the coming months, and this will of course also include the winners of the festival’s Isambard Folk Award.

In addition to the two main stages of music at St George’s and The Folk House, smaller stages like last year’s very successful Doric Stage will provide a platform for the scene’s rising and lesser known talents. Ceilidhs, workshops, stalls, talks, plenty of sumptuous regional food and drink, and, naturally, Bristol’s much-loved Morris dancers will also feature as part of a rich and diverse selection of things to watch, listen to and get involved in.

You can find out more about the festival and its history, get updates on the line-up and book tickets at bristolfolkfestival.co.uk


Earlybird Ticket Offer

Book in advance and get a Weekend Ticket for £60 (Usual price £70)

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A Candlelight Christmas

Choir TBC

The UK’s best-selling classical artist Russell Watson embarks on a unique tour for a very special candlelight Christmas concert with a choir.

Russell Watson never imagined he’d someday be one of the world’s most prominent tenors, selling in excess of seven million albums worldwide. To date there have been nine studio albums, each one winning more critical acclaim than the one before. His first offering ‘The Voice’, held simultaneous number 1 slots in the US and the UK, a world’s first! It spent a record breaking 52 weeks at number 1 in the UK!

This tour will not only see Russell performing in some of the country’s most beautiful buildings by candlelight but also a chance to see him collaborate with a wonderful choir performing seasonal songs. Russell Said:

“This will be my first Christmas tour. I’m really excited to be performing in what will be a unique experience for me, just to piano in an intimate environment in the glorious surroundings of some of the most prestigious Cathedrals and Minsters in the UK.”

“He sings like Pavarotti, and entertains the audience like Sinatra”

NY Times

russellwatson.com


Please note that the majority of the tickets for this event are available from third party websites such as Ticketmaster and See Tickets.