Angela Hewitt and Rachel Podger are the standout names in Music in the Round’s autumn season of concerts in Sheffield which get underway with a ‘Bach Walk’ on the 16fh of September.
The much-celebrated pianist (13th October) offers music she is world-renowned for performing, that of Bach and it is substantial: Book 2 of The Well-Tempered Clavier, in the Crucible Studio.
The no-less illustrious Rachel Podger is across the road at Upper Chapel later in the year (6th December) with the distinguished, veteran York-based harpsichordist Peter Seymour and, naturally, a programme of Baroque violin music.
It takes in four works by Bach, two sonatas book-ending proceedings: in C minor BWV1017, and in G BWV1019 with, in between, Bach’s Cello Suite No 2 BWV1008 (transposed) and French Suite No 2 BWV813; plus, Handel’s Sonata in D and Vivaldi’s Sonata Op 2 No 12.
The season opener, the Bach Walk, is a repeat of a previous MitR event prompted by the the 250-mile walk the young Bach made on foot in 1705 to hear the revered composer Buxtehude playing the organ.
You are not being asked to walk that distance, just a mere five miles at the most between Edensor and Beeley on the Chatsworth Estate with some attractive music played by Ensemble 360’s Benjamin Nabarro and Gemma Rosefield to keep you going.
The jaunt sets off after Biber’s Passacaglia for violin at St Peter’s Church, Edensor, eventually arriving in Beeley where Bach’s Cello Suite No 1 at St Anne’s Church prepares trekkers for a return journey to Edensor by a different route.
A refreshment break over, it is then back into St Peter’s Church for Bach’s Violin Partita No 3, Britten’s Cello Suite No 3, Ysaÿe’s Violin Sonata No 2 and a selection from Bach’s Two-part Inventions.
A limited number of tickets will be available for this concert if the preceding stroll round the Chatsworth Estate has no appeal.
Venues in MitR’s autumn season are, in fact, somewhat spread out geographically for some reason.
The first of two concerts in season as part MitR’s ongoing World of Strings concert strand (Rachel Podger has the second) from the Ligeti Quartet, outstanding exponents of contemporary string quartet repertoire, is at The Leadmill (31st October).
So this is where you need to be to hear Steve Reich’s Different Trains and George Crumb’s Black Angel, plus less familiar works by John Adams, John Zorn and Tanya Tagaq.
Two lunchtime concerts from MitR’s resident musicians, the world-class Ensemble 360, finds members of the group at St Andrew’s UR Church, near the top of Upper Hanover Street (27th September), and Sheffield University’s Firth Hall (6th November).
Kodály’s Serenade Op 12 for two violins and viola and Dvořák’s Terzetto in C Op 74 for the same instruments can be heard at the first, Schumann’s Violin Sonata and Brahms’ Horn Trio at the second.
Much nearer to home (11th December), Ensemble 360 will be playing early works by Mahler – the single movement Piano Quartet in A minor; Josef Suk (Dvořák’s future father-in-law) – Piano Quartet Op 1; and Brahms – Piano Quartet No 2, at Upper Chapel.
There is more Brahms when the ensemble performs on home-ground, the Crucible Studio (1st December), his String Quartet Op 51 No 1 which precedes a new work for piano quintet by Laurence Osborn commissioned by the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Completing the concert, Korngold’s largely exuberant Piano Quintet Op 15, written nearly a decade and half before Hollywood came calling, often leaves you wondering where he would have gone had it not.
Also in the Studio, the visiting Doric String Quartet (16th November), which has come up with a highly acclaimed recording of the Korngold (with Kathryn Stott) in recent times, is on more familiar ground with Haydn’s Op 33 No 1, Bartók’s No 5 and Beethoven’s Op 131.
Meanwhile, the Leonore Piano Trio reach the sixth concert of eight taking in the complete Beethoven piano trios, violin and cello sonatas (13th November) with the Cello Sonata Op 5 No 2, Variations for Piano Trio Op 44, Violin Sonata Op 24 Spring and Trio Op 11.
The season’s collaborative concert with Sheffield Jazz (12th October) brings the Jean Toussaint All-Star Sextet to town and, in association with the University of Sheffield Concert Season, the popular world music ensemble Rafiki Jazz will be ‘Up Close!’ on the Crucible’s main stage (5th November).
Further details, including start times and ticket prices (were you aware that under 35s can see many of the concerts for £5?) at www.musicintheround.co.uk