West Cork Chamber Music Festival 2016


01Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20160927

John Toal presents highlights from the 21st West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

We begin in the opulence and grandeur of the Library in Bantry House for Schumann's song-like Märchenerzählungen Op. 132. Written across 3 days in 1853, for the unusual combination of clarinet, viola and piano, the work evokes unnamed characters from children's fairytales, following in the footsteps of the many works he wrote for children.

And we remain in Bantry House for one of Schubert's most iconic works, the 'Trout' Quintet, performed by an international line-up. Using material from his earlier song 'Die Forelle' ('The Trout'), as the basis for the beautiful fourth movement of his piano quintet, the work is scored for a double bass in place of the expected second violin.

Schumann: Märchenerzählungen, Op.132

Annelien Van Wauwe, clarinet

Georgy Kovalev, viola

José Gallardo, piano

Schubert: Piano Quintet in A major, D.667 (Trout)

Elina Vähälä, violin

Lilli Maijala, viola,

Pieter Wispelwey, cello

Olivier Thiery, double bass

02Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20160928

John Toal presents highlights from the 21st West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

Beethoven's 'Harp' Quartet, is named after his almost ecstatic use of pizzicato, especially in the coda of its first movement. It sings in spirit and carries no trace of the personal trauma Beethoven was experiencing at the time. It's performed here in the Bantry's St. Brendan's Church, by the Chiaroscuro Quartet.

From quartet talents to duo skills, with Schulhoff's Duo for Violin and Cello, written in 1925. It was performed as part of the final concert in the Festival by Irish violinist Mairead Hickey and Dutch cellist Ella van Poucke.

Beethoven: String Quartet in E flat, Op.74, Harp

Schulhoff: Duo for violin and cello

Mairead Hickey, violin

Ella van Poucke, cello.

Chiaroscuro Quartet

03Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20160929

John Toal presents highlights from the 21st West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

We begin in the magical setting of St. Brendan's Church, with Beethoven's Erocia Variations, Op.35, written in 1802: the longest and most substantial set of variations he'd composed to date. It's performed here by the Georgian pianist Tamar Beraia.

That's followed by one of Bloch's greatest achievements, his First Piano Quintet, written during his time spent in Cleveland. Bloch treats the piano as an ensemble instrument rather than a soloist. His moods are extreme: serenity contrasts with savagery, while primitive passions are made to yield to nobility and tenderness. It's performed in the intimate Library of Bantry House by an international line-up.

Beethoven: Fifteen Variations and a Fugue on an Original Theme in E flat (Eroica Variations), Op.35

Tamar Beraia, piano

Bloch: Piano Quintet No.1

Nurit Stark, violin

Mairead Hickey, violin

Georgy Kovalev, viola

Monika Leskovar, cello

Cédric Pescia, piano.

04Radio 3 Lunchtime Concert20160930

John Toal presents highlights from the 21st West Cork Chamber Music Festival.

We begin in St. Brendan's Church, set in Bantry's market square and overlooking Bantry Bay, with Beethoven's String Quintet in C, Op.29: a neglected masterpiece written in 1801. Viola player Lawrence Power joins the Kelemen Quartet, founded in Budapest in 2010, for this performance.

We then move to the Library of Bantry House for music by the 20th-century Turkish composer Ulvi Cemal Erkin. He was sent to Paris in the 1920s to learn Western techniques and, given there were so few string quartets written in the 1930s, this powerful work was something of a trailblazer. The Borusan Quartet, founded in 2005, perform this work.

And return to the Kelemen for the last work in the programme: the upbeat Fox Dance from Léo Weiner's Divertimento No.1.

Beethoven: String Quintet in C, Op.29

Kelemen Quartet, Lawrence Power, viola

Ulvi Cemal Erkin (1906 - 1972): String Quartet

Léo Weiner (1885-1960): Fox Dance (from Divertimento No.1)

Kelemen Quartet.