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Mark Padmore helps launch new Norfolk and Norwich chamber music season

PUBLISHED: 10:23 28 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:31 28 September 2017

Tenor Mark Padmore 
who will be performing the opening concert of the 2017/18 season. Photo: Marco Borggreve

Tenor Mark Padmore who will be performing the opening concert of the 2017/18 season. Photo: Marco Borggreve

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The celebrated tenor is joined by the Austrian pianist Till Fellner for the opening concert of the new Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music season, the first to be programmed by new artistic director Misha Donat.

Austrian pianist Till Fellner who will be joining Mark Padmore for the concert on September 30. Photo: SubmittedAustrian pianist Till Fellner who will be joining Mark Padmore for the concert on September 30. Photo: Submitted

One of the country’s foremost tenors Mark Padmore is joined by the Austrian pianist Till Fellner for the opening concert of the new Norfolk and Norwich Chamber Music season this weekend.

It is the start of what promises to be quite a season too, the first to be programmed by NNCM’s new artistic director, Misha Donat, writer, lecturer and senior music producer for BBC Radio 3 for more than 25 years.

Having given pre-concert talks at prestigious venues in both the UK and US, as well as writing programme notes particularly for the Wigmore Hall and currently working on a new edition of the Beethoven piano sonatas, putting together the season was a passion.

Berlin-based Kuss Quaret will visit the John Innes Centre for a concert on October 14. Photo: Molina VisualsBerlin-based Kuss Quaret will visit the John Innes Centre for a concert on October 14. Photo: Molina Visuals

“It has given me great pleasure in putting the 2017/18 programme together and I hope that chamber-music aficionados will enjoy not only the music but the internationally-renowned artists that are coming to Norwich to perform it,” he says.

“The core of the chamber-music repertoire is well represented with the complete piano trios of Beethoven as well as no fewer than four of his string quartets and a small handful of works for solo piano. The season also includes Schubert’s last quartet together with his final triptych of piano sonatas and a group of his Lieder as well as Mozart’s sumptuous Serenade for 13 Winds, Mendelssohn’s irresistibly-youthful Octet for strings and Schumann’s Dichterliebe plus one of his late piano trios.

“Some of the programmes range farther afield. There is, for instance, a healthy sprinkling of music by the Hungarian contingent: Bartók’s Fourth Quartet - perhaps the greatest of the half-dozen he composed - and pieces by the two leading Hungarian composers of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, György Kurtág and György Ligeti. Other contemporary composers represented include Wolfgang Rihm and Luciano Berio.”

Vienna Piano Trio will perform a concert of three composers they have long championed. Photo: Nancy HorowitzVienna Piano Trio will perform a concert of three composers they have long championed. Photo: Nancy Horowitz

There is much to discover during the course of the season then and it gets underway with a song recital by Mark Padmore who has worked with many of the world’s foremost orchestras, recorded a wide and varied repertory with major labels and won numerous awards and honours.

His concert at the John Innes Centre on September 30, sees him joining forces with the Austrian pianist Till Fellner to perform some of Schubert’s most subtle and hauntingly-beautiful songs including ‘Die Sterne’ in which the twinkling of the stars in the piece is suggested in the delicate repeated notes of the piano part and ‘Das Zugenglöcklein where the tolling of a small bell is evoked by a single note chiming throughout.

The recital concludes with Schumann’s Dichterliebe (A Poet’s Love), the most heart-breaking and tragic of all his song-cycles and the best known.

Painist Imogen Cooper will be performing on NOvember 18. Photo: Sim Canetty-ClarkePainist Imogen Cooper will be performing on NOvember 18. Photo: Sim Canetty-Clarke

The season then continues with Prague-based Pavel Haas Quartet (Oct 8) and the Berlin-based Kuss Quartet (Oct 14) who will play Beethoven’s youthfully-exuberant Quartet in D, Op.18, No.3 and Schubert’s Quartet in G, the last and largest of his string quartets.

The Vienna Piano Trio (Oct 28) will visit with a well-planned programme comprising Haydn, Wolfgang Rihm and Schumann, while Imogen Cooper - one of this country’s best-loved pianists - offers a contrasting programme that includes Thomas Adès’s Darknesse Visible (Nov 18).

Three leading players of the younger generation - Alec Frank-Gemmill (horn), Joe Puglia (violin) and Alasdair Beatson (piano) - come together (December 10) to play György Ligeti’s Horn Trio, a fascinating piece and a tribute to Brahms’ similarly-scored Horn Trio in E flat, which also forms part of the programme.

The Gould Piano Trio will be performing the complete paino trios ogf Beethoven. Photo: Jake MorleyThe Gould Piano Trio will be performing the complete paino trios ogf Beethoven. Photo: Jake Morley

Dates in 2018 include long-established Gould Piano Trio (Jan 20-21), French-based quartet Quatuor Ébène (Jan 27), one of the most versatile ensembles of its kind performing today, and Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi (Feb 10), a former BBC New Generation Artist admired for his sensitive interpretations of Mozart and Schubert.

Members of the Haffner Wind Ensemble (Feb 18) are well known as chamber musicians, soloists and principals in the Britten Sinfonia. There will be a concert by Turkish-American pianist/harpsichordist Tolga Atalay Ün (Mar 17), and the season concludes with the Elias Quartet ((April 21) who’ll be joined by the Navarra Quartet in Mendelssohn’s irrepressibly exuberant Octet, a perfectly-achieved and highly-original work composed by a boy of 16.

• Mark Padmore & Till Fellner, John Innes Centre, Colney, Norwich, September 30, 7.30pm, £25, £5 student under-25, 01603 598595, norwichchambermusic.co.uk/tickets

• For full details of the 2017/18 season visit: norwichchambermusic.co.uk

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