BUXTON FRINGE 2014: Musicians’ challenge of Mahler symphony

Clouds Harp Quartet. Photo: Richard Ion.
Clouds Harp Quartet. Photo: Richard Ion.
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You’d hope and expect a fringe festival to produce something a bit unusual and out of the mainstream, and the Buxton Festival Fringe delivers.

John Kilpatrick says this will be the last performance by the Sheffield Lydian Ensemble and it is playing his Jumblies Suite among other pieces. Skilled musicianship is also to be expected from the Clouds Harp Quartet.

Partita returns for the 20th year. The High Peak Orchestra – with local cello soloist Miriam Brown – will be playing Mahler’s 4th and Schumann’s cello concerto.

The Derbyshire City and County Youth Orchestra has an intensive summer school at the end of which it plays a concert including, this year, Holst’s Planet Suite.

Smaller in scale is the Amaretti Chamber Orchestra, with a programme including popular pieces by Debussy, Vaughan Williams and Strauss. The 40-strong Manchester Recorder Orchestra also returns to play Vivaldi plus some specially-written pieces.

There will be prodigious blowing from the Sovereign Saxophone Octet, celebrating the 200th birthday of Adolphe Sax. And K’antu Ensemble return with two different concerts of music and a workshop for children.

For guitar fans, David Youngs is an acoustic virtuoso and Kenny Robertson promises an aural history of rock guitar. By contrast, ARKangel’s Lullaby of Andalusia features flamenco guitar and violin.

Pianists John Thomson and Jonathan Ellis return. John will be playing Beethoven, Chopin and Bartók, while Jonathan will include pieces by Bach, Mussorgsky as well as Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. At a separate recital Jonathan will play with violinist Duncan Reid; featured will be Beethoven’s Kreutzer Sonata as well as pieces by Brahms and Bartók.

Rachel Johnson and Jemima Palfreyman will bring a delightful recital of flute and piano music, the centre-piece being a sonata by Prokofiev. Lastly, but certainly not least, Mart Rodger’s Manchester Jazz is back for two vibrant and life-affirming shows.