Festival programme 2020

The 8th annual Whittington International Chamber Music Festival – “Folklassical” – will take place from May 12 to 17 2020. It will bring together world-class folk and classical artists from Britain, Hungary and the Alpine Region to explore the inspiration behind some of our best loved classical composers.

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Festival Schedule

Tuesday and Wednesday 12th and 13th May 2020

Folk and Classical Music of Scotland and Europe. Two Concerts with the Maxwell Quartet and Donald Grant and Friends in which music by Haydn and others will interweave seamlessly with Scottish and other folk music. The world-class performers, all of them outstanding in both genres, will have spent some days together locally putting together two events which will be both unique and unforgettable.

Tuesday 12th May

Donald Grant and Friends

– an evening of traditional and contemporary Scottish folk music, in a collaboration with the Maxwell Quartet, plus James Barralet (cello) and Francis Kefford (viola).

Wednesday 13th May

The Maxwell Quartet and Friends

Haydn: Quartet in C Op 74 no 1
Music by Niel and Nathaniel Gow
James Oswald: Sonata of Scots Tunes
Trad. Folk tunes of Scotland, arr. Maxwell Quartet
James MacMillan: Memento
Haydn: Quartet in G minor Op 74 no 3

Thursday and Friday 14th and 15th May 2020

Folk and Classical Music of Hungary. Two Concerts presented by the amazing Muzsikás folk ensemble from Hungary, together with the celebrated Navarra Quartet. They will provide an astounding mix of authentic Hungarian folk with performances of music by Bartók and others, composers intensely influenced by their national music. Such a combination of brilliant ‘crossover’ artists is unlikely to be found anywhere else this year.

Thursday 14th May

Navarra String Quartet – Muzsikás – Hanga Kacsó (vocal)
Bartók and the traditional music of his homeland

  1. Introduction to the sources of Bartók
    I left my homeland (from Bartók archive)
    Long Flute Melodies
    Transdanubian Ugros and fast Csardas – Muzsikás string band
    Dawn song of Bodonkut – Muzsikás string band and vocal
  1. Béla Bartók: String Quartet No. 4 (1928) – movements with traditional music
    String Quartet No. 4, III. Non troppo lento
    Dances of Gyimes – violin, gardon
    String Quartet No. 4, IV. Allegretto pizzicato
  1. Traditional Dance Melodies
    Improvisation in „Mezoseg” style – Muzsikás string band
    Transilvanian String Quartet, Suita III
  1. Traditional vocal
    Ballad of the murdered shepherd – vocal, flute
    My sweet Gregory – voice, flute, lute, drum, violin
  1. Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances (1915, transcr. by Arthur Willner) with source tunes
    Bota and Invertita – Muzsikás string band
    I. Joc cu bata (Dance with Sticks)
    II. Braul (Waistband Dance)
    Pe loc (Pe Loc) – flute
    III. Pe Loc (Stamping Dance)
    IV. Buciumeana (Hornpipe Dance)
    V. Poarca Romaneasca (Romanian Polka)
    Dances of Méhkerék – Muzsikás string band
    VI.Maruntel (Quick Dance)
    VII. Maruntel (Quick Dance) – Tutti

Friday 15th May

Navarra String Quartet – Muzsikás – Hanga Kacsó (singer)
Bartók, Ligeti and traditional music of the region

  1. Csardas of Szatmar – Muzsikás string band and vocal
  2. Dances of Békás – Violins, gardon
  3. György Kurtág: Ligatura y Part I, Part II
    Round dances of Gyimes – violin, gardon
    György Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervanszky Op. 28: XV. Arioso interrotto (di Endre Szervanszky): Larghetto
  4. Béla Bartók: Violin Duos (1931), with source tunes:
    Dances of Torontál – violin, gardon
    Violin Duo No.44, No.28, No.32
    Jocul barbatesc – acapella vocal
    Dances of Maramures – mandolin, drum, violins
  5. Cvartetul Transilvan / Suita din Ardeal
  6. Dances of Kalotaszeg – Muzsikás string band
  7. Szerelem, szerelem – acapella vocal
    Fly Bird – vocal, mandolin

Saturday and Sunday 16th and 17th May 2020

Folk and Classical Music of the Alpine Region (Switzerland and Austria). These two Concerts will parade a spectacular array of traditional and regional instruments, including Swiss bagpipes and hurdy-gurdy, performed by exuberant artists – and a composer – who are acknowledged leaders in this specialist and fascinating field. Interwoven with this memorable display will be magisterial works by Haydn and Schubert.

Saturday 16th May

Tritonus Folk Band with resident and guest classical musicians

Haydn: String Quartet Op 77 No 1
Set: Tritonus with regional period instruments
Helena Winkelman: Granithörner
Leopold Mozart: Bauernhochzeit – Tutti 

Sunday 17th May 3pm

Tritonus Folk Band with resident and guest classical musicians

Set: Tritonus with regional period instruments
Corrette: Concerto for bagpipe Op. 4 No. 3 – Tutti
Schubert: String Quintet in C D956

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Previous programmes

You can find videos of performances from previous years on this website.