Taking place from 10th-18th February, this year’s Festival celebrates musical friendships, inspirations and dedications across six concerts.
The opening weekend sees concerts at Hellens Manor, Much Marcle on Saturday,10 February at 7pm and Sunday,11 February at 3pm. Both concerts focus on Haydn and Schubert, their links, two generations apart, with the aristocratic Esterhazy family, and the younger composer’s reverence for the elder. The Saturday concert includes Schubert’s popular ‘Death and the Maiden’ String Quartet.
On Tuesday 13 February at 7pm the Festival musicians will be performing in the Recital Hall at Haberdasher’s Girls School, Monmouth, with a very romantic programme for Valentine’s Day Eve. Co-Artistic Director, Daniel Tong, explains:
“Valentine's Day is definitely in the air for this concert! Married couple Malin Broman (violin) and Simon Crawford-Phillips (piano) will be playing one of the most romantic of all Sonatas by Cesar Franck, given to the great violinist Ysaye as a wedding present. And this spirit of Romantic passion runs through the programme: Schumann wrote his D minor Trio for his wife Clara to play, full of his passion for her, and two of our musicians performing it at this concert, Alice Neary (cello) and David Adams (viola) are married to each other”.
If you are coming to the Festival for the first time and wondering which concerts to choose, Co-Artistic Director Daniel Tong has some advice:
“I would suggest one of the opening concerts of the festival in the beautiful surroundings of the barn at Hellens Manor. The music is approachable but also passionate and dramatic and the atmosphere at Hellens is really convivial and welcoming. Otherwise, the concert at Monmouth School for Girls is easily accessible and contains some of the most heartfelt Romantic music ever written.”
The three concerts in the second half of the Festival focus on individual figures who inspired the musicians around them: Ignaz Schuppanzigh, the violinist who premiered multiple chamber works by both Beethoven and Schubert and Hans von Bülow, influential pianist and conductor, who championed music by both Brahms and Wagner.
The Festival Discovery Day on Saturday 17th February is this year hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenter Katy Hamilton and explores the influence of violinist-composer Eugène Ysaÿe. Tickets for this very popular day of concerts and talks, with lunch included, at Treowen Manor, Wonastow, near Monmouth are already selling fast.
Tickets for all concerts are available now from ticketsource.co.uk/wyevalleyfestival.
For full concert listings and any updates, visit wyevalleyfestival.com