Moorland concerts will be tripping the light fantastic
Su Carroll says this year’s Two Moors Festival is all things bright and beautiful.
As strong sunlight streamed through a stained glass window, a kaleidoscope of colours danced through the dust on the beams.
This brief moment in time was all the inspiration Two Moors Festival artistic director Penny Adie needed to come up with a theme for the festival's 13th season.
Light, she concluded, would be the focal point on which to base concerts. Once she'd started, it would become difficult to know where to stop and that is reflected in the exciting programme for the event, which opens on Wednesday.
"The wonderful Australian pianist, Jayson Gillham was the first to come on board, taking his own title of Darkness to Light – a Catharsis," she writes in the introduction to the festival programme.
"He spent hours of research in producing his programme to reflect this idea. Another brilliant pianist, John Lenehan links piano music with black and white films of the Charlie Chaplin era.
"Britten's Noye's Fludde with its joyous rainbow spectrum had no choice but to be included, involving around 150 children from a wide area."
The light fantastic continues with the inclusion of work such as Handel's Total Eclipse and Franck's violin sonata which received its first performance in the dark since no artificial light was permitted in the Musée Moderne de Peinture.
Continuing the theme, the festival even includes talks on photography, the sky at night, sparkling gem stones and stained glass. The festival begins on Wednesday at St Peter and St Mary Magdalene's Church in Barnstaple with, appropriately enough, Beginning to See The Light – a charity concert by the Callum Au Big Band.
The concert by this vibrant young band will include Duke Ellington's I'm Beginning to See The Light, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue and Bernstein's West Side Story Suite.
Other highlights include The Sun Shines with Sanju Sahai on tabla and Kiranpal Singh on santoor which will provide an introduction to the world of Indian music (October 17, Filleigh Village Hall) and Seen in Black and White – pianist John Lenehan's look at silent movies from a career in which he has arranged scores for piano for over 20 films (October 17, All Saints, North Molton).
Jayson Gillham's piano recital on October 19 in All Saints Church, Dulverton includes work from Beethoven, Wagner, Verdi and Chopin.
The eminent Carducci Quartet will give three recitals on October 23 at St John's Witheridge (10.30am, 1pm, 3pm) with three of the best loved works in chamber music – from Beethoven, Mozart and Schubert.
Christoph Berner, on piano, and cellist Mark Ylönen present Portraits of Beethoven I at St George's, Dunster, on October 24.
The festival runs from October 16-27. Full programme at thetwomoorsfestival.com.