Monday, 23 January 2012

Classical Journey Tuesday 24 January - This week: the Counterpoint choir rehearse for 'In Memoriam', The 'Living Room in London' perform at Exeter Phoenix, The Bartholomew Quartet at St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton

Another extended show this week. While Dave Treharne is still tied up with hospital appointments, Luch will keep things going from 7.30am - until the Classical Journey starts at 10.

Chris Caldwell will be coming in to tell us all about 'Music on the Edge' - 'Live at the Long Room' in Drewesteignton this Sunday. We will be hearing from him in the studio at 9am, and hope he will stay to play us some music . . .

He did!
Chris Caldwell hits a perfect 5 on clarinet
(Music by Karlheinz Stockhausen)
Chris Caldwell listens to a surprise guest:
Catherine Cartright recites Iraqi poetry.
Tune in on 7 Feb to hear more . . .
(Photo: Cecil Hatfield)

Comedian James Mantell, who is at the Bikeshed Theatre on Wednesday night, will call in at 11.30 to tell us about his stage show 'Evolution: A Love Story', which is part of the 'Laugh Out Loud' series.

(Wednedsay 25 January 10pm, Tickets £5, Box Office 01392 434169)

In the classical music world there were three great events in Devon last week:

Thursday 19 January: Counterpoint begin rehearsal for
 'In Memoriam' at Buckfast Abbey on Saturday 11 February

A renaissance outpouring of grief, the 'In Memoriam' was for the eldest son of King James I.

Henry Prince of Wales died in 1612 when he was only 18 years old. James' remaining son, Charles succeeded in 1625. How different things might have been . . .

This concert was first performed by Counterpoint nearly eight years ago. It was extremely popular and well received. This time it promises to be even better. Details at Classical Journey Concerts and the full programme details are:

Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625): 'Drop, drop slow tears'
Thomas Morley (1577-1602): Funeral Sentences I (very moving!)
Williajm Byrd (1543-1623): 'Come to me grief for ever'
Thomas Ravenscroft (1582-1635): 'Remember, O thou man'
Thomas Morley: 'Nolo Mortem Peccatoris' (anthem for 4 voices)
Robert Ramsay (1590-1644: 'When David Heard that Absalon was Slain'
Orlando Gibbons: 'O Lord, in thy wrath rebuke me not'
Alonso Lobo (1555-1617): 'Versa est in lutum'
Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623): 'Laboravi in gemitu meo'
Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla (1590-1644): 'Circumdederunt me dolores mortis'
Thomas Morley: Funeral Sentences II (even more moving!)
Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623): 'When David heard'
William Byrd: 'Ave Verum Corpus'
William Byrd: 'Ne irascaris'
Thomas Tomkins (1572-1656): 'Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom'

An epic recital - so much beautiful and emotional music - all sung a capela by the incomparable 'Counterpoint Choir'

In rehearsal Thursday 19 Jan:

Andrew Henley
Matthew Cann
Josie Walledge
Denise Kehoe
Daisy Walford
Director of Music:
David Acres

Friday 20 January
Exeter Phoenix
'Living Room in London'
A benefit concert for the
'Friends of Buburi'
medical clinic in western Kenya.

Under the spotlight at Exeter Phoenix - 'Living Room in London'
Violins: Ellie Fagg & Tom Norris - Hang: Manu Delago
Bass Clarinet: Christoph Pepe Auer - 'Cello: Gregor Riddell
After fourteen months the wonderful 'Living Room in London' have returned to Exeter - this time with their full complement of musicians.

When they last came to Exeter, their Austrian bass clarinettist, Christoph Auer, was not able to join them .  Nevertheless, they played on magnificently, thrilling the Exeter audience, and raising money for the 'Friends of Buburi' Clinic in Kenya.

('Living Room in London' - in Exeter' St Matthew's Church, Saturday 30 October 2010)

Last Friday, with the addition of Christoph Pepe Auer, they were able to open the concert with a classic 'Living Room' piece - Manu Delago's own composition 'Constructing'.

the original 'Living Room'
Manu Delago & Christoph Pepe Auer
Manu Delago played three exotic and intriguing Swiss 'Hang' drums. Although the top of each hang (the 'ding') appears to be similar to a steelpan, as used in the 'canboulay' festival music of Trinidad, the top of the hang is convex rather than concave and, with a base of corresponding shape (the 'gu'), it forms a perfect 'Hermholz resonator'. (A wine bottle is another example - blow across the opening and the air inside resonates making a musical sound.)

Matching this extraordinary sound perfectly was the equally arresting music of Christoph Pepe Auer's bass clarinet. The stunning potential of this instrument will already be familiar to many music lovers in Devon. John Welton showed its classical potential in Stravinsky's glorious 'Rite of Spring' with the Exeter Music Group at Exeter Cathedral (24 Nov 2011). Chris Caldwell regularly pushes the limits of the instrument in 'Music on the Edge' - most memorably in 'Time and Distance' at Gallery 36 (20 November 2010).

Pepe takes things in several new directions - introducing gutteral  and percussive sounds through the mouthpiece - this has to be heard to be fully appreciated, like the etherial sound of the hang.

The 'Living Room' duo of Manu and Pepe would be well worth the cost of admission - but that's just part of the equation. 'Living Room in London' also involves three string players from the London Symphony Orchestra (fortunately free from their commitments with the orchestra for one night!)

LSO violinist Tom Norris collaborated with Pepe on an album of songs, 'Edge of the World', (showcasing Tom's great singing voice) which was produced in Pepe's home town of Vienna in 2009. Tom subsequently introduced two more LSO players - violinist Ellie Fagg (Tom's wife) and 'cellist Gregor Riddell.

soulful 'cello & bass clarinet
For 'Constructing' the string section limited themselves to accompaniment from the wings (from the back of the auditorium in fact). Then they processed down and onto the stage, still playing, and the full 'Living Room in London' experience began.

Playing together the music of these five artists was quite breathtaking.

Once they were all on stage they launched into Milton Mermikides' 'Escher Café'. M.C.Escher, we all know, delighted in creating artwork which confused the eye with optical illusions. Mermikides recreated Escher's trademark 'never-ending staircase', in sound.  Ellie's explanation was helpful - but we soon got the idea. Rising scales somehow ended up back at the same note. An auditory illusion! Pepe seemed to be working his clarinet in some strange way with his left foot which only added to the confusion. Manu elicited bewildering microtones from the 'button' on top of his hang  The combined sound was simply - spellbinding!

alto saxophone
The 'cellist, Gregor Riddell, had prepared something of his own to follow Mermikides' masterpiece. 'Tubular Pulp' pays homage to Mike Oldfield (naturally), but also to Strauss, Radiohead, Bach, Paul Simon, Igor Stravinsky and many more who have inspired the group.

Pepe treated us to some very clever alto saxophone playing, while the string players used lots of special effects, slapping the strings, tapping with the back of the bow. Gregor reintroduced his familiar ricochet style, while Pepe switched to bass clarinet for notes in incredible gutteral croaking style. Manu even inverted his hang, producing new sounds with the edge of his fist - even probing the resonance chamber to find new notes.

Very clever, but also lots of fun, this piece is a glorious orgy of sound - the more musically minded might be able to recognise the references to other musicians - but the overall effect is unique and uniquely engaging. Toccata and Fugue on hang and fiddle anyone?

Then came Manu Delago's superb sound symphony for hang, woodwind and strings - 'Rising Between the Trains'. We heard this on 'Classical Journey' on Tuesday and it made a very lasting impression. The album track is not a studio recording - it was played in an underground tunnel for maximum effect. Anyone who has used the London underground regularly - especially at night - will have a pretty good idea what this is all about. A very haunting sound of rattling metal and keening strings evokes the lonely 'tubestation at midnight' perfectly. Manu concentrated on his hang-hang, trusting the other musicians totally. Ellie's slow crawl to the highest possible note on the violin fretboard was deliciously excruciating. Fade. End of part one.

After the interval there was no hesitation. Living Room in London launched immediately into 'Lilla Kontrast'. A great start. Pepe's clarinet notes were incredibly percussive and so sensitive to Ellie's violin. Pepe lived for a while in Sweden and his name for this composition means 'Small Differences'. That sums it up nicely!

playful pizzicato
The arrangement of Miles Davis' jazz classic 'So What' which followed was a perfect tribute to the master. Miles played the trumpet solo on one of the greatest jazz albums of all time - 'Kind of Blue' in 1959. Could the 'Living Room' match that sensitivity? They recorded this track on their unique combination of instruments for the album 'Living Room in Europe'. We were listening to it on Classical Journey two weeks ago. The live version - with a couple of year's subsequent development - was quite something.
Delicate pizzicato phrases on the violins, masterful hang playing, dreamy 'cello - and the alto saxophone! Gregor played glorious glissandi on his 'cello, while Manu produced a new sound - the boom of the bass drum, created by turning the hang on edge and belting that top button.

Tom Norris sings 'Another Song'
Tom then changed the mood entirely by taking up a folk guitar - and singing. His beautiful rich voice was astounding. 'Another Song' took us on a devastating journey of remorse - about indifelity in love. The other intstruments were brought in skilfully, along with very subtle lighting effects which enhanced the mood perfectly.

Then Pepe took us on another journey - to the Indian Himalayas this time. Apparently Pepe had arranged to meet the other band members in northern India, but they were unable to join him. He stayed a while and was inspired to compose 'Indian Sandpaper'. The music tells the story of Indian contrast - terrible suffering, poverty and squalor - but also trancendental beauty. Everyone brought their offering to this piece, Gregor and Ellie reaching for the highest notes, while Pepe adjusted the controls on some kind of amplifier - distorting the sound to make it sound like the microtonal music of the sitar. This was a georgeous combination of sounds, slow, serene - and magical  - with fantastic synchronisation.


Everyone, musicians and audience, were quite dazed at the end of the piece - which was the end of the show. The musicians made their way off stage to amazed applause, returning for curtain calls. Something was needed to bring us all back down to earth.

Ellie had the perfect suggestion, which has now become their signature piece - 'Rondo à la Turc' from Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 11. With hang and bass clarinet, this is a real tour de force. Several extra flourishes have been added over the years, including a virtuoso hang solo - followed by clarinet - naturally. Crazy pizzicato, wild 'didjerido' on the clarinet, everything was new - Mozart would have loved it.

A rousing finish - Mozart's 'Rondo à la Turc'
The audience certainly were not disappointed. This was a memorable evening of music by any standards. Long may the 'Living Room in London' flourish! It must also be remembered that the group played selflessly to raise money for a very worthy local charity.
Regular listeners will recall Sallie Buck, trustee of the 'Friends of Buburi' charity, which raises money for a vital clinic in a remote part of Kenya. Sallie is also one of the nurses who works in the clinic - providing essential diagnosis and intervention for fatal, but treatable, diseases like malaria. She told us all about the work of the charity, and the clinic, and how £1,000 per month provides health care for an entire rural population in remote Kenya for a whole month.

Sallie reports that Friday's concert has so far raised - over £1,000!

Want to find out more, or how to help support the Buburi clinic?
Click here for details.

The Bartholomew String Quartet
A Classical  Gem
St Lawrence Chapel, Ashburton
Sunday 22 January 3pm

A winter Sunday afternoon in St Lawrence Chapel, AshburtonThe Bartholomew Quartet
Violins: Dawn Ashby & Anna Cockroft
Viola: Simon Jones & 'Cello: Hilary Boxer

The first concert of the St Lawrence Chapel 'Winter Snday Afternoon' series in Ashburton was a resounding success. The setting is perfect. The historic chapel, which was a school for a time, is now a listed building. It is beautiful and historically fascinating, but also wonderful for music. The Royal College of Music have chosen this venue for their examinations in the South West with good reason. The acoustic is phenomenal.

An ensemble like the Bartholomew Quartet are just right to exploit the full potential of the 'school hall'. Anna Cockroft, we know, is a superb leader. Hilary Boxer's skill and sensitivity on the 'cello goes without saying. The other two players are not so familiar - perhaps in Exeter - but equally talented. Dawn Ashby from Plymouth adds the second violin while Simon Jones plays viola.

The concert opened with the advertised Mozart - his 'Prussian Quartet'. Anna led in a glorious classical masterpiece. In the second half was something even more exciting - Mendelssohn's 'Quartet No 3', led by Dawn. Starting with 'vivace' it progresses through 'minuet' and 'andante' to the awesome 'presto con brio'. An exhilarating experience. One additional, and moving, feature of the concert was Puccini's 'Crisantemi' (Chrysanthemums). The single movement, named after the flowers which are the Italian symbol of death, reflects the grief at the death of Amadeo of Savoy in 1890. Dawn led, and the resulting sound - sad and sensitive - was almost overwhelming in that exocative musical setting - of St Lawrence Chapel.

There may be a recording for us to enjoy. Meanwhile, some pictures? . . .

Violin: Dawn Ashby
(Photograph: Cecil Hatfield)

Violin: Anna Cockroft
(PHotograph: Cecil Hatfield)

Viola: Simon Jones
(Photograph: Cecil Hatfield)

'Cello: Hilary Boxer
(Photograph: Cecil Hatfield)
that perfect pizzicato - Hilary Boxer (LCD)
Hilary Boxer - steady as ever! (LCD)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Classical Journey Tuesday 17 January

Apologies! - A well-known and reliable internet service provider, which makes this website possible, has crashed. Some extra photographs and information are available at - although somwhat garbled.
As soon as normal service is resumed, we can see news about Clive Betts, Mary O'Shea and the Force Five wind quintet, with pianist Carol Galton, all of whom performed in Exeter last week.

Luch is taking on the breakfast show this week. So tune in from 7.30am onwards for 'Beer and Baroque' - with a feature on the 43rd Festival of Winter Ales at Exeter Football Club (Friday/Saturday 20/21 Jan) and poetry from the 'monkey poet' himself, Matt Panesh (performing at the Northcott Theatre Sunday 29 Jan).

I hope you can join us . . .

     *    *     *     *     *

Many thanks to all of you who tuned in!

The Festival of Winter Ales was a great success.

Matt Panesh phoned in with details of his show and gave us one of his amazing poems - 'St George'. Want to hear more?

Elizabeth Jane Baldry's fairy harp playing was very popular. Thanks for the positive comments. We shall have pleny more of that!

News of two great concerts got held up because of internet issues - here they are now:

Clive Betts and Mary O'Shea
Guitar Recital with Soprano and Violin
St Leonards Church Tuesday 10 January 3.30pm

A glorious recital of classical guitar music, opening with traditional English and Italian folk tunes played by Clive Betts.

Mary sang three beautiful arias with guitar accompaniment: Bach's 'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring' from Cantata 147, Adolphe Adam's 'Holy Night' and Charles Gounod's setting of Bach's 'Ave Maria'.

Utterly enchanting!

Clive played a selection of preludes by the great twentieth century Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos.


Finally Mary and Clive played in duet on violin and guitar - 'A South American Medley'. 'Serteneja' from Brazil, 'Ojos Azules' from Chile, 'La Valentina' from Mexico.


Local photographer Cecil Hatfield was there to record this beautiful concert:

Guitarist Clive Betts:
 Stunning Villa-Lobos Preludes 
(Photography: Cecil Hatfield)
Soprano Mary O'Shea:
Enchanting Baroque Singing 
(Photography: Cecil Hatfield)

Violinist Mary O'Shea:
A Glorious South American Medley
(Photography: Cecil Hatfield)

'Wind, Sea & Sextet'
The Force Five Wind Quintet with Pianist Carol Galton
Southernhay United Reformed Church
Friday 13 January 7.30pm

Last seen in action on Saturday 27 March 2010, The Force Five Wind Quintet reformed for an impressive recital at Southernhay United Reformed Church.

Exeter Music Group Chairman, John Welton (clarinettist), was joined by five other members of the EMG Symphony Orchestra - flautist Ruth Avis, oboist Kate Osbourne, French horn player Trevor Ives and bassoonist Prue Tasman - plus the piano accompaniment of EMG 'cellist Carol Galton.

On a perishingly cold January night, Kate Osbourne made a special appearance, providing the special sound of the oboe and cor anglais - while still wrapped up against the cold. An intriguing sight - and a spectacular sound!

Things got off to a rousing start with Gwyn Parry-Jones 'Wind and Sea' for wind quintet.

Carol and Ruth got together later for 'Nutcracker in five minutes'. With just piano and flute, they managed just that - Tchaikovsky's 'Nutcracker Suite' condensed into just five minutes - we were counting! A quick burst of all our favourite dances - including 'Sugar Plum Fairy' on the piccolo.

The first half ended with Beethoven's impressive Quintet Opus 16, but the best was saved for the second half Gordon Jacob's 'Sextet for Piano' (and flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and French horn) was an astoundingly complex piece involving all of the instruments fully, and showing off the abilities of all the players.

For the Gordon Jacob Sextet, a special volunteer came forward to turn the pages for pianist Carol Galton - local composer Peter Nickol!

A wonderful evening. More to follow we hope!

(Sorry none of Cecil's lovely photo's from this concert - just the usual L.C-D!)

Clarinet: John Welton
Bassoon: Prue Tasman

French Horn: Trevor Ives
The oboist who came in from the cold!
Cor Anglais: Kate Osbourne

A very special duet - 'Nutcracker in Five Minutes'

Flute: Ruth Avis, Piano: Carol Galton

Monday, 9 January 2012

Classical Journey Tues 10 Jan - Unsung Heroes Harpists: Elizabeth Jane Baldry and Emma Graham; Guitar & Soprano/Violin: Clive Betts and Mary O'Shea; 'Living Room in London' - Hang: Manu Delago; Bartholomew Quartet - 'Cello: Hilary Boxer!

Heavenly Harp - Elizabeth Jane Baldry

Something unexpected and wonderful at the Devon County Show
Elizabeth Jane Baldry plays her magnificent harp in the Devon Life stand
Friday 20th May 2011
Harpist: Elizabeth Jane Baldry
Devon County Show 2011
Last week's Classical Journey was enlivened by an unexpected interjection by a caller from Exmouth. Wallace Parfitt phoned in to talk to guest Ralph Hayward about his guitar music, and the conversation turned to another Devon musician - a performer of extraordinary brilliance - the wonderful harpist Elizabeth Jane Baldry.

Memory served correctly. Elizabeth Jane was a prominent feature of this year's Devon County Show. In the beautiful lapiz blue setting of the Devon Life tent, she and her beautiful golden harp were a glorious sight - impressive to see, and to hear.

Since then Elizabeth Jane has continued to perform throughout Devon, including her 'Magical Harp Concert', with three course dinner, at Killerton House on Saturday 10th December. What a night that must have been! - and 'Classical Journey' was oblivious to all.

No longer!

We are deeply indebted to Wallace for reopening the door to the magical world of Elizabeth Jane Baldry - and her 'Fairy Harp'.

In a room full of harps Elizabeth Jane Baldry plays
music by the master - Rory Dall's 'Londonderry Air'
Elizabeth Jane lives in Chagford where, for many years, she has made beautiful music - and beautiful films. In 2004 the 'Chagford Film-making Group' created their inaugural 'Fairy Tale Film', Woodwose. Delightfully ingenious, and ingenuous, the film starred local children in the most exquisite fairy costumes. The current generation of children in Chagford enjoyed an afternoon screening of Woodwose in the Jubilee Hall in Chagford. Some of those children had just completed filming of the latest fairy tale, The Ballad of Mary Whyddon. Once edited, The Ballad will be the eighth CFG production - click here to see details of all eight.

In addition to making films with CFG, Elizabeth Jane also provides fairy harp accompaniment for various kinds of production, including films, plays, radio and television broadcasts. She not only makes recordings, but also plays her harp live. On Saturday 16th December 2011 she was at the Barbican to play her own very special accompaniment to Herbert Brennon's 1924 silent version of James M Barrie's Peter Pan, which was sensational! She is surely the world's greatest exponent of the fairy harp. If we ever hear the sweet sound of a harp in the background of a documentary or play - it's likely to be Elizabeth Jane!

Elizabeth Jane offers thanks to the Fairy Spirits
by the 'fairy tree' (intertwined oak and hazel!)
Despite the great demand for her work Elizabeth Jane is also a very active member of the Chagford community. On Saturday 7th January she hosted a screening of extracts from all eight of the Fairy Tale Films in Chagford, attended by cast and crew from previous productions. The following afternoon she invited local people - and her special guests - to her own fairy wood. After a delightful offering of thanks to the fairy spirits, and wassailing of the apple trees, Elizabeth Jane gave an impromptu, and entrancing, recital of her harp playing - including her own compositions for Peter Pan. One of Elizabeth Jane's former students, Emma Graham - who is now a professional harpist herself - joined in for a very special harp duet performance of Jeremiah Clarke's 'Chaconne'.


The wassailing cup
Another wassailer
Devon harpist Emma Graham

Jeremiah Clarke's 'Chaconne'

. . . in duet with Emma Graham
Very high, very sweet
Gustave Charpentier
'La Boîte à Musique'

Flair and style -
Rory O'Cahan, Johann Pachelbel,
Béla Bartók and Scott Joplin
all played magnificently by
the world's number one exponent
   of the fairy harp -

Elizabeth Jane Baldry

Incredibly talented, and utterly charming, Elizabeth is one of Devon's greatest musical stars. Let's hope she will be giving another recital in Devon before too long. If Elizabeth Jane could be persuaded to play for Phonic FM, that certainly would be a dream come true. Would it be possible to get a concert harp into the basement of the Phoenix? It could happen! Meanwhile, do we have any recordings of Elizabeth Jane's music? Definitely! She has made a huge number of recordings, including authentic Victorian fairy harp music which she has meticulously researched. This music is otherwise almost unknown, and the recordings are unique - just like Elizabeth Jane.

Elizabeth Jane has very kindly agreed that we can listen to music from her recording 'Harp of Wild and Dreamlike Strain' made in the Georgian ballroom of Buckland Manor. The domed roof has added a very special ambiance to the sound (no studio effects!) The sound is breath-taking. We can listen to something very special from that recital on Tuesday . . .

Exciting Concerts Coming up in Exeter . . .

Clive Betts ~ Guitar
Mary O'Shea ~ Soprano/Violin
- This afternoon!

The Time has come at last! After the 'Classical Journey' programme this Tuesday, 10th January, the wonderful soprano Mary O'Shea and guitarist Clive Betts will be performing at St Leonard's Church at 3.30pm. Mary and Clive will combine guitar and voice for delightful baroque masterpieces like Bach's 'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring'. Mary will also introduce another of her many talents - violin. Together they will play guitar and violin arrangements of South American traditional songs and dances, like the Serteneja - the most popular dance in Brazil! Mary O'Shea will be in the studio at 11am to tell us all about the concert - and their bookings at Exeter Library Music Room and Exeter Cathedral Chapter House in the near future.

Guitarist Clive Betts and Soprano Mary O'Shea rehearsing hard

Clive has some interesting new arrangements

Mary is in great voice
. . . and looking forward to playing her fiddle!

Soprano Recital with Guitar
in support of the 'Billie Butterfly' Fund
St Leonard's Church Exeter
Tuesday 10 January 3.30pm
J S Bach: 'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring' (Cantata 147)
Adolphe Adam: 'Holy Night'
J S Bach / Charles Gounod: 'Ave Maria'
Brazilian Folk: 'Serteneja'
Chilean Folk: 'Ojos Azules'
Mexican Folk: 'La Valentina'
Soprano & violin: Mary O'Shea
Guitar: Clive Betts
Admission Free: Donations to the fund welcomed

Force Five Wind Quintet
Ruth Avis ~ Flute     *     Kate Osbourne ~ Oboe
John Welton ~ Clarinet     *     Prue Tasman ~ Bassoon
Trevor Ives ~ French Horn     *     Carol Galton ~ Piano

Now it's only four days away! Force Five have not been seen in Exeter for nearly two years. This weekend, however there is another opportunity to see this superb combination of local artists.

A fading image - of a fading memory - but soon to be revived!
The Force Five Piano and Wind Quintet as seen at
Southernhay United Reformed Church Saturday 27th March 2010
Now reformed with the addition of Kate Osbourne's oboe to provide -
wind quintet  &  piano sextet!
Ruth Avis will be there with her flute. Ruth has recently featured in Marion Wood's 'Rite of Spring' at Exeter Cathedral (details), Hilary Boxer's 'Festive Flute' at the Cullompton Corn Barn (details), and Rebecca Willson's 'Nonclassical' at the Exeter Bikeshed Theatre (details). She will bring all her talent - and all that experience - to Force Five.

Kate Osbourne brings a new sound - oboe - allowing the group to play wind quintets; and with Carol Galton at the piano they can even play a piano sextet. A very exciting prospect.

Clare Galton is a regular 'cellist with Marion Wood's Exeter Music Group Symphony Orchestra. Also from that great orchestra are John Welton (Chairman) with his clarinet, Prue Tasman with her bassoon, and Trevor Ives with his French Horn. We saw them all in rehearsal with Marion for Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto (with Natasha Ivchenko sitting in for pianist Alexandra Dariescu) at Exeter University's Kay House on Thursday 24 November 2011 (details).

Ruth Avis
 played Michael Nyman's
'Yamamoto Perpetuo'
in a 'Nonclassical' concert
at Exeter Bikeshed Theatre

11 December 2011 - details

Force Five Wind Quintet
Southernhay United Reformed Church Exeter
Friday 13 January 7.30pm
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Ludwig van Beethoven: Quintet Opus 16
Gordon Jacob: Sextet for Piano
Francis Poulenc: 'Novelette'
Percy Grainger: 'Lisbon'
Peter Tchaikovsky: 'Nutcracker'
        (in 5 minutes - for flute and piano)
Norman Hallam: 'Charleston'
Gwyn Parry-Jones: 'Wind and Sea'
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Flute: Ruth Molins (Née Avis)
Oboe: Kate Osborne
Clarinet: John Welton
French Horn: Trevor Ives
Bassoon: Prue Tasman
Guest Pianist: Carol Galton
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Tickets: £5 (U18 free) on the door
Proceeds to Southernhay Church Building Fund
                                         & St Petrock's Centre

Hear the music of the Force Five Wind Quintet on Tuesday's 'Classical Journey'.
A little Mozart perhaps!

Living Room in London
Ellie Fagg & Tom Norris ~ Violins     *     Gregor Riddell ~ 'Cello
Christoph Pepe Auer ~ Saxophone     *     Manu Delago ~ 'Hang'

The Living Room in London
Ellie Fagg: Violin - Gregor Riddell: 'Cello - Manu Delago: Hang
Tom Norris: violin - Christoph Pepe Auer: Saxophone
After a slightly shorter absence - just fifteen months - another great quintet return to the stage in Exeter. Following their sensational concert at St Matthew's Church in Exeter in October 2010, Living Room in London will be performing in the main auditorium of Exeter Phoenix Theatre on the evening of Friday 13th January 2012.

The 'Living Room' duo is made up of saxophonist, Chrisoph Pepe Auer (who originally brought bass clarinet to the combination), and hang-player, Manu Delago. The 'hang' is a swiss instrument invented by Sabina Schärer and Felix Rohner and made in very limited numbers for carefully selected musicians. We can see the rough shape from the photographs above and below. The instrument is made from hollow steel and the notes can be played in different ways by tapping, stroking or scraping the metallic carapace. Manu is able to play at least three hangs at once - each tuned differently - and so achieve a full chromatic range.

(Click here for: An interview with Manu Delago at King's Place)

The Living Room is 'in London' with three members of the London Symphony Orchestra. Husband and wife Tom Norris and Ellie Fagg play violin, while Gregor Riddell provides 'cello. Gregor was in Devon recently for the Two Moors Festival. On Monday 17th October 2012, Gregor played 'cello with the Solstice Quartet, plus Accordionist Ksenija Sidorova, at St Pancras Church in Widdecombe-in-the-Moor. Another great combination of sounds.

According to form, we can expect 'Living Room in London' to give a very varied and impressive performance. Maybe Manu will play a solo composition or two on his fascinating new instrument. Christoph - who couldn't make the previous concert - must surely have some Saxophone music for us. There must certainly be some music for the duo - and the full ensemble. String trio is possible - and these players are phenomenal. But most of all we can look forward to amazing ensemble playing - by a unique combination of instruments. Maybe . . . we'll have more songs in the very fine voice of Tom Norris!

Living Room in London
Concert Organiser
and Buburi fund-raiser
- Sallie Buck  
Concert organiser Sallie Buck will be in the Phonic FM studio at 10.30 on Tuesday morning to talk about the concert. We'll link up by telephone with Ellie Fagg in London and try to tease out more details about this amazing new group and what they have in store for us for Friday evening next week.

Sallie will also be able to tell us all about the local charity which will be receiving the proceeds from this concert.

Sallie lives in Exeter and is a nurse with specialist training in tropical medicine. Since retiring she has devoted her time to aid work in Kenya, concentrating especially on the poverty-stricken village of Buburi in Western Kenya, on the Ugandan border near Lake Victoria (west of Kisumu - see map).

Miracles can happen!
some of the 270 people in Buburi
who received free medical attention
on the Buburi Clinic's first day of operation 
It was in Buburi in 2003 that the charity 'Future in our Hands Kenya' collaborated with 'Aid Camps International' to build a health clinic. Further plans to build an orphanage in 2004 were never carried out - Aid Camps International were unable to provide further help to the project. Local nurses, and nurses from the UK, joined forces to raise funds and equip and staff the medical centre themselves.

Their work was sorely needed! In their first day of operation as a clinic they treated 270 patients.

The work of the Clinic has continued through the tireless, and unpaid, work of fundraisers and healthcare workers. In 2010 the UK end of the operation was given charitable status as 'Friends of Burundi', hugely increasing their fund-raising potential.

One of the earliest events put on to raise funds was 'Living Room in London' at St Matthews Church in Exeter. Next Friday's benefit concert at the Exeter Phoenix will build on the huge success of that first concert.

Anyone enjoying this unique night of music will be donating towards to cost of the vital work of 'Friends of Buburi' in the poorest part of Kenya. It is also possible to donate directly to the fund at Anyone wanting more information about the work of 'Friends of Buburi', or how to offer practical help, will find all the information they need at

The Living Room in London
(Minus Christopher Pepe Auer)
at their previous Exeter Concert: 30 October 2010

Living Room in London
Main Auditorium Phoenix Theatre Exeter
Friday 20 January 8pm
Violins: Ellie Fagg, Tom Norris
'Cello: Gregor Riddell
Saxophone: Chistoph Pepe Auer
Hang: Manu Delago
Tickets: £15.50
(Proceeds to The Friends of Buburi charity
- providing rural healthcare in Kenya)
Box Office: Exeter Phoenix 01392 667080

St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton 
The Bartholomew Quartet

Anna Cockroft & Dawn Ashby ~ Violins
Simon Jones ~ Viola
Hilary Boxer ~ 'Cello

More news about this concert on next week's programme.

Another ensemble of superb string players:

First violin - Anna Cockroft, leader of the Exeter Bach Society orchestra (1)
                                                violinist with the glorious Beacon Piano Trio (2 scroll down)

'Cello - Hilary Boxer - well, we all know who Hilary is. If not, keep up!
(find all her posts using the search box above - Tasty Music, Exeter Chamber Choir, Beare Trio, etc)

This is going to be a marvellous concert.
Don't miss it if you live in Ashburton,
and it will will be well worth the trip for anyone coming from Exeter . . .

  The Bartholomew Quartet:
Violin: Anna Cockroft - Viola Simon Jones Violin: Dawn Ashby - 'Cello: Hilary Boxer

Bartholomew Quartet
St Lawrence Chapel Ashburton Sunday 22 January 3pm
Mendelssohn: Quartet Opus 44  Mozart: Prussian Quartet K575
Violins: Anna Cockroft (Exeter Bach Society); Dawn Ashby (South West Sinfonietta)
Viola: Simon Jones  'Cello: Hilary Boxer
Tickets: £6
Advanced Booking: Brian Lewis (Chairman of the Chapel Trustees) 01364 652768
Further Information: