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:

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