‘A Day or More’ at the Cheltenham Music Festival
The Music Festival at Cheltenham has been well established for decades, and thousands over the years have enjoyed its ‘quality’.
So far this year, I have attended two concerts – both at the Pittville
Pump Rooms. The décor and setting is well nigh perfect with the warm
colours of the walls and ceiling, offset by the dusky blue colour of
the curtains. There are elegant paintings in the gallery, and the
chandeliers illuminate the audience and the performers – all this
combines to create a restful and charming environment.
My first visit was at 11am on Monday morning the 7th July when Ingrid
Fliter gave a piano recital; she started with the 'Four Impromptus' by
Schubert. It was a beautiful performance that was truly delightful,
sensitive and strong. The second piece, a 'Scherzo' by Chopin that I
hadn’t heard before, was also a pleasure to listen to, as the music it
surged romantically in that distinctive manner of the composer. There
followed more preludes and shorter pieces until the interval.
wandered out into the refreshment marquee where Pimms, coffee, tea and
cakes were available.The setting of the Pump Rooms in Pittville Park,
with all the trees and graceful views is particularly lovely and the
facilities, including good car parking space make visits easy and
Returning to the second half of the concert, the recital finished with
the 'Ballade No 4 in F minor'. The Chopin’s Ballades have always been a
particular favourite of mine, and this rendering by Ingrid Fliter was
excellent. Alfred Brendel himself has admired Ingrid Fliter’s playing,
and the person next to me said at the end of the recital that he
thought her playing was ‘awesome’. I was inclined to agree. She is a
young talent that we'll be hearing more of in the future.
Ingrid Fliter performed a piano recital of music by Chopin and Schubert, and the Dante String Quartet music by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and other English composers.
On Wednesday 16 July, in the evening, I heard the Dante String Quartet
play the work of Frank Bridge, Cheryl Frances-Hoad, Vaughan-Williams,
and Edward Elgar.
With the first three pieces, the sonority of the
group’s playing was mesmerizing, with their choice of programme,
perfect. This included the world premiere of a young composer Cheryl
Frances-Hoad’s - ‘My Day in Hell’. At this point I must add that the
Cheltenham Music Festival is renowned for its innovative approach,
allowing so much that is ‘new’ to be included in the two weeks
After the interval the piano was added to the Quartet
ensemble for the 'Elgar Piano Quintet'. Although the mood remained
English the power of the piece came through strongly and built to an
almost ‘orchestral’ finale in the last movement.
The warm response
of the audiences, the glorious setting and the excellent facilities
always makes the experience so rewarding. There is so much on offer at
all the venues of this festival, that to attend even just one concert is
guaranteed to provide an occasion to savour and remember. Next year I
fully intend getting my box office programme of events as soon as it’s
available, and treat myself once more.
That’s not all; we're
very lucky to have the Literature Festival; the Jazz Festival; the
Science Festival; the Food & Drink Festival; the Cricket Festival; the Folk
Festival and not forgetting the National Hunt Festival, which features the famous blue-riband event, the Cheltenham ‘Gold Cup’ - as well as all the other delights which Regency Cheltenham has to offer.
22 July 2008
• AirTattoo beats refund deadline
• Forty years at Clearwell Caves
• Sunday & Late Night Openings at the Art Gallery & Museum
• Pick your own fruit still ripe at Primrose Vale Farm Shop
• A day out deerhound racing at Lodge Park in the Cotswolds
• Mark Horton coasts in to Out of the Hat
• Kidz Comedy Club returns to the Guildhall
• Premium House Prices For Market Towns
• Cutting-edge Cotswolds?
• What a discount! - at The Wharf House at Over near Gloucester
• QHotels wins AA Hotel Group of the year award
• Skydiving with the Red Devils over South Cerney (with video)
• Gloucester Music Society: New season preview!
• Record breaking ticket sales for Cheltenham Literature Festival
• New funny season as Howlers Comedy Club returns
• Leisure@ official re-opening
• Forest Model Village: Grand re-opening
• An 11 mile walk near Cirencester
• Fun Events at Out of the Hat
• Biggest ever Cheltenham Literature Festival in 2008
• ‘A Day or More’ at the Cheltenham Music Festival
• Europe's biggest mobile log flume comes to Gloucester!
• Review: Dick Whittington Farm Park
• New opening times at the Wharf House
• No tickets available Saturday on the gate for RIAT
• The Longest Day in Gloucestershire (Part II)
• Swindon Town FC at the 2008 Cotswold Show
• The Longest Day in Gloucestershire (Part I)
• Pick Your Own Strawberries in Gloucestershire
• Cotswold Motoring Museum's 30th Birthday!
• The 'Red Devils' are back in town!
• 40th Anniversary Celebrations at Clearwell Caves
• Final appearance of the 'Horse Whisperer'
• Summer school holidays, activities and things to do in Gloucestershire
• Performances at the Everyman Theatre in July
• Racing Day offers with the Cheltenham Chase Hotel
• Summer Sizzler at the Cheltenham Chase Hotel
• 'Cheltenham in Bloom 2008' - Competitions now open!