(Chamber music at the New Walk Museum as part of Leicester International Music Festival)
There seems almost to be a cloak of secrecy over the Leicester International Music Festival. People I know have a vague inclination it is taking place. But it is far too condensed – and unless you were minded and able to take holiday (or are retired, as is so often the presumption), then it would be impossible to get to most of them. It also makes for an expensive week. I would think it would be much better if it were spread out over a few months. The lunchtime concerts, have the misfortune of being run on Thursdays, 1-2, so are not generally accessible.
I only managed to get to one this year, which was the coffee concert (no sign of coffee) at 11 am on Saturday morning. A really nice time for chamber music. It has taken me nearly a week to make some notes.
The programme consisted of three pieces which were new to me.
The first was a contemporary piece ‘Déjà Vu’ by Czech composer Lukáš Sommer. This was the kind of spare, relatively difficult contemporary music, which does not transfer to recording well. The composer himself had come to hear the performance, so it might reasonably be inferred that it isn’t performed to frequently.
The second piece was Mahler’s ‘Piano Quartet in A minor’. According to the programme, ‘there is little that suggests the Mahler to come’. I couldn’t disagree more- it as shot-through with pure Mahler, reminiscent of his lieder, most obviously Lieder eines fahrenden gesellen.
The final piece was the most substantial – Smetana’s ‘Piano Trio in G minor’, which offered more in to which one could get ones teeth stuck.
So the concert offered three delightful new pieces of music – all before luncheon.
If only the programme told us more about the performers: Giovanni Guzzo, Marina Chiche, Philip Dukes, Guy Johnston, Katya Apekisheva, Charles Owen.