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Feb 072016

Gales are forecast and we are planning to make February even more blowy with a festival of woodwind.

Oboe: Joel Raymond visits Music Matters on Tuesday 9 February at 7.30p.m. when he will perform on Baroque and Classical oboes, and  demonstrate his oboe-making equipment, allowing us to see how a log of wood can be transformed into a musical instrument.

Flute: Rachel Brown brings flutes to Music Matters on Tuesday 23 February; her focus is flutes in the time of Bach, but a flute from the Renaissance is also promised and an early French Baroque flute. Rachel has recently released a new Bach disc and we will get to hear tracks from this album as well as a performance live of the Bach Solo Partita.

Oboe and Clarinet: At Musical Offerings on Wednesday 24 February at 2.30p.m. Katie Clemmow and Margaret Archibald will explore the way in which oboe and clarinet have played alongside one another in orchestral and chamber music for more than three centuries.

Pipes were on display back in December when William McVicker, Curator of the Royal Festival Hall Organ, came to Whitgift House Chapel to play the little chamber organ resident there. IMG_20151201_204737

It was fascinating to be allowed to see the innermost workings of the organ behind its elegant façade, and to hear William explain how each individual pipe has its own character and tone colour dependant on the materials used and its size. IMG_20151201_204209

Nov 292015

17 November, 10p.m., and I think it would be fair to say that all three of us in the Shackleton Trio, Lesley Schatzberger, Ingrid Pearson and me (Margaret Archibald) were relieved to have got through our Gala Music Matters evening without squeaks from our dangerously volatile period basset horns! We had revisited the recital programme previously offered to the basset horn convention in Kandern, Germany. Mozart Divertimenti were in pride of place, together with some lollipops from Don Giovanni and Figaro, some trios by  Bohemian contemporary Druschetzky, and pieces from the trios of Mozart’s  fellow freemason  Anton Stadler, himself a player of the basset horn and the pioneer of the basset clarinet. A tiny gem of an Adagio by Abbé Vogler completed the music menu.

Lesley, Margaret and Ingrid (L to R) at the Music Matters Gala, Whitgift House Chapel, 17 November 2015
Lesley, Margaret and Ingrid (L to R) at the Music Matters Gala, Whitgift House Chapel, 17 November 2015

For the food menu, I spent all morning on the day of the Gala in my kitchen, frying Spanish Omelette, baking Red Onion, Fennel and Red Pepper Flan, packing chorizo, almonds, manchego, olives and bread, finding dishes, assembling bottles of wine and Cava, and delegating the fiddly Peach and Bresaola Ham Nibbles to my son Rob who managed with some aplomb to spear the ingredients with cocktail sticks.

Was the music or the tapas the more appreciated? Who can say! I’ll leave the last word to my colleague Ian Mitchell:                                                    “Much enjoyed last night. Bravo! All sounded lovely, and food was ace!”