Concerts at Aysgarth Church

On her family’s Facebook page Jeneba Kanneh-Mason commented that St Andrew’s Church at Aysgarth was ‘a magical place to perform’. And she certainly provided a glittering touch of her own magic when she played music by Bach, Mozart, Scriabin, and Liszt at St Andrew’s on June 7, during the Swaledale Festival.  After the Covid lockdowns and social distancing rules it was so wonderful to see the church full for what was a truly memorable and very enjoyable concert. 

Below: Jeneba Kanneh-Mason rehearsing at the church before the concert. And just part of a very full church.

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The church was also full for the concert by the High Wire Baroque, led by harpsichordist David Gordon,  on Monday May 30. The nine musicians (including Malcolm Creese on the bass)  thoroughly enjoyed themselves as they showed how Baroque music was made for improvisation, and provided a ‘whistle-stop’ guide to how music had developed from the Middle Ages.

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Above: High Wire Baroque.  Below: Malcolm Creese enjoying a jam session with two members of the Bammental School Symphony Orchestra (the German rules regarding photographing school children are that faces cannot be shown if there are less than five).

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The 50 plus Bammental School Symphony Orchestra from southern Germany arrived earlier than expected to begin rehearsing for their afternoon concert at the church – much to the dismay of those starting work on their floral arrangements ready for the Platinum Jubilee Flower Festival. It was soon obvious that the heating needed for rehearsals and concerts did not mix well with flower arrangements which needed to be kept cold if they were to last for a week.

Not that the audience that afternoon were away of any problems for the performance by the orchestra was awesome, with the secondary school age musicians, led by their inspirational conductor, Ingo Schlȕchtermann, showing tremendous maturity in their music making. Below: Bammental School Symphony Orchestra during rehearsals and during the concert.

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They had only just left the church when those local favourites, Leyburn Brass Band, arrived to provide a very entertaining and enjoyable evening. conducted by Rebecca Lundberg.

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There was another treat in store for us on Thursday June 2 when pianist Richard Uttley was joined by violinist Callum Smart and French horn player Ben Goldscheider  (below) for an afternoon concert, delighting their audience with performances  of work by Ethel Smyth and Brahms.

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That day there was also a guided walk from the church to see spring flowers and waterfalls, led by Robert Hall and members of Yoredale Natural History Society.

I especially want to thank Malcolm Creese and his great team for all their support with the Swaledale Festival concerts at Aysgarth church.

The next concert at Aysgarth Church is on Saturday June 18 when the Tier3 Piano Trio play music by Fanny Mendelssohn, Lili Boulanger, Joan Trimble and Rebecca Clarke.  This is part of the Wensleydale Concert Series.

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