Endymion spent a few days in mid-March making a new recording of choral music by renowned British composer Judith Weir for independent label, Signum Records.
The beautiful Temple Church, in central London, became a studio for Endymion, the choristers of the Temple Church Choir, the BBC Singers and their conductor, David Hill, as they recorded Judith’s “Storm” and “All the Ends of the Earth”.
We haven’t got a release date yet, but we’ll be sure to let you know!
Stephen Stirling (above), Krysia Osostowicz and Michael Dussek visited York, Richmondshire, Teesside and Sheffield with a very successful tour of Endymion’s popular Horn Trio programme. At the end of February and beginning of March, the group performed the pairing of Brahms’ Horn Trio (op. 40) and Ligeti’s trio, subtitled “Hommage à Brahms” to four very appreciative audiences.
The audience in Sheffield were encouraged to give their feedback during the interval (so we didn’t get to hear what they thought of the Brahms): here are some of the highlights:
“Brilliant, artists play in absolute harmony and make you feel every melody”
“Fantastic opportunity to hear and see the Ligeti performed – and so well.”
“Beautifully played, a real treat.”
We also had some lovely feedback from the other promoters: all-in-all, a very successful tour!
We recently completed a four-week long devising and performance project with Primary schools in Westminster as part of its Song Stories outreach strand. Around 120 children in Year 4 and Year 5 from St Barnabas’ Church of England Primary School and St Clement Danes Church of England Primary School in Westminster, London took part in a series of workshops based upon the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice and the opera Orfeo by Monteverdi. The workshops were led by the spirited Animateur John Barber, and supported by Endymion musicians Adrian Bradbury, Jenna Sherry, Massimo Di Trolio and Rebecca McChrystal and students from the Royal Academy of Music. Students from the Academy were involved to participate in the project to gain work experience and to absorb and refine their outreach and education skills.
The project, called I am Orfeo, enabled the children at both schools to devise and compose their own songs around the story of Orpheus, and rehearse them to perform at a gala concert. They also had a chance to learn about the instruments from our quartet (percussion, clarinet, cello and violin) and watch mini-performances by these solo instruments and in duos.
Both schools came together on Thursday 13th March at St Clement Danes Church in Aldwych, central London, to perform the complete story of Orfeo, with arrangements of Monteverdi by John Barber and interspersed with performances from us. The two schools sang one massed song all together, and their own original songs based on the story. The event was a huge success, with parents and public attending, and a wonderful sharing experience between the two schools and the musicians from Endymion and the Royal Academy.
We are incredibly grateful to the many trusts who supported this work, in particular the Ernest Cook Trust and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, without which it would not have been possible.
Endymion celebrated our 35th birthday in February this year, performing a weekend of concerts at Kings Place. Endymion gave the inaugural concerts at Kings Place in October 2008, so it was the perfect venue for our party.
Two of the concerts were also part of the Kings Place Top 50 Chamber Classics Unwrapped series: featuring favourite works voted for by readers of BBC Music Magazine. Thursday’s concert included the Brahms Horn Trio (voted no. 43), while Friday’s concert of music for harp, flute and viola featured Debussy’s Trio Sonata (no. 44).
Saturday’s third and final concert was particularly special: three founder members of Endymion gave London a Brahms-fest. Mark van de Wiel (also principal in the Philharmonia) played both of Brahms’ Clarinet Sonatas with Michael Dussek on the piano, as well as the Clarinet Trio (op. 114) joined by cellist Jane Salmon.
Our audiences were appreciative, and it was a pleasure to share our anniversary celebrations with them.
In 2014, Enydmion celebrates its 35th birthday with a weekend of concerts at Kings Place. Since it’s our birthday we’re calling the shots, and we’ve programmed three evenings of our (and our audiences’) favourite pieces.
On Thursday 6th February, our fabulous horn player Stephen Stirling joins the equally fabulous Krysia Osostowicz and Michael Dussek for our perennially popular horn trio programme, pairing works by Brahms and Ligeti. The Brahms horn trio was voted into the Top 50 Chamber Classics by BBC Music Magazine readers, and we’re delighted to have been invited to play it as part of Kings Place’s “Chamber Classics Unwrapped” series.
Also part of the Top 50 series is Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola and harp, which we’re playing on Friday 7th February. It’s a difficult piece to programme around, but we’re not afraid of a challenge and Hugh Webb, Helen Keen, Krysia Osostowicz and Asdis Valdimarsdottir come together for a concert featuring solos, duos and trios by Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Martinů and Debussy’s eternal counterpart, Ravel: the renowned harpist Skaila Kanga made her own arrangement of Ravel’s piano “Sonatine” for the same forces as the Debussy sonata, and we perform them side-by side.
On Saturday 8th February, in an all-Brahms concert, our clarinettist Mark van de Wiel takes centre stage with Michael Dussek, performing both clarinet sonatas – the last chamber works he wrote. Our wonderful cellist Jane Salmon joins the pair for the Clarinet Trio to round off our birthday weekend.
All the concerts are on sale now, and there are still some Online Saver tickets available for only £9.50, and as a special birthday gift to you, there’s a 20% discount when booking two or more concerts!
Endymion will be appearing on 29th June at the Ashbourne Festival, performing one of our most popular programmes, the Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets. It’s our first appearance at Ashbourne so we’re delighted to continue to meet new audiences, even after 34 years of performing! You can get tickets for the concert here.
Endymion is taking part in “Brahms Unwrapped” at Kings Place in just a few weeks, bringing their celebrated programme of the Brahms Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in A minor, Op.144 and the Horn trio in E flat, Op.40. We’re happily augmenting our regular short programme with both of his Clarinet Sonatas, Op.120.
The Horn Trio is by far the earliest work in the concert, written in 1865 after the death of Brahms’ mother. It’s full of childhood memories of woodland and countryside, as well as “a sense of enigma, turbulence, serenity, deep sorrow, exuberant joy,” according to our violinist Krysia Osostowicz.
Another frequent performer at Kings Place, Daniel Tong, joins us to perform the much later Clarinet Trio. Towards the end of his life, Brahms had pretty much decided to give up composing, but ended up exploring the potential of the clarinet as a chamber instrument like no one had since Mozart. A contemporary musicologist and friend of Brahms’ said his trio was “as though the instruments were in love with one another”. As well as the trio (from 1891), he wrote two Clarinet Sonatas in 1894, which are regarded as masterpieces for the instrument. At our concert, they’ll be performed by Mark van de Wiel with Daniel Lebhardt.
Tickets are on sale here. Kings Place has its £9.50 Internet Savers, and then tickets start from as little as £13.50. This concert really is full of Endymion’s core repertoire, and not to be missed!
Endymion has a busy few weeks ahead, with performances at Cheltenham Festival, Temple Church and Wigmore Hall.
We will be joined by the BBC Singers for a Radio 3 broadcast concert on 5th July at Cheltenham International Music Festival, with a world premiere by Judith Bingham and a piece by John Tavener. Tickets can be bought here.
On 15th July, we’ll be making our first ever appearance in the prestigious Wigmore Hall Coffee Concert series, performing Brahms’ Clarinet Trio and Horn Trio. Don’t miss it! Tickets for that concert are only £12, with concessions available, and they are selling very well, so book quickly. Tickets available here.
Bax- Elegiac trio
Britten - Lachrymae (version for viola and harp)
Richard Rodney-Bennett- after Syrinx
Debussy- Trio for flute, viola & harp
Takemitsu- And then I knew 'twas wind
Ravel(arr. Salzedo/Endymion) Sonatine
Endymion premiering new Oratorio about Robert Graves
October 30, 2014, 7:30 pm
Bath Abbey, Bath, UK
A 17-strong Endymion and the Philharmonia Voices premiere a new oratorio by Jools Scott entitled “Robert Graves: The Cool Web”
Endymion at the Haslemere (HHH) Concerts
November 29, 2014, 7:30 pm
Haslemere, Surrey, UK
Endymion performs a favourite programme of Mozart and Brahms Clarinet Quintets, with our clarinetist Mark van de Wiel.