20 February 2016

A quick glance at the Vale of Glamorgan.

Very recently the Vale of Glamorgan festival announced its programme for this year's festival. When I was a student in Cardiff, the festival was always a great thing to witness and it was also this festival that really opened my eyes to the wonders of the Baltic. This year sees the festival focusing on three birthday boys who are celebrating significant ages, they are John Metcalf, Steve Reich, and Peteris Vasks (I don't know if they would want me to advertise their age, so I shall let you search for yourselves).

Steve Reich is Steve Reich and there is tons of coverage of him, so I need not say another word. John Metcalf is a lovely Welsh composer, whose music has a wonderful fragility and modest elegance to it. The inclusion of Peteris Vasks is wonderful, one because his music is magnificent, but it also brought in a few other stunning Latvians to join in the festival including Eriks Esenvald.

For me the following concerts will be fantastic to witness:

The opening concert, full details can be seen on the link, but the performance of beautiful works like Fruit of Silence by Peteris Vasks will be wonderful to behold. Also the Latvian Radio Choir are a remarkable ensemble, so I would be excited to see them perform anything. A little teaser of what you will hear is below:

The first of the two BBC National Orchestra of Wales concerts looks like a wonderful event. Three works will be performed, Guto Puw's violin concerto, a new work Ghyll by Mark David Boden (a very fine composer who definitely needs to be listened to), and the UK premiere of Sala by Peteris Vasks.

Quatour Tana and Andreas Borregaard will give two performances of works for string quartet and accordion. The concerts includes works by Reich, Mark David Boden, and Bent Sorenson to name a few. The first concert with Sorensen and Boden together will be a gem for sure!

Robert Court and Jose Zalba-Smith are delivering a concert of mostly Vasks. Vasks's organ music is truly wonderful and will be a nice lunchtime treat for anyone who witnesses it. 

The wonderful Ensemble MidtVest return to the Vale of Glamorgan to perform a concerto with mostly works by John Metcalf. The repertoire for the whole event looks glorious, and I am particularly excited about the performance of the Piano Quartet by Vasks.

The finale for the festival will see BBC National Orchestra of Wales perform a world premiere of the upcoming Viola Concerto, I am very curious to see the result of this. The finale also sees a performance of Vasks's Cantible and John Metcalf's Cello Symphony, both will be great pieces to witness. 

Overall it looks like a really wonderful festival indeed, I just hope I can get there to witness it!

More information can be found on the fesitval's website

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