Welcome to my world!

The reflections and comments of a resident in Southsea, Portsmouth, England.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Learn something new

Last Friday I learnt something new. Nonets by Spohr and Martinu. They were really enjoyable. The pieces are not often programmed and so it was a real treat to hear Ensemble 360 playing both at their Portsmouth Chamber Music concert in the Third Floor Arts Centre.

Six times a year, Portsmouth is visited by world class chamber musicians who play in the series, which started off as the Music in the Round series. It changed its name two years ago with the inclusion of a couple of concerts by musicians from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra playing in chamber groups.

The concerts are enjoyable as they are more relaxed and the musicians more approachable. They talk about the music and sometimes share jokes with the audience. At the end of the evening there is also an audience question time and we go deeper into the musician's life, playing or the music they have chosen.

Last Friday we heard how young composer Charlie Piper approached his commission to write With Stolen Fire to mark the centenary of steel making in Sheffield.

So learn something new this week and go to a concert you wouldn't otherwise go, visit a museum you walked past unnoticed or visit the theatre near you!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Let music be the food of love

I think it is apt to have the next Portsmouth Chamber Music concert on Valentine's Day.

On Friday 14 February, Music in the Round resident group Ensemble 360 will come in full force, with a rather exciting programme of music.

JANACEK Mladi for wind sextet
CHARLIE PIPER With Stolen Fire for string quintet and wind quintet

Spohr's high-spirited Nonet and Janacek's energetic Mladi are the perfect frame for Martinu's more nostalgic work.

Charlie Piper's With Stolen Fire was originally conceived for Music in the Round’s 2013 May Festival with accompanying film from the BFI archives. Premiered in Sheffield's Showroom Cinema the piece celebrates Britain’s industrial heritage marking the centenary since the discovery of the process of making stainless steel.

There will be a post-concert Q&A with members of Ensemble 360 & composer Charlie Piper, which would be the best part as people can quiz them about their playing, their choice of music and for Charlie, how the arrived at his composition.

The Third Floor Arts Centre is a small venue which has its own charm, if not badly neglected by those charged with its upkeep. Like any venue, it should be used more and I'm so glad we go there for the Portsmouth Chamber Music series for it has the best piano in Portsmouth!

So come along and spend your evening with lovely music and musicians. Let the music feed your heart with love!