Stories with Strings and Organic Bells at St Nicholas-at-Wade Church

St Nicholas-at-Wade Church

Two concerts are scheduled to take place at St Nicholas-at-Wade Church in March.

On Sunday, March 1, 3pm-5pm,  Stories with Strings will provide an afternoon’s entertainment to celebrate St David’s Day and Beethoven’s 250th anniversary. The event features top string quartet “Pensiero”, fresh from London’s Wigmore Hall.

Two short talks by St Nicholas-at-Wade regular Andrea Chance – “How the Devil was Kept Out of Cornwall” and “Concerning Gertrude” (one of which relates to Beethoven’s piano sonatas) – accompany a variety of music for strings, with the church organ joining too in places (some popular Welsh hymns and folksongs will be included for those wanting to sing along). The provisional programme includes:

  • Beethoven ‘Razumovsky’ Quartet, op.59 no.1
  • Karl Jenkins ‘Adiemus’
  • Medley of traditional Welsh tunes
  • Mozart Divertimento in D

The Pensiero Quartet (meaning “Thought”) was formed this year by students from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. The quartet’s members are from all over the world; violinists Kanon Miyashita and Yuriko Matsuda from Japan, violist Matt Johnstone from England, and cellist Julia Sompolińska from Poland. They have received coaching and masterclasses with members of the Endellion Quartet, Takacs Quartet and Dante Quartet. 

Recent performances include Beethoven’s op.59 no.1 at Wigmore Hall as part of its Beethoven 250 concert series. All the quartet’s members lead active performing schedules. Kanon has recently performed as a soloist with the Tel Aviv Soloists Ensemble and Southampton University Sinfonietta, and has taken part in the Young Virtuosi Festival. Yuriko has played at several international events with members of the LSO as well as recently guest leading London Schools Symphony Orchestra. Matt was a member of Southbank Sinfonia in 2018 and has had places on the CBSO and Birmingham Royal Ballet training schemes. Julia was principal cello of Guildhall Symphony orchestra this year and has recently played in an LSO recital at Wigmore Hall.

Entry: £10 on the door, £8 advance from St Nicholas-at-Wade Post Office, call 01843 844632 for opening hours; under-18s free. Refreshments available for a donation. Proceeds in aid of the Friends of St Nicholas at Wade Church. 

On Saturday, March 14, 7.30pm to 9.30pm, the church will host the Organic Bells concert with popular music from across the centuries: Bach to Brubeck and beyond…

The internationally renowned Bedford Handbell Ensemble make a welcome return to the church. With a concert is on the theme of bells, various organ ‘carillons’ and other pieces for a range of instruments adding variety to the proceedings. The provisional programme includes:

  • Carillon-Sortie (Mulet)
  • If I were a Bell (Loesser: Guys and Dolls)
  • Notre Dame medley (Menken)
  • Gloucester Cathedral Chimes (Brewer)
  • Take Five (Desmond)
  • Nutcracker Suite (Tchaikovsky)
  • Bombardo-Carillon (Alkan)
  • Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)

Prices: Tickets £10 on the door, £8 in advance, under 18s free. Refreshments available for a donation. Proceeds to the Friends of St Nicholas-at-Wade Church. 

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