Music of high quality but of very different kinds returns to St James Church, Kingston, next month (September) in two separate concerts.
The first at 11.30am on Sunday, 3 September, brings back the internationally renowned cellist Natalie Clein and a bunch of friends, all outstanding musicians in their own right, to give the closing concert of her annual and expanding Purbeck International Chamber Music Festival. On offer to the Kingston audience will be two lesser known works, Passacaglia and Fugue (1944) for string trio by the Czech composer Hans Krasa and Morning Blues by Per Arne Glorvigen, a Norwegian composer who is also a master of the bandoneon, that essential ingredient of the tango. The concert will end with the richly melodic String Sextet in A major Op. 48 by Dvorak, whose music forms one of the themes of the festival.
The second concert at 7 pm on Thursday, 28 September will mark the return to Kingston of Northern Harmony, a choir of 16 exceptional young American singers steeped in the folksong traditions not only of their home country but also of South Africa and of European countries like Bulgaria, Corsica and Georgia. Their intriguing programme ranges from the rich sounds and syncopated rhythms of South Africa to American shapenote singing derived from the community singing of 18th century New England to the ancient three-part harmony singing tradition of Georgia. Most of the singers have studied these different traditions in their countries of origin and bring to their performances all the enthusiasm generated by the joy of discovery and understanding. Many of the songs are accompanied by dance and by instruments whether it be the fiddle, oboe, drum or tambura, a kind of long-necked lute originating in Mesopotamia but now widely played elsewhere including in Eastern and Central Europe.