Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival premieres on YouTube
- Credit: Alexander Barnes
Viewers worldwide will be able to watch this year’s Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival online.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s festival has been pre-recorded.
Four concerts will be premiered free on the festival’s YouTube channel on successive Friday nights, starting on September 11.
The ninth annual Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival will unite art, history and music.
Filming of the concerts took place in front of a private family audience in Lord Salisbury’s historic home, Hatfield House, in late July.
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Each concert is augmented by exclusive interviews with the artists, curators, historians, and the Salisbury family who have owned Hatfield House since 1607, in conversation with Dr Emily Burns.
The repertoire for each concert is introduced by Stephen Johnson.
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Festival artistic director Guy Johnston said: “After three marvellous and moving days of filming in the historic spaces of Hatfield House, we are thrilled to be releasing four concerts online this September.
“Turning the festival into a family affair, we are giving audiences the opportunity to go behind the scenes with Lord Salisbury, who introduces Hatfield House’s historic features with art historian Dr Emily Burns.
“I am also delighted to welcome many musicians who have become firm favourites at the festival.
“Rather than abandoning this year’s festival, we felt it was so important to keep musicians seen and heard, and above all employed.”
The festival opens on Friday, September 11 with acclaimed international cellist Guy Johnston and pianist Melvyn Tan performing Mendelssohn’s dynamic Cello Sonata No 2 in D Major in the Marble Hall of Hatfield House.
The festival closes back in the Marble Hall on Friday, October 2 as the Navarra Quartet unite with clarinettist Julian Bliss for Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet.
A historical concert in two parts on Friday, September 18 delves into the sacred and secular 17th-century music-making of Hatfield House.
Countertenor Iestyn Davies and lutenist Elizabeth Kenny perform songs by John Dowland written in praise of Queen Elizabeth I in the ornate Long Gallery, while organist Richard Gowers revives music from Hatfield House’s archives on the remarkable 1609 Hahn domestic organ in the Armoury.
Soprano Katherine Broderick joins pianist Kathryn Stott in a programme of chamber songs by Quilter, Schubert and Fauré in the Marble Hall on Friday, September 25.
Hatfield House is the home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury.
It was built in the early 1600s by Robert Cecil, 1st Earl of Salisbury and son of Lord Burghley, the chief minister of Elizabeth I.
The deer park surrounding the house and the older building of the Old Palace – built in 1485 by the Bishop of Ely, John Morton – had been owned by Elizabeth’s father, Henry VIII.
King Henry used it as a home for his children, Edward, Elizabeth and Mary.
It was while she was living in the Old Palace, in 1558, that Elizabeth learned of her accession to the throne.
The chamber music performances have been filmed by Apple and Biscuit Recordings in high quality and intimate multi-camera set-ups.
Filming locations include several of Hatfield House’s historic and striking rooms, including the Marble Hall, home to the famous Rainbow Portrait of Queen Elizabeth I, the Armoury, and the Long Gallery.
The Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2021, with celebrations set to include returning festival artists from the last ten years.
Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival 2020 Full Programme
• Friday, September 11, 2020, 7pm
Marble Hall, Hatfield House
Beethoven: Trio in B-flat major, Op. 11 for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano, slow movement
Schubert: Impromptu, Op. 90 No 2
Mendelssohn: Cello Sonata No 2 in D Major
Guy Johnston (cello), Melvyn Tan (piano), with Julian Bliss (clarinet).
• Friday, September 18, 2020, 7pm
Long Gallery & Armoury, Hatfield House
Dowland: Say Love if Ever Thou Didst Find
Dowland: King of Denmark’s Galliard
Dowland: Can She Excuse my Wrongs
Dowland: Flow My Tears
Dowland: Come Again
Dowland: In Darkness Let Me Dwell
Iestyn Davies (countertenor), Elizabeth Kenny (lute).
Handel: Voluntary ‘A Flight of Angels’
Handel: Six Fugues, Fugue II in G
Tomkins: Voluntary in D
Byrd: My Lady Nevells Booke of Virginal Music, A Galliards Gygge
Tallis: La doune cella
Richard Gowers (organ).
• Friday, September 25, 2020, 7pm
Marble Hall, Hatfield House
Schubert: An die Musik
Schubert: An die Entfernte D765
Schubert: Gretchen am Spinnrade
Fauré: Nocturne No 11
Fauré: Les Berceaux
Fauré: Les Présents
Fauré: Après un Rêve
Berlioz: La Captive
Quilter: Fair house of Joy
Quilter: Now sleeps the crimson petal
Katherine Broderick (soprano), Kathryn Stott (piano), with Guy Johnston (cello).
• Friday, October 2, 2020, 7pm
Chapel & Marble Hall, Hatfield House
Glière: Berceuse Op. 39 No 3
Puccini: I Crisantemi
Bach: Cello Suite No 2 in D minor
Mozart: Clarinet Quintet, K. 581
Guy Johnston (cello), Navarra Quartet, with Julian Bliss (clarinet).
For more on the festival, visit hatfieldhousemusicfestival.org.uk