2023 Concert Programme announced!

Curry Rivel Music is excited to announce its programme for 2023. There’s some fascinating stuff in there, including a mini-opera, a pair of accordion virtuosi, and a big choir. To finish with, we have the perfect thing for the church ambience: trumpet and organ. But the highlight has to be the Welsh Chamber Orchestra!

The more numerically astute of our attendees may have spotted already that this adds up to five concerts, a bonus from the usual four. So, this year’s season ticket costs £55, but that still has to be the best musical entertainment value around.

Full details at https://curryrivelmusic.wordpress.com/concert-programme-2023/. Tell your friends!


Programme for Blackweir Brass concert in September

Dear Curry Rivel music lovers, I hope that you are having a lovely summer. Enjoy it while you can, but as compensation for the start of autumn, we have more music in the church to look forward to!

We now have the programme for the Blackweir Brass concert on 17th September, at https://curryrivelmusic.wordpress.com/concert-programme-2022-2023/17-08-22-blackweir-brass/. It looks super. Tell you family, friends, and neighbours: there are a lot of fans of brass music out there, and this one will be special.

See you there!

Curry Rivel Music is back!

After a rather extended break due to you-know-what, we are very very pleased to announce that great music is coming back to St Andrews, Curry Rivel!

You can see the programme for the 2022 season here.

The season starts on 26th March with the wonderful Ruisi Quartet, with a mouth-watering programme of Bach, Haydn, Beethoven, and a piece specially composed for them.

At £12 per concert, and free for students and children, what could possibly keep you away?! 7 pm in the church.

See you there!

Exuberance, vitality and skill – Stetson Concert

St Andrew’s Church was again filled with the most attractive of attributes – even if some in the audience were lacking in one or more!   On 16th May that audience was treated to a delightful experience when the Stetson University of Florida Chamber Orchestra performed.

The musicians’ obvious delight in demonstrating just how good young players can be under an inspirational conductor was clear from the start.   Anthony Hose has put together as talented a group of 23 musicians as has graced any concert hall.   He – with them – chose and performed a programme as charming and original as could be asked for.   Composers unheard of by most of the audience were introduced by musicians who left us wondering why they had remained in obscurity for so long.   Morfydd Owen who died at the age of 26 enthralled us with her Threnody, while Asger Hamerik’s sixth symphony, the “Spirituelle” reminded us that there is more to Denmark than bacon and Sandi Toksvig.   Of his seven symphonies this is the only one written for string orchestra.   It echoes with folk tunes and pastoral harmonies.

One of Handel’s Concerti Grossi, Op.6, No 9, opened the programme – a more or less familiar piece – but Boccherini’s Cello Concerto G477 of about 1770, written by him with such technical demands as to defeat all but his own abilities as a cellist was another novelty to most of us.   It was brilliantly performed by David Bjella who is professor of cello at Stetson University.   Boccherini would have been impressed!

Variations for Bassoon and Strings by Antonin Reicha who lived from 1770 to 1836 was again a venture into the unknown.   Superbly played by Ian Morin whose list of achievements exceed the capacity of this journal, it amazed, amused and delighted in equal measure.

Kyrsten Chambers plays the piano to concert standard.   She plays the harpsichord to concert standard and she sings like an angel!   Her mezzo rendering of Vivaldi’s aria Gelito in ogni vena from Farnace was athletic, vibrant and thrilling.   It begins “I feel my blood like ice coursing through every vein”.   We got the feeling!


Anthony Hose began playing the piano at the age of three.   He has studied piano, harpsichord, clarinet and double bass as well as, of course, conducting.   An ex-professor of music at the Royal College of Music – his alma mater – and the Royal Academy of Music, he has conducted orchestras throughout Europe and America and has some 90 operas in his repertoire.

His contribution to the musical life of Stetson University since his appointment there in 2000 is something in which we shared his wholly justified pride.

Next season’s programme will shortly be on the website.

That music of this quality is available on your doorstep is amazing.   Come along and share.

Review by Malcom Cotterill

Grace, charm and brilliance

All these were present in abundance on the evening of Saturday 18th April, when internationally renowned ‘cellist Natalie Clein mesmerised a capacity audience in St Andrew’s Church.

On an instrument made by Guadagnini in Turin in 1777 (known as “the Simpson”) she drew the intricacies, complexities and delights of the Bach Suites for solo ‘cello numbers 3, 5 and 4 in that order.

They were probably written before 1720 and perhaps for an instrument quite different from the predecessor to the ‘cello, the viola da gamba.   What precisely Bach had in mind and for what and for whom remains the subject of scholarly dispute since no original Bach manuscript exists.   However we can be pretty sure that his second wife who wrote out the manuscripts probably got it right!   (Some commentators even think she may have written them!)

They were very little performed before Pablo Casals found, at the age of 13, a copy of the manuscript in a junk shop in Barcelona.   He popularised them and was still practising them shortly before his death at 96 “Because I think I’m improving”.

It is difficult to contemplate Natalie Clein’s improving – such is her pre-eminence in her field – but she is clearly in the Casals’ mould in commitment and, in the view of many, his master in brilliance.

All the Suites follow a similar pattern proceeding from prelude to allemande to courante to sarabande to bourée or gavotte and to final gigue – every element demanding technical brilliance and emotional immersion.   The audience was almost overwhelmed by these qualities so delightfully demonstrated by the artiste who, though only 38, has achieved international fame.   Between Germany the week before and Austria the following week Natalie found St Andrew’s acoustics and ambience and the appreciation of Curry Rivel Music’s supporters a worthwhile outlet for her talents.

Review by Malcom Cotterill