Review: Vale Of Glamorgan Festival - Fretwork @ St. Augustine's Church
I would see 99% of all the concerts at this year's VoG Festival (I just love calling it that).
Bouncing around the Vale, you get to see some beautiful landscapes and enjoy some very stimulating music.
Fretwork are, in a nutshell, a consort of viols. This is basically a group of string players who play instruments from the 16th/17th centuries. Their repertoire is humongous and there are very few works off limits. From playing the first printed music from 1501 from Venice, to brand new compositions created for them, the only way is up.
For this concert they performed several works by living composers (this festival now only plays works by living composers). It was a mixed bag. These instruments, which include the viola da gamba, have an interesting sound world of the past. Sadly, all the music feels very amalgamated to create any real appeal, other than to gawp at these fine things from the past.
BUZZ by Barry Guy had heads turning and was crying for attention. Arvo Part's Frates, harks to the past, but as it's such a mellow work it can lose appeal. Nico Muhly, the New York upstart composer, who's getting praise and recognition, wrote Slow, which also had little to make it stand out, unlike the rest of his work.
The appallingly uncomfortable pews at Saint Augustine's didn't help, however the architecture of the building is staggering.
Fretwork's musicianship precedes them, however this programme did not.
Rating: 2 stars
The 47th Vale of Glamorgan Festival continues next year: 10th to 20th May 2016. The final concert features the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the BBC Singers conducted by Jac van Steen. With music by Peteris Vasks: Cantabile and the world premier of his Viola Concerto, with soloist Maxim Rysanov, along with The Desert Music by Steve Reich. Friday 20th May 2016 at Saint David's Hall, Cardiff.
Fretwork play Tavener and Taverner at Kings Place, London on Friday 18th December. Featuring The Hidden Face and Nipson, with counter tenor Iestyn Davies and oboist Nicholas Daniel.
- Review: Vale of Glamorgan Festival - Nieuw Ensemble @ All Saints Church & RWCMD
- Review: BBC NOW - Vale of Glamorgan Festival @ Hoddinott Hall (Opening night, 2014)
- Review: BBC NOW - Vale of Glamorgan Festival @ Hoddinott Hall (Opening night, 2013)
- Review: Vale of Glamorgan Festival - BBC NOW @ Hoddinott Hall (Closing Night, 2013)
- Review: Vale of Glamorgan Festival - Vox Clamantis @ St. Augustine's Church
- Review: Vale of Glamorgan Festival - @ All Saints Church
- Review: Vale of Glamorgan Festival - Chamber Choir Ireland @ RWCMD
- SproutCast #2: January 2015 - Weeping Tudor's operas/classical of 2014 (VoG Festival: Clare Hammond & John Tavener concerts)