Waters Music: Communicating Music - Steven Osborne and Hebrides Ensemble

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Submitted by James Waters on Fri, 2017-03-10 16:44

Get a handle on Perth Concert Hall’s classical programme with these little light musings from James Waters, creative director for classical music.

Communicating Music - Steven Osborne and the Hebrides Ensemble

When Steven Osborne walks on to the concert stage a community is created.  We know that we are going to share in a very special ritual where we are taken on a journey along a path chosen by the artist.  For his Perth Piano Sundays programme on 26 March he has come up with a fascinating pairing.  He is interleaving Beethoven’s three last great piano sonatas with Brahms’s three Intermezzi Op 117.  The pieces are combined to show the final thoughts of two of the very greatest composers in that most personal of genres; solo piano music.   The concert will take place in a darkened room among friends.  Special.  It happens once and remains in the memory.

But what if you can’t make the concert?  You admire Steven as an artist and would love to hear him play.  In this case there is a solution. Steven is one of the most prolific of recording artists with repertoire ranging from Beethoven’s Hammerklavier Sonata, if you want to approach the Perth experience, to Messiaen’s massive Vingt Regards sur l’enfant Jesus and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.  The purchaser of one of these recordings can create their own concert hall at home.  Lights down, a glass of wine, no-one coughing or fidgeting, start time of your own choice.  It isn’t the same as a live concert but it can be a very intense experience.  In fact, in early 2018 Steven Osborne is recording Beethoven Piano Sonatas in Perth so you will be able to replicate our March concert pretty closely.

But what if you can’t get to the concert hall for any reason, be it physical distance or some other reason.  Also, what if, combined with this, the music you want to hear has not been recorded and you really crave access to the live concert experience?  Enter the Hebrides Ensemble – a truly world class Scottish group of musicians.   Their aspiration is to give audiences in Scotland, particularly those who live in remote areas, the opportunity to enjoy a live performance without the need to travel to the concert venue and to increase their audience reach in Scotland, the UK and internationally.  They will be streaming the Lunchtime Concert they are giving in Perth on 13 March over the Internet in both sound and vision, which means that if you can’t get to the hall you can still be at the concert via your PC.  Also, if as we hope, you come to the concert and love it, you will be able to go home and relive it as well as telling your friends about it and giving them the opportunity to encounter a great ensemble and to experience a concert in Perth Concert Hall.  The first time we did this we reached audiences in Africa and South America so the reach is potentially enormous.  The programme includes sparkling music by Poulenc and Debussy as well as a work by Isang Yun, a truly wonderful Korean composer.  Please join us – however you can – we look forward to sharing these two great concerts with you!

For tickets and info for Perth Piano Sundays with Steven Osborne on Sun 26 Mar, click here

For tickets and info for Hebrides Ensemble’s Lunchtime Concert on Mon 13 Mar, click here

To watch Hebrides Ensemble live in concert in Perth Concert Hall on Mon 13 Mar, tune in to  www.bbc.co.uk/arts or www.hebridesensemble.com from 1pm.