Thursday, 15 September 2011

Hans Krása at the West Wycombe Chamber Music Festival

That's Hans Krása (1899-1944). The occasion this photo was taken? It's a still from the Nazi propaganda film glorifying Theresienstadt, the model camp where inmates could live happily and healthily and make music. Krasa is listening attentively to Karl Ancerl conduct the Theresienstadt Orchestra. Everyone knows darn well they're being used but it it buys the camp time, what choice do they have?

Great opportunity to heard Krása's Passacaglia and Fugue plus Tanec for String Trio at the new West Wycombe Chamber Music Festival. There are two festivals with similar names but this one's strictly chamber music, and new. It's run by Lawrence Power the violist, familar to many from his work with the Nash Ensemble. Other Nash players included are Paul Watkins, Annabelle Meare and Stephanie Gonley. Also taking part are Anthony Marwood, Simon Crawford Philips, Bjørg Lewis (Mrs Paul), and Guy Johnston. Chamber musicians interconnect through many different networks. The Nash Ensemble played these two Hans Krása works for string trio at the Theresienstadt/Terezin Memorial weekend at the Wigmore Hall in June 2010. Read more about that here and use the "Theresienstadt" label on the right.

West Wycombe is on the western outskirts of High Wycombe, so is easy to reach by car up or down the M40/M25. Famous for the 18th century Hell Fire Club. Good 16th century pub on the main street (or was), so you can make a day of it. Lawrence Power grew up near there, I used to live there once too. Nice place.Musically, though, it's bound to be worth going to just for the concerts, as these are among the best players in the country. Also on the programmes, Dvorak, Brahms, Schumann and Shostakovich. More details HERE.

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