Bath, Brighton, Chip­ping Cam­p­den Fes­ti­val, Stour Mu­sic, Chel­tenham, St En­del­lion, Dart­ing­ton In­ter­na­tional Sum­mer School

BBC Music Magazine - - Festival Special -

Bath Fes­ti­val

When: 11-27 May

Where: Bath,

Bath & North East Som­er­set

Tel: +44 (0)1225 463362

Web: www.bath­mu­

There’s noth­ing new in fes­ti­vals seek­ing to broaden their ap­peal. When Sir Michael Tip­pett stepped in as di­rec­tor of the Bath Fes­ti­val he in­tro­duced a Blues Week­end with Led Zep­pelin head­lin­ing. Fifty years on, the band’s for­mer lead singer Robert Plant re­turns to the Recre­ation Ground as Bath cel­e­brates its 70th birth­day with an ex­tended fes­ti­val, eclec­tic as ever and boast­ing some 160 events.

In re­cent years it’s been launched by a free ‘party in the city’ chan­nelling some 2,000 per­form­ers across more than 30 venues and open spa­ces. Last year over 20,000 peo­ple vis­ited the seven-hour ex­trav­a­ganza which this year is re­lo­cated to the mid­dle week­end on 18 May. Around it a pro­gramme with strik­ingly com­pletist am­bi­tions takes over the Ge­or­gian Assem­bly Rooms, fan­vaulted Abbey and Art Deco Fo­rum. The Gould Pi­ano Trio looks after Schu­bert, ten ‘Cof­fee with Haydn’ con­certs find Ro­man Rabi­novich brav­ing the com­plete pi­ano sonatas, Lars Vogt and the Royal North­ern Sin­fo­nia tackle Beethoven’s five pi­ano con­cer­tos across two days and bari­tone Rod­er­ick Wil­liams en­lists pi­anist Iain Burn­side for all three Schu­bert song cy­cles.

Glo­ri­ous one-offs in­clude the con­duc­tor-less Spira Mirabilis per­form­ing Beethoven’s Sev­enth Sym­phony, while Bern­stein’s West Side Story lends a dash of Up­per West Side New York to the Fo­rum and the Mar­ian Con­sort wraps Mis­er­eres by Al­le­gri and James Macmil­lan around Palest­rina, Vic­to­ria and a set­ting of the Sta­bat Mater by Gabriel Jack­son. Add in pi­ano recitals re­mem­ber­ing the De­bussy cen­te­nary from Jean-ef­flam Bavouzet and Stephen Hough and Bath makes quite a splash.


14 May Beethoven Sym­phony No. 7; Spira Mirabilis

15 May Macmil­lan Mis­erere, Al­le­gri, Vic­to­ria, Jack­son; The Mar­ian Con­sort 17 May De­bussy, Schu­mann; JeanE am-bavouzet (pi­ano)

18, 20 & 22 May Schu­bert: the song cy­cles; Rod­er­ick Wil­liams (bari­tone), Iain Burn­side (pi­ano)

18 & 19 May Beethoven com­plete pi­ano con­cer­tos; Lars Vogt (pi­ano, di­rec­tor), Royal North­ern Sin­fo­nia

Spa billing:

Ro­man Rabi­novich is set to play Haydn pi­ano sonatas in Bath; (be­low) the city’s Ge­or­gian Assem­bly Rooms

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