From Friday November 24 to Sunday November 26, Jane Gordon the artistic director who recently has moved to St Leonards-on-Sea, organised the Hastings Early Music Festival “Sound of Times”. The first concert presented The Piano Trio, playing Mozart, Beethoven and Hayden. On Saturday 25 November, it was a concert by candlelight in a beautiful church, now Opus Theatre, on Cambridge Road. Opera star soprano Charlotte Beament, Neil McLaren on flute, Jane Gordon, on violin and the Baroque ensemble HemF played on authentic instruments, performed Vivaldi and arias from Handel’s Messiah. The Bach Flute Suite, which was beautiful, was played on an original, 17th century instrument.
Polo Piatti, the international composer who lives in Hastings, is the director of the Opus Theatre. He would like people to understand that local venues can offer music/theatre as good as any London option. The next big happening is “Tenors Un Limited, the rat pack of Opera” on December 8 at 7:30. If anyone would like to find out more about it go to the website.
The third concert in the early music festival on Sunday afternoon November 26, The Telling, a medieval ensemble, at the Kino-Teatr, 45-49 Norman Street, St Leonards, welcomed the audience and put them into the Christmas mood with a candlelit concert and readings, bringing medieval music to life. Soprano Clare Norburn, mezzo and percussionist Ariane Prussner and Kaisa Pulkkinen on harp and recorder, performed the earliest medieval carols including “Ther is No Rose” and the “Coventry Carol.”
The festival’s aim was to venture beyond traditional classical music boundaries, bridging the gap between audience and performers. The combination of the two voices and harp was wonderful. The Kino-Teatr also offers many other events as well as a Christmas coffee concert on Christmas Eve between 11-12 am and is family friendly. There is also a very interesting exhibition. For any further information go to the website.
Photos: Baroque ensemble,Heidi Foster; all others Robert Piwko