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We hope you enjoy a selection of performances from previous instalments of the Oundle International Festival – the perfect way to gear up for this year’s festival taking place in July 2021.

Be sure to click here for full listings.

J.S. Bach - Toccata in F Major, BWV 540 Anna Lapwood organ

Recorded on the organ of Queen’s College Chapel, Cambridge by Anna Lapwood, who would have been a tutor on the Oundle for Organists course this year. She is Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge, and was previously the first female organ scholar at Magdalen College, Oxford.

A trailblazing musician, as a broadcaster she is regular contributor to BBC Radio 3 and hosts a live, weekly classical music show on BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. This year she made her TV presenting debut, hosting BBC Four’s coverage of BBC Young Musician 2020. Alongside her work as a conductor, Director of Music and public speaker, she performs an extensive number of organ recitals on some of the greatest instruments across Europe each season.

A Virtual Bach Walk - Anna Chalmers (Cello)

Anna Chalmers plays each movement of Bach’s First Cello Suite in G major, BWV 1007, at different church in the Oundle area. The Prelude, mainly consisting of arpeggiated chords, is the best known movement from the entire set of six suites and is regularly heard on television and in films.

For a number of years the Oundle International Fesitval has programmed a Bach walk and concerts to commemorate the 500 mile round trip J S Bach made in his early twenties to hear the great organist and composer Dietrich Buxtehude play the organ. Our much shorter walk takes in the churches of St Peter’s Oundle (Prelude), St Leonard’s Glapthorn (Allemande), St Andrew’s Cotterstock (Courante), St Mary and All Saints Fotheringhay (Sarabande), St Mary’s Warmington (Minuets 1 & 2), and St Mary’s Woodnewton (Gigue).

Beethoven Moonlight Sonata 1st movement Xiaowen Shang piano

Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C♯ minor “Quasi una fantasia”, Op. 27, No. 2 is popularly known as the Moonlight Sonata. It was completed in 1801 and dedicated in 1802 to his pupil, Countess Giulietta Guicciardi. It is one of Beethoven’s most popular compositions for the piano, and a popular favourite even in his own day. The name Moonlight Sonata comes from remarks made by the German music critic and poet Ludwig Rellstab. In 1832, five years after Beetho-ven’s death, Rellstab likened the effect of the first movement to that of moonlight shining upon Lake Lucerne.

Xiaowen Shang is studying with Joanna MacGregor at the Royal Academy of Music in London where she recorded her contribution during lockdown. She started playing the piano at home in China when she was four years old. She is a versatile musician, interested in early and contemporary music as well as classical repertoire. In 2018, she obtained a full En-trance Scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music and recently received the First Prize in the WCOM Harriet Cohen Bach Com-petition in Royal Academy of Music in 2019.

Three Schubert Songs Magnus Walker tenor Frikki Walker piano

Tenor, Magnus Walker, currently in his third year at the Royal Academy of Music, sings Frühlingsglaube (Faith in Spring), Lachen und Weinen (Laughter and tears) and An die Musik (To music), accompanied by his father Frikki Walker. Recorded during Lockdown in St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow where Frikki Walker is Director of Music.

Budapest Café Orchestra

The BCO was established by British composer and violinist Christian Garrick in 2009. Led by Christian, they play a blistering barrage of traditional folk and gypsy-flavoured music from across the Balkans and Russia, Klezmer laments, Romanian Doinas, Hungarian Czardas and their own unique re-imaginings of some of the biggest pieces ever written by the greats.

Christian Garrick violin, darbuka
Eddie Hession button accordion
Adrian Zolotuhi guitar, saz, domra, tambourine
Kelly Cantlon double bass

Bluebells / Raindrops Nick Penny harp

Of his compositions, local Oundle musician Nick Penny says: ” On 21 April 2020 lockdown was preventing me visiting the local bluebell woods I loved. I longed to go up there, but then realised that there were a few bluebells growing at the bottom of my garden. So I played my handpan piece near those instead. My conservatory has a lovely warm acoustic, and when I was playing my harp there one day it started raining. The sound of the rain falling gently on the roof inspired me to write this piece, which I called raindrops. One April morning during lockdown the rain once again inspired me to put the two sounds together.”

Glinka The Lark transcribed Balakirev Elizabeth Bass harp

The Lark was originally one of a group of twelve songs by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka entitled Farewell to St Petersburg. Mily Balakirev was inspired to start composing by Glinka and his transcription of The Lark succeeds in retaining the beautiful melody while dazzling us with its virtuosity.

Northamptonshire born and bred, a previous Oundle Young Musician of the Year (2009), Elizabeth Bass is one of the leading British harpists of her generation. She has performed with many of the UK’s leading orchestras including BBC Symphony Orchestra and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and performed as a soloist at the Royal Albert Hall, Birmingham Town Hall, St. John’s, Smith Square.