Author Archives: Ellie Winter

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Programme: Suite No. 3 in C major – Bach Souvenir de Balatonboglár - Kurtág In Memoriam Ferenc Wilhelm - Kurtág Suite No. 2 in D minor - Bach Schatten - Kurtág In Memoriam Gyorgy Kroó - Kurtág Suite No. 6 in D major - Bach He has the perfect cello, the perfect bow, and the perfect music. It’s the dream formula, so what could give acclaimed cellist Steven Isserlis such deep trepidation? Bach’s Six Unaccompanied Cello Suites are to a musician what Hamlet is to an actor. They are the pinnacle of art and endurance, and the ultimate test of technique, strength and musicianship. Bach’s minimal performance markings leave much to interpretation, but with such artistic freedom comes great pressure. The…

February 12, 2016

Villagers @ The Oxford O2 (08.02.16)

By - on 12/02/2016 at 6:00 pm

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It’s an open campfire at O’Brien’s tonight. Soggy February skies muffle Oxford’s O2 Academy, but inside Villagers and their merry men are blazing through an Irish folktale. “Do you really wanna know about these lines on my face? Well…” Canadian experimental folk singer Aidan Knight introduced the evening’s story with an acoustic set steeped in melancholy. He perched cross-legged just like he was enjoying a lazy afternoon on a park bench. Thoughtful, well-crafted, but at times a little bland, Knight’s sound resembled a subdued Jack Johnson. It was more his endearingly modest persona that sold the otherwise lackluster set. Charming with laid-back conversation, the O2 warmed to him with ease, and he gave way graciously…

February 11, 2016

Joshua Bell & Steven Isserlis @ The Cadogan Hall (22.01.16)

By - on 11/02/2016 at 12:01 am

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Programme: Dvořak ‘Waldesruhe’ arr. for cello and orchestra, B.182 Beethoven ‘Symphony No.8 in F major, Op. 93′ Schumann ‘Violin Concerto, mv. II’ (codetta by Britten) Brahms ‘Double Concerto in A minor, Op. 102′ Steven Isserlis (cello) and Joshua Bell (violin) entered a sold-out Cadogan Hall yesterday, accompanied by players from the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields. The ensemble has been touring throughout January across Europe, performing at venues from Dusseldorf to Edinburgh. Bell and Isserlis’s friendship spans thirty years of collaborations and performances, and the pair have been eager to tour together for many years. This month, their ambition has been realised. Isserlis opened the concert with a profound, elegant rendition of Dvořak’s ‘Waldesruhe’ (‘Silent Woods’). In his most…

February 1, 2016

Oxford Sofar Sounds @ Worcester College Chapel (26.01.16)

By - on 01/02/2016 at 11:38 pm

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  Lineup: MagZen Marie Naffah The Fusion Project Duotone   On Tuesday night Worcester College’s darkened grandeur lit up. Since its set up in 2010, Sofar Sounds – or Songs from A Room – has exploded into a global organization, and now spans 300 cities worldwide. The format is secret, unplugged performances for audiences and artists jaded by the conventional gig experience. Past lineups have ranged from the undiscovered to James Bay: anything can happen.   The Oxford branch’s January edition was underscored by the intricate beauty of Worcester chapel. Its golden interior is adorned with illustrations on the theme of creation (including, allegedly, a flying dodo…), and encourages a generous, reverberant acoustic.   Up…

November 29, 2015

Vulture Sessions Live at The Holywell, Oxford

By - on 29/11/2015 at 6:35 pm

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If you were to name Michaelmas term 2015’s ‘top trenders’, the Vulture Sessions boys Jack Saville and Nick Hampson would undoubtedly top the list. Launching in January this year, the two New College students have taken Oxford University’s indie scene by storm: filming and promoting otherwise hidden musical stars in the city’s beautifully unique surroundings, and then releasing the videos on all platforms of social media. The formula has become a viral sensation, and the success of its first live event (18.11.15) was the ultimate validation of their brand’s skyrocketing popularity. With the promise of a seven-act strong line-up, the Holywell Music room filled up with ease. Saville and Hampson, accompanied by their dedicated team,…

November 26, 2015

Communion’s New Faces Tour 2015 at The Bullingdon, Oxford

By - on 26/11/2015 at 10:13 pm

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Communion’s New Faces tour hit the Oxford Bullingdon once again last Monday with its strongest line up yet. Fast developing a reputation for showcasing the hottest new acts around, New Faces has previously acted as a springboard for the likes of Frances, Eliza and the Bear and Kimberly Anne. On this third outing, the tour met high expectations once again with a lineup of unfaltering musical talent. Jack Watts kicked off the evening with tracks from his debut EP Red Shortbread. Silence fell as Brighton-born 20 year old stunned with a vocal versatility that paired warm hushed tones with a stunning falsetto that falls somewhere between Buckley and James Blake. The EP overall is a beautiful…