What is great music?

Maybe music falls into two main categories? One that meets our current expectations – the other that takes us beyond them on a journey to a larger space.

Giving people what they’re familiar with is a laudable and honest enterprise – mostly! But to me what is exciting is to lay out a beautiful sound-path that leads listeners to musical experiences  that go beyond their expectations. I believe that the unique feature of all true art is that it allows our own personal ‘meanings’ to engage with the evidence of our senses; and in the merging of the inner and outer to derive a greater sense of Meaning, or, if you prefer, a sense of greater Meaning. 

A matter of the greatest sensitivity therefore is selecting and presenting music that attracts people to join this ’space trip’.  And what we call ‘great' is music which is a proven vehicle for the experience. 

This explains what a Bach violin concerto and the entertainment Façade are doing on the same bill on Saturday 15th September 2018 at Compton Marbling Barn. The Cherubim Chamber Soloists  will perform four complementary concertos in the first half, which give four of our Cherubim Musicians a chance to show what they can do: and they make a super sequence, being linked by a beautiful string orchestral accompaniment. Those who have been to our Festivals before already know flautist Octavia Lamb, violinist Gabriella Jones and cellist Josh Salter. Only vibraphonist Diogo Gomes is new, but what a sonorous instrument the vibraphone is, and the Séjourné concerto shows its range of colours to superb advantage.

So we hope you will come and support them. But those concertos then prepare us to crack open the jack-in-a-box that is Façade, and out jumps a cornucopia of fireworks. There really isn’t another piece like it – witty, sad, flat-out mad and touching all at the same time.

And why? Because it’s held together by William Walton’s wonderful music. Each movement is a little jewel perfectly expressing the mood of the poetry – which the 19 y/o Walton probably didn’t even understand! So what appeared to everyone in 1922 as an ephemeral  jeu d’ésprit has stood the test of time and grown into work of intriguing ‘greatness' that people are still performing and enjoying 100 years later.

I urge you to give it a listen. I can’t guarantee you that inner space journey; but I think it’s safe to say that music-lovers who have come to our events have found the experiences they were looking for as well as being offered intriguing glimpses of the worlds that lie beyond.

Book here for a great night out and a chance to share the magical energy our young performers bring.