Classical: International choral talent comes to Roundhouse
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There’s more to choirs than Kings Cambridge, says Michael White, while the Brodsky Quartet provide another classical highlight this weekend.
Not every choir sounds like Kings Cambridge; and though Kings may be perfection of a kind, there are other approaches to choral music, a good few of which will be under scrutiny in a week when the Voices Now festival returns to the Roundhouse, in Camden Town.
Some 15 groups are scheduled to perform over a long weekend, ranging from the Veda Slovenia Bulgarian ensemble (doing its national folk repertoire) to Birmingham City Council Choir (a workplace venture founded by Gareth Malone) and the Holst Singers (almost certainly the most accomplished amateur vocal group in London, led by one of the world’s leading choir directors Stephen Layton).
Voices Now runs 8-10 May. Details: roundhouse.org.uk
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If you follow the Hampstead Arts Festival you’ll recall that the highlight of its 2013 season was a cycle of all four Zemlinsky string quartets played with astonishing artistry by the Brodsky Quartet – who were ‘breaking in’ the music’ for a recording on the Chandos label.
Saturated in the cultural atmosphere of fin-de-siecle Vienna, that recording is about to be released; and its launch coincides with the Brodskys playing another Zemlinsky cycle in concert at Kings Place.
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There are two events, 4.30pm and 6.30pm, on Sat 2nd May, with an introductory talk at 2.30pm. Highly recommended. Details: kingsplace.co.uk