West Cork Chamber Music Festival


Bantry, Co Cork Today-Sat, Jul 7 westcorkmusic.ie1850-788789

The West Cork Chamber Music Festival is the Irish event that goes where others dare not tread.

This year Austrian pianist and composer Thomas Larcher is in residence, playing and giving guidance to young composers. The works of his own that feature are Cello Sonata, Mumien, Still, IXXU and Poems. Tanja Becker-Bender pairs the solo violin Caprices of 19th- and 21st-century Italians, Nicolò Paganini and Salvatore Sciarrino. Natalie Clein is playing some solo cello suites by Bach, as part of a pre- lunchtime strand of early music that will also include excerpts from Purcell’s Fairy Queen and Dido and Aeneas, motets by Vivaldi and Boccherini’s Stabat Mater.

As ever, the string quartet dominates. This year’s programme includes quartets by Arriaga, Bartók, Beethoven, Deirdre Gribbin, Górecki, Haydn, Bill McGrath, Mozart, Orff, Krzysztof Penderecki, Schnittke, Schubert, Schulhoff, Schumann, Shostakovich, Szymanowski, Tchaikovsky, Tippett, Webern and J Harry Whalley, with quartets young and old to play them: in order of first appearance, the Apollon Musagète (left), RTÉ Vanbrugh, Signum, Gildas, Chiaroscuro, Cairde, and Benz Quartets.

And, again as ever, RTÉ lyric fm relays that are taken up by the European Broadcasting Union will ensure the music- making has an audience of over seven million, beyond the few hundred who can be squeezed into the tiny venues in Bantry.