Great music for autumn

Ensemble 360
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Probably the greatest of all time. That is Colin Jagger’s verdict on the song-cycle that will become the first performed in a Portsmouth Chamber Music concert.

Colin, who as director of music at the University of Portsmouth introduced the series, says: ‘I am delighted to be able to include a vocal recital for the first time and what better than to start with one of the greatest song-cycles of all time – probably the greatest.’

Die Winterreise (The Winter Journey), which tells a story of unrequited love, will be performed by baritone Marcus Farnsworth and pianist James Baillieu on November 29.

This is one of four events to be presented in partnership with the Music in the Round organisation which won the Chamber Music and Song category at this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Awards.

The other two concerts will be given by members of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra whose principal conductor, Kirill Karabits, was another winner at the same ceremony.

The Portsmouth programme begins on November 1 with BSO leader Amyn Merchant and cellist Calum Cook being joined by pianist Daniel Tong (co-director of the Winchester Chamber Music Festival) in works by Czech masters Janacek, Smetana and Dvorak, ending with the latter’s popular Dumky Trio.

In the second concert by BSO players (January 17), young associate conductor Maxime Tortelier joins three woodwind principals – flautist Anna Pyne, Edward Kay (oboe) and Kevin Banks (clarinet) in a programme ranging from popular masterpieces by Debussy and Faure to the Fantasia on Airs from Bellini’s opera, I Puritani.

Ensemble 360, resident group of Music in the Round, bring back the Czech flavour with Janacek’s Mladi (Youth) and Martinu’s Nonet (February 14),in a concert that also features another new score by Charlie Piper entitled With Stolen Fire.

Early-music specialists Florilegium include works by members of the Bach family, Telemann and French composers before violinist Peter Cropper, cellist Moray Welsh and pianist Martin Roscoe end the season with Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert and Brahms (May 16). The concerts, promoted by the university with New Theatre Royal support, are in the Third Floor Arts Centre at Portsmouth Central Library (7.30pm).

Tickets: £15 on (023) 9284 3023 or go to music@port.ac.uk.