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Programme Details

Brixworth Music Festival 2022

Programme Details

6th May 2022 

7.30 pm

Early Music with the Polyphonica Recorder Trio and Sarah Small and Ensemble

The Polyphonica Recorder Trio was formed in 2006 and has since performed at venues across the UK and a number of times in Germany, France and Holland premiering works composed for the trio in Germany and France. Three gifted musicians come together in this trio to show the recorder at its best, delighting audiences with performances of the instruments’ rich repertoire from medieval through to the present day. The trio is committed to historically informed performance as well as advancing the recorder as a modern instrument though collaboration with composers from the UK, France and Australia. Polyphonica released their self-titled debut album in August 2010, which features music from 14th century monody and music by Henry VIII, Susato, Holborne, Genzmer, Allworth, Matheson and Sieg. Their second CD of music for countertenor and recorders featuring the renowned countertenor, Robert Cross, is in production. Polyphonica is dedicated to providing workshops on recorder playing and performance practice to people of all ages through festivals, summer schools and other workshops including the annual recorder weekend at Knuston Hall in Northamptonshire. The members of Polyphonica are all active recorder teachers and sought after for individual and ensemble coaching.

Their programme for this evening's concert is entitled: The Pilgrim's Delight. Played on copies of Renaissance instruments found in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Polyphonica presents a programme of Medieval and Renaissance music - both sacred and secular. Religious pieces for entertaining pilgrims and vocal and instrumental works from the time of the dissolution of the monasteries. Pieces include Medieval monody, Renaissance polyphonic instrumental works and songs from composers including Dunstable, Janequin, Ruffo, and Henry VIII.


Polyphonica Recorder Trio

Sarah Small and Ensemble

Sarah Small - Viola da gamba, Harry Buckoke - Viola da gamba,  Jonatan Bougt - Theorbo

The trio will play a selection of their favourite works for this combination of instruments. The programme features several pieces by the most prolific composer and virtuoso for the viol, Marin Marais, including the famous ‘Tombeau pour Mr de Sainte-Colombe’, a tribute after the death of his teacher, who also features in this programme with his spellbinding Chaconne rapportée for two viols.

As like many instruments, viols emulate the human voice and in this concert will take on the role of the singers in two vocal pieces written by Julie Pinel, a 17th century female composer; ‘Boccages Frais’ and ‘Pourquoy le Berger qui m’engage’, from her self-published Nouveau Recueil d'Airs Sérieux et à Boire (collection of serious and drinking songs).

Whilst Marais’ playing style gave him the title of the Angel, Antoine Forqueray, another renowned viol virtuoso at the time, took the title of the Devil for his. In ‘La Leclair’, from his Pièces de viole you will get a taste of why he has this reputation.


Sarah Small and Ensemble

7th May 2022 

11.00 am


Lecture - Recital

Beethoven and the Piano

Oksana King (Piano) and Vivienne Olive


This is a belated birthday 250th birthday present for Beethoven, after our celebrations  were thwarted in 2020. Oksana King will be playing the following works by Beethoven;

Ecossaise-WoO83 Eb major, the Piano Sonatas nos. 6 and 7, the Rondo a Capriccio "Wut über den verlorenen Groschen" (Anger over a Lost Penny), and the well known "Für Elise". 

This lecture- recital is ideal for those music lovers who would like to understand more about Beethoven's use of form in music and how he contributed to the development of piano literature in the 19th century. Composer and professor of composition and music theory, Vivienne Olive, will be there to help.


Oksana King

and Vivienne Olive 

2.00 pm

Piano Duets

Oksana King and Andrew King

Oksana King and Andrew King (no relation!) first appeared as a piano duet in a performance of Brahms’ Requiem with the Market Harborough Choral Society in 2018.The duet is coming to the very popular Brixworth Festival with a fantastic programme of inspiring four-hand piano music. 

Andrew King had his first piano lesson at the age of six, and three years later he became a chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral. He began learning the organ shortly after and passed the diploma of ARCO whilst at school. He completed an MA at Jesus College Cambridge where he was an organ scholar. He has toured widely throughout Europe, Singapore, the USA, Poland and New Zealand.Andrew currently works as a freelance teacher, pianist and organist in Northamptonshire and has been accompanist to the Harborough Singers since 1997.  

Oksana King is a pianist and piano teacher based in Brixworth. She was educated in St Petersburg Conservatoire, where she completed her Performer’s Diploma with Distinction. She has performed as a soloist throughout Russia and the Czech Republic, where she also accompanied choirs, instrumentalists and singers.  In the UK, Oksana performed solo recitals at Stowe Music School (as part of the Chung Steinway concerts) and at All Saints Church in Brixworth and has been engaged as an accompanist with Market Harborough Choral Society since 2015.  Oksana teaches piano at all levels and has a particular expertise in the prevention of repetitive strain injury. 

In our recital we would like to commemorate the life and music of Beethoven, whose 250th birthday ‘party’, which was due in 2020, but couldn't take place due to the lock down restrictions. The piano sonata was one his favourite genres, and he wrote 32 sonatas for piano solo. But for piano duet he nevertheless only wrote one sonata. This work was written very early in his life after which he experienced a growing sense of isolation due to the cruel onslaught of his deafness.  It's difficult to imagine how many great works for piano duet Beethoven might have written if it hadn't been for this tragic circumstance. We cherish this work and are glad we can perform it after the festival's long  break.

The rest of our programme is dedicated to music that has a strong connection with ballet and dance. Ravel's ‘Mother Goose ’ was written first as a piano suite and then later transformed into a ballet suite. and we shall be performing 'The Dance of the Wet Nurses' from Stravinsky’s ballet ‘Petrushka’ in the composer’s own transcription for the piano duet.

The brilliance and lyrical appeal of the Hungarian Dances by Brahms have long made them into an irreplaceable item for practically any instrument, chamber group and even an orchestra. The 21 Hungarian Dances were originally written for the piano duet, as well as the Waltzes; you will hear a selection of both in this concert.


7.30 pm

An Evening of Poetry and Song


Our ever popular Evening of Poetry and Song will feature poetry readings by local poets (including Roger Brandon-Jones), as well as performances by younger members of the community, including Sam Pickles who will be singing excerpts from Stuart Cooper's latest musical. And it will be wonderful to welcome back Gwion Thomas and Chloe Willson Thomas as guest artists.

Chloe will be singing Cuatro Madrigales Amatorios by Rodrigo, and Gwion will sing Three Shakespeare songs by Quilter, as well as Vivienne Olive' duet, "Sweet Te Deums", which was composed especially for them. Other compositions will include the Victorian duet, The Spider and the Fly, and the Count/Susanna duet from Figaro.

Also on the programme will be a selection of music from Stuart Cooper's musical, "Wonderland"

This is a musical drama set against the backdrop of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  The musical is set in an unspecified east European country as it faces the upheavals of change. The musical's main theme is 'love conquers all' and concerns the conflicts that this brings in its wake.  The musical centres around two young brothers, Johannes, a border guard, and Alex, a 'wide-boy' market trader, who both fall in love with the same young woman (Julia) returning to Wonderland to visit her aunt and uncle after the death of her mother and the subsequent break-up of a long-term relationship.  The border guard is torn between duty and love, and his brother between having fun and commitment.  Composer and pianist – Stuart Cooper, Vocalist – Sam Pickles, Percussion – Mark Mcharg. 

Robert Brandon-Jones.jpg

Chloe Willson-Thomas  Gwion Thomas and Roger Brandon-Jones  

8th May 2022


2.00 pm

The afternoon will begin with an organ recital given my Ian Clarke. The programme will include Hindemith's Organ Sonata No. 1 as well as works by Bach. Perhaps most important will be the long awaited first performance of the winning work of the Women Composers Competition. Florence Anna Maunders wrote the prizewinning work for solo organ, which should have been performed at the festival in 2020. She will be coming up from London to hear the performance of her "Canons and Inventions".


Ian Clarke

3.30 pm

This will be am opportunity to hear younger musicians from Northamptonshire, including the Guitar Octet of the Northamptonshire Music and Performing Arts Trust and the Year II Choir of Spratton Hall School.

Year 2 Choir2.jpg


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