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Get ready for the festival season

By Brentwood Gazette  |  Posted: May 23, 2012

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JUNE is, by tradition, the month of many musical festivals.

I suppose that's because people try to stage events before the summer holidays, the evenings are longer and people still have some cash in their pockets before the summer spend.

That is the theory, and in practice there are two festivals that deserve a mention, starting up in Suffolk with the 65th Aldeburgh Festival.

Of course this is, by anyone's estimations, an international event which starts on June 8 and continues until June 24.

"Children are the only reasonable sane audience," claimed the late Maurice Sendak and his book Where the Wild Things Are (music by Oliver Knussen) opens the programmes.

For full details visit www.aldeburgh.co.uk

Closer to home is the Thaxted Festival which starts on June 22 and continues on a weekly basis through to July 15.

The programme of fifteen events brings some well-known names to the small town including Red Priest and the choir of St John's Cambridge.

Meanwhile, Bach's music provides a running thread through the mix of choral, orchestral and instrumental programmes, full details of which are to be found at www.thaxtedfestival.org.uk

Of course, not everyone has spare cash to spend, but if you love your music and want to hear it at home, here are some serving suggestions at super-budget or budget price with eight baroque concertos to start off proceedings, played by the Slovak Capella Istropolitana directed by Jaroslav Kruchek (Naxos 8.550877).

Composers such as Albinoni, Geminiani and Vivaldi would not have recognised themselves as "baroque" (the term came much later), but they would have strove to provide brilliantly decorated orchestral parts in the concertos for string instruments recorded here.

Sydney Torch was a familiar name conducting the BBC Concert orchestra for Friday Night is Music Night and recordings made by him between 1946 and 1952 are brought together on a remastered Dutton Vocalion release.

Many of the 30 tracks are "mood pieces" which could have been used by film directors, but some got a wider exposure including Barnacle Bill (Blue Peter) and Changing Moods No 2, aka PC49 theme.

All good, clean musical fun with Michael Dutton's re-mastering excellent (Dutton CDEA 6080).

Chris Green

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