Music by Händel, Telemann, Locatelli, Tartini, Biber, Royer, J.S.Bach & Corelli
George Frideric Händel
Violin Sonata No. 4 in D Major HWV 371
Georg Phillipp Telemann
No 1 from 12 Fantasias for violin without bass
Caprice no 23 “Labyrinth” (solo violin)
Sonata in G minor “The Devil’s Trill”
— Interval —
Sonata no.1 in A
Vertigo (solo harpsichord)
Johann Sebastian Bach
Sonata in G major BMV 1021
Violin Sonata in D minor, Op.5 No.12 'La Folia'
Owing to the indisposition of the pianist, the original advertised concert by the Summerhayes Duo on Friday 20th April had to be changed at short notice. Instead, Adam Summerhayes in collaboration with David Wright played an evening of Baroque music for violin and harpsichord. This was to be a new venture for our society, as never having featured a harpsichord before, we were anxious to see how it would be accepted by our audience. Unfortunately, probably owing to the extreme heat of the glorious evening, the latter were rather few in number, preferring, no doubt, to enjoy the tranquility of their gardens!
Needless to say, works by J.S. Bach, Telemann, Tartini , Corelli and Handel featured in the programme, including the latter`s well known Violin Sonata No.4 in D, HWV371 and the infamous "Devil`s Trill" Sonata by Tartini. Sometimes playing separately, Locatelli`s 23rd Caprice known as "Labyrinth" and a Telemann Fantasia promoted the violin, and a virtuosic piece entitled "Vertigo"by J.N.P.Royer showed the Harpsichordist`s formidable, and not necessarily quiet, abilities.Three more violin sonatas after the break, by H.Biber, J S Bach and Corelli completed the evening, the last of the three being written as a set of variations rather than in the usual sonata form.
There is no doubting Adam Summerhayes` world class abilities as a violinist and he was well supported by David Wright at the harpsichord who is a celebrity in his own right. Apart from their exemplary playing they had a fund of interesting and humorous anecdotes to tell about the music and composers which is always much appreciated by the audience. From a personal point of view, perhaps the concert was more of a violin recital with quiet accomplished accompaniment, rather than a duo where the music is written with equal status and more interplay between the two instruments, but in reality the two genres should not be compared.
Adam and David now tour the world with the innovative baroque ‘super-group’ Red Priest - an early music quartet that has been compared in the press to the Rolling Stones, Jackson Pollock, the Marx Brothers, Spike Jones and the Cirque du Soleil. They are also currently recording a disc of Bach’s sonatas for violin and continuo.
“Astonishing, all-out virtuosity from Adam Summerhayes” wrote the New York Times this February, in one of the many rave reviews that the internationally acclaimed violinist has enjoyed. Adam’s grandfather studied the violin with Joachim's last pupil and with Adolf Brodsky, the violinist who premiered the Tchaikovsky concerto. He learnt first from him and then from Yfrah Neaman, one of the twentieth century's greatest pedagogues. He has been very highly acclaimed as a chamber musician, particularly for a number of discs featuring first recordings of previously unknown repertoire, including works by Aaron Copland. He has also given many concerto performances and has performed in Russia, Germany, France, Spain, the Czech Republic and the USA.
Adam has recorded over 20 CDs - duo, trio, larger chamber music, ZUM and other interesting projects - for Harmonia Mundi, Chandos, ASV, Meridian, Sargasso and others. He has broadcast live for BBC Radio 3 - including on the Early Music Show - and his recordings and compositions have been broadcast throughout the world.
A disc of his gypsy fiddle playing, was described as "heady stuff… thrilling virtuoso playing" (Gramophone). This disc lead to a cameo film moment, in Guy Ritchie's recent blockbuster Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. A performance of one of his own tracks is also featured.
Adam spent the autumn and winter of 2014 touring with the dutch superstar Caro Emerald as solo violinist in her eight piece band. This highly enjoyable interlude saw him playing to over 80,000 people in total in the UK’s largest arenas, including the O2 - even singing backing vocals from the front of stage.
David Wright received no musical training as a child and taught himself to play ‘by ear’. It wasn not until he was 16 that he had his first piano lesson and learned to read music, later going on to study harpsichord, organ, and viola da gamba as an undergraduate at Trinity College of Music, where he won the Ella Kidney prize for early music. In 2004, he graduated with distinction from the Royal College of Music, where for two consecutive years he won the Richard the Third and Century Fund Prizes. In the same year he also won first prize in the prestigious Broadwood Harpsichord Competition - an international event held biannually at London’s Fenton House, home of the historic Benton Fletcher collection of early keyboard instruments, where he subsequently became artist in residence.
David Wright is a musician of international acclaim who specialises in early keyboard instruments. He pursues an extremely busy career as soloist, chamber musician and continuo player in orchestras and opera companies. As a soloist and accompanist he works regularly with some of the world's leading ensembles and musicians. He has directed concerts from the harpsichord including the first modern performance of Thomas Arne's ballad opera The Blind Beggar of Bethnal Green. He is engaged regularly amongst the artists at Dartington International Summer School and as repetitieur with the English Touring Opera and The English Bach Festival, with whom he has been assistant musical director for several operas. David’s radio and television broadcasts include performances as a finalist in the York Early Music Competition and soloist at the Handel House Museum London (both for BBC Radio3) and more recently a recital as part of the Belfast Music Festival, broadcast on BBC Northern Ireland. As a continuo player and soloist he performs regularly with the London Concertante, who tour extensively worldwide. Just recently, he was assistant musical director to Jean-Claude Malgoire in a production of Rameau’s Platée at the Megaron in Athens with the English Bach Festival, with whom he will be performing Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in the New Year.
With an extensive discography to his credit, recent collaborations have included recordings with Tasmin Little, Julian Lloyd Webber, composer Debbie Wiseman (in the sound track to the BBC series Woolf Hall) and concerts with Emma Kirkby and James Bowman.
During 2006 and 2007, much of David Wright’s time has been devoted to J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988), which he has performed extensively though out the UK and abroad. Future live performances include: Bournemouth Festival in May 2007, Dartington Summer School in July-August 2007, and Handel House Museum on the August 23, 2007. In 2007, he launched his new recording of the work.