Ruth Leon recommends…Wigmore Hall – lunchtime concertsRuth Leon recommends
Wigmore Hall – lunchtime concerts
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The programming from the grand old lady of Wigmore Street has kept me going through the pandemic. The best place in London to hear chamber music had been providing concerts, recitals and good musical conversation throughout the past year and, although they are now once again open for business, John Gilhooly, the indefatigable director of the hall continues to programme tasty online and livestreamed concerts for our pleasure. They have been free to watch, although the quality alone has demanded that I pay something to ensure that they continue. Do become a Friend of Wigmore Hall, it’s only £50 a year and worth it for the advance notice of who’s coming and who’s playing what.
This week, for example, on Monday at 1pm, we can watch the debut of a brand new ensemble, the Wigmore Soloists, performing Schubert’s inimitable 1824 Octet. The new group is led by Isabelle van Keulen and Michael Collins, who are joined by a roster of top musicians. The Octet was conceived usi.ng Beethoven’s Opus20 Septet as a model, adding a second violin to the forces, and is the epitome of the divertimento in its variety and tunefulness.
And on Thursday at 1, pianist Igor Levit is playing an all-Beethoven programme which takes us from Beethoven’s first canonical sonata (1795), through to the short G major work (1809), by way of the 1800-1 sonata that includes a celebrated funeral march and the 1803 work dedicated to the composer’s patron Count Waldstein.
These are definitely worth missing your lunchtime cheese sandwich for. But of course, since both concerts are online, you can .eat while you watch and listen.
Good old Wigmore Hall, literally ‘good’ and ‘old’, don’t ever stop.
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