Emma Brain-Gabbott (soprano) & Rachel Wick (harp)
Time & Date:
7.30pm, Sunday 30 May 2021
Priory Church of St George, Church Street, Dunster, TA24 6SH
Emma Brain-Gabbott | Soprano
Rachel Wick | Harp
£20. Available from 9 April for Festival Friends and 16 April for the general public. Please note that the audience will be socially distanced so there will only be a limited number of tickets on sale.
Approximately 1 hour (no interval)
Join Emma and Rachel for an evening exploring the beauty of French Impressionism in music, from the pink rivers at sunset in Debussy’s Beau Soir to the “calm light of the moon” in both Debussy and Fauré’s settings of Paul Verlaine’s poem Clair de Lune followed by “sweet sleep” in Après un Rêve.
This dream sequence is bookended by perhaps less well-known song cycles for soprano and harp by Louis Vierne, André Caplet and Jean-Michel Damase.
The texts set to music in tonight’s programme will be brought further to life by the wonderful poet Lawrence Sail, who will be reading some of the poetry (in both French and English) to help us glean a greater understanding of the inspired and varied ways in which these five composers paint words in music.
Quatre Poèmes Grecs, Opus 60 | Louis Vierne (1870 – 1937)
Deux Sonnets | André Caplet (1878 – 1925)
Beau Soir | Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)
Clair de lune | Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)
Clair de lune | Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Après un Rêve | Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
En Priere | Gabriel Fauré (1845 – 1924)
Épigrammes & Madrigaux | Jean-Michel Damase (1928 – 2013)
Emma Brain-Gabbott was born and educated in Cheltenham, before going on to read music at Trinity College, Cambridge, where she was also a choral scholar.
As a performer, she now works across a wide range of musical genres, from pop, West End shows, TV and film soundtrack projects through to opera. She also enjoys smaller-scale vocal ensemble work, performing, touring and recording regularly with such groups as the Sixteen, the BBC Singers, Tenebrae and English Concert, amongst others. She also sings with acclaimed female close harmony a capella group, Papagena. As a soloist Emma works with many choral societies and choirs both in the UK and abroad. 2018 saw the final production in a 3 year run of semi-staged Pursell operas at the Barbican, in which ‘Dido and Aeneas’ was reset and performed with puppets and masks.
Recent years have seen Emma expand her education and community work, including BBC Ten Pieces projects and working with music projects for the homeless, which culminated in a televised production with Streetwise Opera.
Future engagements include concert tours of Singapore, Australia and New York with The Sixteen, Poland with the Academy of Ancient Music, and Moscow with the Gabrieli Consort, as well as recording Handel’s Brockes-Passion and peformances of Mozart’s Requiem and Handel Dixit Dominus.
Rachel Wick is a graduate of St. Peter’s College, Oxford and the Royal Academy of Music. As an orchestral player she has performed with many of the UKs leading ensembles, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, BBC Concert Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, London Concert Orchestra, English Session Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, as well as with orchestras further afield including the European Union Youth Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra of India and Norwegian Opera. She has recorded with New College and Christ Church Cathedral Choirs, Oxford and has broadcast live on Classic FM with Her Majesty’s Choir of the Chapel Royal, St James’s Palace, and appears on Howard Goodall’s album Inspired.
Alongside a large private teaching practice, Rachel teaches harp at Berkhamsted School and the Junior Department of the Royal Academy of Music, and coaches for the National Children’s Orchestra. With her flute duo partner, Thomas Hancox, she plays for the charity CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust giving outreach concerts in primary schools. She appears miming in an orchestra for the latest Mission Impossible film, and was filmed for Google’s ‘Inside Abbey Road’ virtual online tour.
In May 2018 she was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. Rachel is also the Artistic Co-Director of Dunster Festival, a classical chamber music festival which takes place in May each year.
Lawrence Sail, who has lived in Devon for much of his life, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He has published thirteen collections of poems, two books of essays and two volumes of memoirs, as well as editing a number of anthologies. He has been chairman of the Arvon Foundation and director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature. In 2003 he received a Cholmondeley Award for his poetry.
His most recent publications are a new collection of poems, Guises (Bloodaxe Books), and Accidentals (Impress Books) which combines memoir, essays and poems, and is illustrated by Erica Sail.