With Stephen Baron (piano).
Researched and narrated by Marguerite Duncan-Sutherland

This entertainment offers an insight into Chopin’s life and times with particular
reference to his two ladyfriends the writer George Sand, and the less well known
Scottish amateur pianist Jane Stirling, who was later to become his amanuensis.
As well as a rich fount of music which will include Nocturnes, Waltzes, Mazurkas,
Polonaises Preludes and the dramatic third ballade, there will be readings from
Chopin’s letters and many biographical and historical details.
Stephen Baron – Chopin Waltz Op.64 No1 in D-flat Major
Stephen Baron – Chopin Nocturne Op.62 No.2in E Major


With Hartmut Richter (violin) and Stephen Baron (piano)
mozart A workshop for older children (8-18) looking at the development of Mozart’s musical style and his life. Three violin sonatas will be played from different periods in his life, including also the popular alla turca piano sonata and some excerpts from his last opera, the Magic Flute.



With Marguerite Duncan-Sutherland (mezzo contralto) and Stephen Baron (piano)
francespoulencFrancis Poulenc (1899-1963) was a highly lyrical French composer with a refined literary taste. Like a modern Schubert, he was able to see into the essence of a poem and produce its quintessential quality in music, In our programme we will trace his French forbears in songs by Berlioz, Faure and Bizet with piano music by Debussy. The main focus of the programme will be Poulenc’s Travail du Peintre (The work of Painters) – seven settings of poems by Paul Eluard, including Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Gris, Klee, Miro and Villon. Eluard was personally acquainted with many artists of his time and a frequent visitor to their studios. Large reproductions of pictures by these artists will be on show before, during and after the performance.
Poulenc – Chagall


With Hartmut Richter (violin) and Stephen Baron (piano)
JohannesBrahmsAs a highly popular composer today, the struggles of Brahms in his lifetime are largely forgotten. Rooted deeply in the German traditions of Bach and Beethoven, Brahms’s credo was diametrically opposed to his contemporaries Liszt and Wagner. We will touch on all these influences and opposing forces before focussing on the A major violin sonata and some Hungarian Dances. This will also be an opportunity to look into the working methods of a composer who set the bar very high for himself, feeling he had to be a direct continuation of the Classical traditions of Mozart and Beethoven.
Brahms – Hungarian Dance No.4Brahms – Hungarian Dance No.3



With Eva Caballero (flute) and Stephen Baron (piano)
Claude_Debussy_ca_1908,_foto_av_Félix_NadarDebussy was a total maverick in his time, rejecting traditions and finding new forms of musical expression which were to have far-reaching consequences for all French composers in the following generations. We begin our programme with composers from the previous generation, Saint-Saens and Faure, before moving onto the epoch-making Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune, arguably the greatest flute solo in the whole classical repertoire. We further expand our exploration into Debussy with some of his Preludes for piano solo and Syrinx for flute solo, before playing two composers of Le Six, the slightly insolent responses to Debussy of the following generation – music by Germaine Tailleferre and the lightweight flute sonata by Poulenc.
Debussy – Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune


– music by Schubert, Mussorgsky and Poulenc.

With Marguerite Duncan-Sutherland (mezzo contralto) and Stephen Baron (piano)
It is rare to find a musician who is able to express their response to art in their music. In our programme we will look at three composers who in very different ways showed their understanding of different art forms – Schubert, the first great composer of Lieder was able to bring about a union of poetry and music in his songs which has rarely been equalled. We will begin our programme with Standchen, An die Musik and Die Forelle (The Trout). Mussorgsky enjoyed a close relationship with an artist friend, Viktor Hartmann who sadly passed away at the age of 40. Mussorgsky chose to remember his friend in the famous Pictures at an Exhibition, originally written for piano but now more often played in Ravel’s orchestration. There will be several excerpts from the original piano pieces. Lastly we turn to Poulenc whose close relationship with the poet Paul Eluard led to his composition of Travail du Peintre, settings of poems about seven contemporary artists: Picasso, Chagall, Braque, Gris, Klee, Miro and Villon.
Schubert – Staendchen
Poulenc – Chagall