York Late Music opens 2022 with concerts by Jakob Fichert and Jessica Summers & Jelena Makarova at Unitarian Chapel

Jakob Fichert: Lunchtime concert

YORK’S Late Music concert season resumes with its first programmes of 2022 on Saturday at the Unitarian Chapel, St Saviourgate.

In the lunchtime concert at 1pm, pianist Jacob Fichert presents The Character Piece Throughout Music History, performing music from Bach to a new work by York composer Steve Crowther.

In the evening, at 7.30pm, soprano Jessica Summers and pianist Jelena Makarova’s Living Songs: Songs Of Love And Exile combines works by Dowland and Rihm with new pieces by Patrick John Jones and Silvina Milstein.

Jelena Makarova

Opening with Bach’s serene and pastoral Prelude and Fugue in A major, Fichert explores character pieces throughout different styles. Three of Debussy’s iconic preludes are indeed the prelude to lesser known, yet exquisite pieces by Lili Boulanger (Trois Morceaux pour Piano) and Adolf Busch. The finale will be the premiere of Political Prayer, a powerful and thought-provoking piece by Late Music programmer Steve Crowther.

Summers and Makarova’s Living Songs showcases songs by living composers alongside more well-known classical song repertoire. The world premiere of Patrick John Jones’s Elsewhere 137 will be followed by John Dowland’s Flow, My Tears (from 1600) and the world premiere of Silvina Milstein’s Raise No Funeral Song…, composed this year.

Next come Wolfgang Rihm’s Zwei Gedichte von Marina Zwetajewa (2016); David Lancaster’s The Dark Gate (2016); Richard Causton’s Poems Almost Of This World (2005); Edmund Hunt’s There Is A Blue-Green Eye (2022) and Kurt Weil’s Intermezzo (1917).

Don Walls: late York poet

The penultimate composer will be Steve Crowther once more, who composed a setting of Emma And I, a poem written for his daughter Emma by the York poet Don Walls the year he died in 2017. “I admire the man and poet greatly and miss him,” says Steve.

Two Ivor Novello compositions from 1945, Love Is My Reason and We’ll Gather Lilacs, conclude the evening concert, where a collection will be made in aid of Safe Passage, an organisation that helps refugees access legal routes to safety.

Tickets for Fichert cost £5; for Summers and Makarova, £12, concessions £10, students £5, on the door or at latemusic.org/.

Summers’ evening: Soprano Jessica Summers