The first weekend of the 67th Aldeburgh Festival

We’re now in full flow at Aldeburgh Music for this year’s Aldeburgh Festival, with 8 concerts featuring all manner of genres, from chamber music to electronics. First up was a brand new production of Britten’s Owen Wingrave by Neil Bartlett, featuring a cast of young singers with more established stars supported by our own Britten-Pears Orchestra under the baton of Mark Wigglesworth.

Photos by Robert Workman

This performance was repeated on Sunday afternoon and can be seen again on the evenings of Monday 16 and Wednesday 18 June.

Saturday began with festival director Pierre-Laurent Aimard‘s superlative performance of Messiaen’s Vision de L’Amen in the warm acoustic of Blythburgh Church, supported by Tamara Stefanovich and Nena Lečić in the first half in a programme of music which all originated in wartime. Then in Aldeburgh Church, the Pavel Haas Quartet performed both of Janáček’s quartets, a perfect pairing of performer and composer.

The evening was one of contrast. After Richard Goode‘s masterful piano recital of Schumann and Debussy, EXAUDI vocal ensemble came head to head with the electronic noise of Russell Haswell. The (literal) holes in the music of Brumel’s Earthquake Mass were filled with Russell’s seat–shaking sub bass and generated noise in the latest of our Faster Than Sound series.

Photos by Rob Marrison

As is traditional for the first Sunday morning of the Festival, Aldeburgh Voices led the worship for the service at Aldeburgh Church ahead of the second performance of Owen Wingrave back at Snape Maltings Concert Hall.

We rounded off the weekend with song cycles by Janáček and Schumann, as well as a new work by Ryan Wigglesworth, Echo and Narcissus (from Ted Hughes’ Tales from Ovid). Wigglesworth also played piano, and singers Mark Padmore and Pamela Helen Stephen were joined by Olivia Warburton, Abigail Broughton and Verity Wingate.

Photos by Matt Jolly

Our exhibition, SNAP, opened on Friday featuring work by Anya Gallaccio, covering the site at Snape Maltings and Orford Ness. A second piece, Bee Composed, by Lily Hunter Green brings live footage of bees together with specially written music to a piano on the Henry Moore Lawn.

Anya Gallaccio: Untitled landscapes, 2014. Photo by Owain Thomas

Anya Gallaccio: Untitled landscapes, 2014. Photo by Owain Thomas, courtesy SNAP: Art at the Aldeburgh Festival

The Festival is only just beginning, with 13 more days of music featuring song, orchestras and chamber music. See all the concerts ahead at aldeburgh.co.uk.