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Classical Music - Julie Bevan and John Walker

The main piece in this concert, performed by the visiting American cellist Julie Bevan and the local pianist John Walker, will be Brahms’ famous Sonata for Cello and Piano in E Minor. The German composer completed the third movement of this work in Baden-Baden in 1865, three years after writing the first two. It is a glorious piece, which nods a fugal head heavily towards Bach while also displaying a Mahler-esque tinge of dark-hearted exuberance. The cello and the piano act like a couple of love, sometimes tiffing, sometimes moving in harmony. It is a notoriously difficult piece to perform.

Bevan is one of three American musicians who are visiting Europe (they are also playing in Brighton and Germany) to promote the work of women composers. Also on tonight’s bill will be works by Peta Crompton, Pamela Harrison, Edith Swepstone and Elizabeth Maconchy. Crompton, part of the New Music Brighton group, is a contemporary local composer. Maconchy the regularly commissioned and broadcast elder stateswoman of British classical music until her death in 1994. After a period in which she was virtually ignored by the classical music establishment there has recently been something of a revival of interest in her work: now she is being hailed as perhaps Britain’s first great female composer. If you have never been to a classical concert in the Westgate Chapel, this is a good time to start.

Elizabeth Maconchy: Britainís first great female composer?
Westgate Chapel, High St, Lewes
When? 4.30pm
How Much? £7 (£5 concs)

(t) 01273 478290