After a wonderful, uplifting evening of spring music performed by violinist Leona Gogolycina and pianist Jeremy Chan, we return to Cafe Yukari this month with a concert by two internationally-renowned musicians, Clare O’Connell (cello) and Viv McLean (piano), who will perform a selection of sonatas for piano and cello by Beethoven.
Sonata for piano and cello in F major Op 5/ 1 (1796)
Sonata for piano and cello in G minor Op.5 / 2 (1796)
Sonata for piano and cello in A Op. 69 (1807)
Beethoven wrote his five sonatas for piano and cello at different points in his life and as such they offer a unique window onto his creative and compositional development.
The Opus 5 Sonatas are a young man’s works: fresh, vibrant, colourful, energetic, humorous. They are clever and witty – take the false cadences in fast movement of the G minor sonata – but nor do they lack depth, or emotion. They also remind us that Beethoven was a fine pianist, and the Opus 5 sonatas were composed at a time when Beethoven was carving a career for himself as a virtuoso.
The A major sonata, Opus 69, is from the middle, most productive, period of Beethoven’s life and it marks a turning point, particularly in the variety and organisation of its thematic material, and its improvisatory nature. It was composed during the same year as the Violin Concerto and the Opus 70 piano trios, and the completion and publication of the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies.
Cafe Yukari is a relaxed, convivial venue close to Kew Gardens tube station. The venue boasts a beautiful Fazioli grand piano and concert-goers can enjoy authentic Japanese food before or after the concert.
Praise for 7 Star Arts at Cafe Yukari:
“a truly uplifting evening- beautiful music and delicious food”
“What a charming experience …to listen to first-class music and eat delicious food while outside, beyond the fairy lights, commuters pour out of Kew Gardens Station”
Book online or in person via the venue 020 8487 1338
Performer, arranger and curator, cellist Clare O’Connell plays as a soloist and chamber musician.
She founded and curates Behind The Mirror: her own series of intimate chamber music concerts in Berkhamsted, for which she has commissioned many new works from living composers & has made her own arrangements of numerous pieces of music for unusual groups of instruments, as well as her own compositions.
She is a member of visionary ensemble Lontano and the Storytellers Ensemble, and is a regular collaborator with many other chamber music & chamber opera projects.
Over lockdown she arranged, recorded and produced her debut solo album The Isolated Cellist, a deeply personal collection of ancient & modern music for solo and layered cello which was released by Stone Records in April 2021.
Highlights of 2022 include a performance as soloist of Cheryl Frances Hoad’s work Katharsis with the new music ensemble at Oxford University, and the world premiere of “Figures of Eight”, Edmund Finnis’ duo for cello and double bass which she co-commissioned with bassist Elena Hull. She will be one of four solo cellists performing in Laura Jane Bowler’s new opera The Blue Woman at the Royal Opera House and at Snape Maltings, Aldeburgh; and will be performing throughout the year with musicians & collaborators such as Liam Byrne (viola da gamba) , Tom Rogerson (piano), Eleanor Turner (harp), Milos Milivojevic (accordion), Viv McLean (piano), Jack McNeill (clarinet) and Daniel Pioro (violin).
She is a graduate of Wadham College, Oxford where she studied Ancient & Modern History followed by postgraduate study at the Royal College of Music & the Hochshule für Künste in Bremen, Germany with internationally acclaimed cellist and teacher Alexander Baillie. She plays on a cello by Stefan Krattenmacher.
Described by Le Monde as “possessing the genius one finds in those who know how to forget themselves”, since winning First Prize at the Maria Canals Piano Competition in Barcelona, British pianist Viv McLean has performed in all the major venues in the UK as well as throughout Europe, Japan, Australia and the USA. Viv’s concerto work includes appearances with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, Sinfonia Viva, Orchestra of the Swan, Orchestra of St John’s, Northern Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Concert Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of such conductors as Daniel Harding, Wayne Marshall, John Lubbock, Christopher Warren-Green, Owain Arwell Hughes, Philip Hesketh, David Charles Abell, Stephen Bell, Carl Davis, Rebecca Miller and Marvin Hamlisch. Recent concerto highlights include Mozart K467 with the ECO at the Royal Festival Hall, Grieg with the LPO at the Barbican, Rachmaninov’s 3rd Concerto with the RPO in Cambridge, Gershwin, Bernstein, de Falla and Ravel with the Hallé at the Bridgewater Hall, The Sage Gateshead and other venues in the North of England, and Beethoven’s 5th Concerto with the Philharmonia at the Royal Festival Hall. Engagements in the coming months include a tour with the London Concert Orchestra playing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in venues including the Royal Festival Hall London, Symphony Hall Birmingham, Bridgewater Hall Manchester, Usher Hall Edinburgh and the Royal Concert Hall Glasgow. Viv will also be doing a series of words & music concerts with the acclaimed writer, Jessica Duchen, featuring works by Beethoven and based on her new novel “Immortal”.
Viv plays regularly with the Adderbury Ensemble and the Le Page Trio and has also performed with other leading chamber groups such as the Ysaye String Quartet, the Sacconi String Quartet, members of the Elias, Allegri, Tippett String Quartets and Leonore Piano Trio, Ensemble 360, the Galliard Wind Ensemble, the Bristol Ensemble, the Berkeley Ensemble and the Leopold String Trio. He has collaborated with musicians such as Natalie Clein, Marianne Thorsen, Daniel Hope, Lawrence Power, Mary Bevan, David Le Page, Matthew Sharp, Guy Johnston, Ruth Rodgers, Kate Gould, Alice Neary, Adrian Brendel, Fenella Humphreys and many others.
He has performed at numerous festivals including the Cheltenham International Festival, Buxton Festival, Music in the Round Festival and Harrogate International Festival in the UK, the International Beethoven Festival, the Mecklenburg Festival and the Kultur Kreis Festival in Germany, the Festival International de Musique Classique d’Aigues-Mortes, the Melle Festival and Festival de Saintes in France, the Vinterfestspill i Bergstaden in Norway and the Musik vid Kattegatt Festival in Sweden. Since 2014, Viv has been pianist-in-residence at the Glossop Festival.
Viv studied from an early age with Ruth Nye and, after attending Chetham’s School of Music, he went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Hamish Milne and Maria Curcio. At the Academy he held the Hodgson Fellowship and was made an Associate of the Royal Academy in 2005. He made his Wigmore Hall recital debut through winning the Friends of the Royal Academy Wigmore Award. Whilst studying at the Academy, he was the winner of the piano competition at the Royal Overseas-League Music Competition and was selected as one of the winners of the National Federation of Music Societies’ Young Artists Competition.
Viv made his BBC Radio 3 recital debut through the BBC Radio 3 Young Artists Forum scheme and has also recorded for Classic FM, WDR Radio in Germany, Radio France, ABC Radio in Australia, NRK Radio in Norway and for the Sky Arts television channel. His commercial releases include recordings for such labels as Sony, Naxos, Nimbus, RPO Records, ICSM Records, Harmony & Imagination Records and his most recent releases are a Chopin recital and a selection of live recordings for Stone Records.