Bavouzet’s Beethoven

by Helen on February 4, 2013

in Concerts,News

Following the success of Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s latest Beethoven recital at Potton Hall in January we are delighted to announce that he will return to give the next two concerts in his Beethoven sonata series on June 3rd and September 19th this year. The programmes are as follows:

Monday, June 3rd at 7.30pm
Sonata in G, Op.31 No.1
Sonata in D minor, Op.31 No.2 (“Tempest”)
Sonata in E flat, Op.31 No.3

Tickets are £15 and can be booked online here or by calling the box office 01728 648 265. They will also be available from Focus Organic, Halesworth and Serendipity, Southwold, in due course.

Thursday, September 19th at 7.30pm
Sonata in G minor, Op.49 No.1
Sonata in G, Op.49 No.2
Sonata in D, Op.28 (“Pastoral”)
Sonata in C, Op.53 (“Waldstein”)

Tickets are £15 and can be booked online here or by calling the box office 01728 648 265. They will also be available from Focus Organic, Halesworth and Serendipity, Southwold, in due course.

Why not make a note in your diary now for these dates.


Jean-Efflam Bavouzet plays Beethoven – Tuesday January 15th, 2013 at 7.30pm

In January our 15th Concert presents the popular French pianist Jean-Efflam Bavouzet who returns to Potton Hall for the next installment in his series of Beethoven sonata performances.

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (photo credit: Henry Fair) Jean-Efflam Bavouzet (photo credit: Henry Fair)

Last year Jean-Efflam gave a memorable recital at Potton Hall including the three sonatas of Beethoven’s Op.10. This time he plays one of Beethoven’s most popular sonatas, the Moonlight as well as its companion work, the Sonata in E flat, Op.27 No.1. In the first part of his recital Jean-Efflam will perform Beethoven’s Funeral March Sonata, with its noble and sombre slow movement, written “on the death of a hero” and  the ebullient and vivacious Sonata in B flat, Op.22.

The first 3-CD box of Jean-Efflam’s Beethoven sonata recordings, made at Potton Hall for the Chandos label and released earlier this year has received unanimous critical acclaim and following his recital on January 13th Jean-Efflam will record the four sonatas in his programme for the next CD release in the series.

This is one of the biggest discoveries I have come across in years - the Frenchman is on fire from first note to last. The only question now is: after such an outstanding start to his complete Beethoven cycle, how can Bavouzet maintain this sense of discovery – and how long must we wait for the next instalment?” (FINANCIAL TIMES – May 25th 2012) *****

Verdict: memorable Beethoven with Gallic elegance, fire and fervour. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet looks positively coy on the cover of his new Beethoven set and lightness and humour abound throughout the three discs. Revelations are many. How beautifully Bavouzet gauges the massive chords that introduce the Pathetique Sonata and what a drama-filled narrative he makes of its first movement. Bavouzet is in his prime and further Beethoven volumes are eagerly awaited.” (NZ HERALD – July 7th 2012)

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet is without doubt one of today’s most intelligent and questing pianists. The stunning articulation that characterised Bavouzet’s Haydn recordings is carried over to his Beethoven. This is a significant, fascinating issue.” (INTERNATIONAL PIANO – September/October 2012)


Jean-Efflam’s CDs will be on sale at the concert. Please come and join us for an unmissable event!


Sonata in B flat, Op.22

Sonata in A flat, Op.26 (Funeral March)

Sonata in E flat, Op.27 No.1

Sonata in C sharp minor, Op.27 No.2 (Moonlight)


Tickets are £15 and can be booked online here or by calling the box office 01728 648 265. Also available from Focus Organic, Halesworth and Serendipity, Southwold


Sunday 30th September 2012 at 7:30pm

Come and join us for our autumn concert, given by the Schubert Ensemble. They are regular visitors to Potton Hall and have recorded their highly acclaimed CDs of Dvorak, Enescu, Fauré, Martinu, Schumann and Vaughan Williams here at Potton Hall.

The Schubert Ensemble The Schubert Ensemble (Picture credit: Rob Brimson)

In this concert members of the Ensemble will perform three works for piano trio. Beethoven wrote the delightful Allegretto for the daughter of his “Immortal Beloved” shortly after he completed his “Archduke” Trio, intending it “for the encouragement of her piano playing”.

Pablo Casals proclaimed that the Romanian George Enescu was “the greatest musical phenomenon since Mozart” and he has been called the greatest great composer whose greatness is not generally recognised. The Schubert Ensemble has recorded Enescu’s piano quartets and their latest project is a recording of his great Piano Quintet and Piano Trio in A minor. The Trio will be recorded at Potton Hall the day after this concert. Much of the music in this Trio uses elements drawn from Romanian folksongs and dances but at the same time it reflects the tragic context of the First World War during which it was written.

Antonin Dvorak’s popular Trio in E minor is also based on folk music, specifically the Dumka, which alternates slow and fast sections. Dvorak wanted to create a work with a popular accent, describing the trio as being “both happy and sad”.

The Ensemble’s new recording of Dvorak’s Piano Quartet No.2 and Piano Quintet No.2 on the Chandos label has already been warmly received by the critics. It was chamber CD of the month in the BBC Music Magazine, which awarded the recording 5 stars for performance and 5 stars for sound. The disc was also chosen as CD of the week in the Independent on Sunday and on Classic FM.

Copies of the Schubert Ensemble’s CDs will be on sale at the concert.

There will also be a licensed bar.

Beethoven: Allegretto in B flat major WoO 39
Enescu: Piano Trio in A minor
Dvorak: Piano Trio in E minor, Op.90 Dumky

Tickets are £12 and can be booked online here or by calling the box office 01728 648265. Also available from Focus Organic, Halesworth and Serendipity, Southwold


Tim Horton and Robin IrelandWEDNESDAY 11 July 2012 at 7.30pm


Come and join us for a Potton Hall first as a member of the audience for a concert which is being recorded for release on CD.

Robin Ireland and Tim Horton formed their Duo in 2009. Robin was the violist of the celebrated Lindsay String Quartet for twenty years, and brings his enormous musical experience and his love of performing to the small but wonderful repertoire for viola and piano. Tim is pianist with Ensemble 360, and is one of the most highly regarded chamber music pianists in the country, as well as being increasingly admired as a solo pianist. Robin and Tim met in Sheffield, where they both live, and instantly discovered a deep musical rapport and mutual respect. Their Duo partnership forms a small but precious part of their careers. Jeremy Hayes has collaborated with both musicians for many years, as recording producer of The Lindsays and Ensemble 360 and he worked with both of them here at Potton Hall on their first CD together, of music by Prokofiev and Shostakovich. In this concert Robin and Tim will be playing three masterpieces: the two sonatas by Johannes Brahms and the Arpeggione Sonata by Franz Schubert.

With his two sonatas for viola and piano Brahms effectively established a new genre, because before they were written there were virtually no major sonatas for viola and piano, except for the unfinished sonata by Glinka. These two marvellous works were Brahms’s very last pieces of chamber music, written in his twilight years as sonatas for clarinet and piano which Brahms then adapted, with a good deal of recomposition for viola and piano. Brahms often liked to compose dissimilar pairs of works and that is certainly the case with these two sonatas, the turbulent passion of the first contrasting with the more mellow and intimate second sonata.

Schubert’s exquisite Sonata, D821 was the only work of any significance to have been composed for the arpeggione. This curious hybrid instrument, a cross between a guitar and a cello, was invented in Vienna in 1823 but never attained popularity. Schubert’s sonata languished in obscurity, unpublished for decades after his death and was discovered in Vienna by the great British scholar Sir George Grove – he of the music dictionary fame.

Copies of Robin’s and Tim’s CDs will be on sale at the concert, including their acclaimed recording of Shostakovich’s Viola Sonata and six pieces from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet

“The (Shostakovich) Sonata, which received its premiere after the composer’s death in 1975, has a hypnotic power and is brilliantly played here by Robin Ireland and Tim Horton.” (New

“From the opening notes we become aware of the viola’s warm and very singing human voice.” (International Record Review)

“Robin Ireland is at his lyrical best in the’ Balcony Scene’ and unleashes great reserves of sound in the menacing ‘ Dance of the Knights’”  (The Strad)

“Ireland and his excellent colleague Tim Horton catch the soulful warmth of the Young Juliet……..Together they make a fine ensemble”  (MusicWeb International)


Brahms: Sonata in F minor, Op.120 No.1
Schubert: Sonata in A minor, D821 (Arpeggione)
Brahms: Sonata in E flat major, Op.120 No.2


Tickets are £12 and can be booked online here or by calling the box office 01728 648265. Also available from Focus Organic, Halesworth and Serendipity, Southwold

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Photo Paul Mitchell


Fresh from receiving his latest Gramophone award, for his recording of the Ravel concertos and Debussy’s Fantasie, the charismatic French pianist, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, returns to Potton Hall for the next installment in his series of Beethoven sonata performances.

Last year Jean-Efflam gave an unforgettable recital at Potton Hall including Beethoven’s Pathétique Sonata and this time he will play the three sonatas of Beethoven’s Op.10.

Jean-Efflam will also give the first public performance of an earlier version of the first of these sonatas, including a discarded scherzo and an expanded version of the finale. This first sonata of the Op.10 sets an intense, dramatic work in the significant key of C Minor. These are highly contrasting works, beginning with the intense drama of the first, in the significant key of C minor in which the shadow of fate – alias Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – is never far away. The second of the sonatas is more relaxed, even humorous and tongue-in-cheek at times and the Op.10 set is crowned by the grand and magnificent third sonata, one of the young Beethoven’s greatest achievements.

Jean-Efflam has recently had great reviews for the latest CDs in his Haydn project, all recorded at Potton Hall: “These performances sound natural, appropriate and in perfect structural and expressive proportion… Bavouzet’s recordings have a strong claim to be the finest Haydn playing of recent vintage on modern piano. They are the work of an insightful musician of profound culture and wide interests, whose intellectual and emotional identification with Haydn is unreserved, and whose playing, beautifully captured in technical terms, is a delight to listen to.” (International Record Review, April 2011).

“Bavouzet is perhaps the ideal pianist for Haydn: his clarity of touch, quickness of wit and sensitivity to different soundworlds make him an empathetic interpreter… Just the finesse and vibrancy we’ve come to expect from this superb artist.” (Classic FM Magazine, June 2011)

“Cleanly precise, sure-fingered yet beautifully delicate, Bavouzet warms the heart with his humour and gentle passion… A recording worth rushing to the shops for.” (Haydn: Sonatas Vol. 3 – Classic FM Magazine, November 2011)

Jean-Efflam has recently recorded Debussy’s early Piano Trio at Potton Hall with members of the Brodsky Quartet and produced by Jeremy Hayes and after this concert he will record these three Beethoven sonatas for forthcoming release on the Chandos label.

This concert should be unmissable!


Sonata in C minor, Op.10 No.1
Sonata in C minor, Op.10 No.1 (first performance of early version)
Sonata in F, Op.10 No.2
Sonata in D, Op.10 No.3

Tickets are £15 and can be booked online here or by calling the box office 01728 885 650. Also available from Focus Organic, Halesworth and Serendipity, Southwold


Following the great success of her Chopin evening last year, Lucy Parham returns with a programme devoted to the life and music of that most romantic of all piano composers, the great Franz Liszt

Lucy Parham with Harriet Walter and Henry Goodman, two of our best loved English actors, offer an enjoyable and informative insight into the life and inspiration of Franz Liszt. 200 years after his birth, he is praised as one of the most prolific and influential composers in the history of music.

Throughout his life, Franz Liszt burned the candle at both ends. A child prodigy who became the greatest keyboard virtuoso of his time, he was also a prolific composer, whose output ranged from hundreds of piano pieces to symphonies, tone poems, songs and oratorios. An indefatigable traveller, a friend and supporter of Berlioz, Schumann, Chopin and Wagner, his life was crammed full of incident and romance, and he was drawn to women like a moth to a flame. “A Heart in Pilgrimage” was how he once described his romantic life, reflecting also that his choices with women had often been unwise ones.

Drawn largely from his prolific and colourful letters and interspersed with some of his most ecstatic and expressive piano music, Odyssey of Love is a portrait of his relationship with the two most important women in his life: the aristocratic free-thinking rebel and mother of his three children, Marie d’Agoult and the bizarre cigar-smoking intellectual Princess Carolyne von Sayn Wittgenstein.

Acknowledged as one of Britain’s finest pianists, Lucy Parham first came to public attention on winning the 1984 BBC TV Young Musician of the Year Piano Class, since when she has performed extensively throughout the UK and Europe, South Africa, USA, Canada and Russia.

Actress Harriet Walter, who was made a dame in the New Year Honours List, has enjoyed a distinguished career on stage and screen spanning three decades.

Henry Goodman has starred on the British stage and Broadway and is the recipient of numerous awards.

“There is no better version than the one devised and presented by Lucy Parham. A lovely entertainment flawlessly performed.”

The Independent on Lucy Parham’s Dear Clara

Tickets are £15 and can be booked online, or by calling the box office at 01728 885 650 or from Serendipity, Southwold and Focus Organic, Halesworth


Concert 10: Brodsky Quartet with Sioned Williams (harp) Monday 17th October 2011 at 7.30pm

“The Brodsky Quartet are the team for the new century”, Gramophone magazine said when reviewing the quartet’s last recording, Rhythm and Texture. It included the Quartet by Maurice Ravel and prompted Norman Lebrecht to comment that “all you want to do when the disc ends is play it again.” That CD was recorded at Potton Hall where […]

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Concert 9: Jonathan Plowright (piano) Saturday 30th July 730pm

“He made of the piano an orchestra of lamenting and exulting voices”, wrote Robert Schumann when the young Johannes Brahms visited him in Düsseldorf, a description that could equally well apply to Jonathan Plowright’s playing. Hailed as “one of the finest living pianists” (Gramophone), Jonathan Plowright has been a regular visitor to Potton Hall since […]

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Concert 8: Hungarian Dances: The Concert of the Novel: Friday 18th March 7.30pm

Hungarian Dances is a dazzling journey in words and music through the story of the bestselling novel of the same name by Jessica Duchen. Jessica Duchen reads extracts from her acclaimed novel, which follows the turbulent story of a Gypsy girl who becomes a famous classical violinist, but at a terrible personal price.  The tale […]

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A Christmas Concert Sunday 5th Dec at 4pm

It’s delightfully white here at Potton Hall – ready for our Christmas concert! You can look forward to a concert of festive music performed by the extremely talented North Suffolk Youth Choir directed by Vetta Wise and accompanied by Jonathan Rutherford, recorded live for their first CD in the beautiful surroundings of the Potton Hall Recording […]

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