Classical: Genre’s eclectic side

Manchester's Kabantu are set to unleash their unique global sound at Yellow Arch
Manchester's Kabantu are set to unleash their unique global sound at Yellow Arch

Sheffield’s second Classical Weekend Festival, organised by Classical Sheffield, is set to bring an eclectic evening of music to Yellow Arch on Sunday, March 19 in Classical by Night.

Curious listeners will be rewarded with unforgettable performances from the fringes of classical music, as talented performers explore some of the more unusual and eclectic strands of the genre in a venue that is an unmistakable part of the city’s musical identity.

Highlights will include raucous cabaret, adventurous global sounds and intimate interpretations of pioneering compositions.

Sheffield Chorale will kick off the evening as Director Neil Taylor leads the experienced singers in a repertoire of iconic opera choruses, sure to be a powerful and dynamic listening experience in the close confines of Yellow Arch.

Next, some of the city’s most gifted young musicians from Sheffield Music Academy team up with forward-thinking local composing and performing group Platform 4, bringing their talents to bear on Aaron Copland’s joyous Appalachian Spring, evoking the lush natural landscapes and endeavour of the American frontier.

Manchester’s Kabantu are set to make two appearances, playing two different sets, throughout the evening.

This acclaimed five piece blend sounds from across the world; vocal harmonies from South Africa, Celtic reels, Brazilian samba, Balkan folk and beyond; throwing away the rulebook and crafting a joyful, culture-spanning soundworld.

The Huddersfield-based Meiningen Ensemble performs next, presenting an absorbing rendition of Dmitri Shostakovich’s tempestuous Piano Trio No 2. Violinist David Milsom, cellist George Kennaway and pianist Jonathan Gooing together form one of the most adventurous professional ensembles working in the region.

The riotous Crimes Against Taste are set to bring their musical comedy Tenor and Baritone to Yellow Arch for two performances on the evening, in what might be the world’s only classical-comedy-cabaret crossover act!

Featuring two professional opera singers, the show casts a wide net, featuring music as diverse as Swann, Tom Lehrer, Dolly Parton, pop hits and rap, all wrapped up in a hilariously irreverent narrative.

Marmen Quartet will play Philip Glass’s tender String Quartet no.3. Current holders of Music In The Round’s Bridge scheme.

The Marmen Quartet perform regularly around the UK and internationally, building a reputation as passionate, evocative players, and their intimate rendition of Glass’ emotive music is sure to be an absorbing experience.

So too is guitarist Tom McKinney’s performance of minimalist pioneer Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint.

An in-demand international performer and BBC Radio 3 presenter, McKinney will chart an immersive path through the piece’s softly shape-changing and dancing patterns.

More minimalist exploration follows, with Sheffield Music Hub Wind presenting the mesmerising Fratres by iconic composer Arvo Pärt arranged for wind band.

These talented young musicians will also perform music from the prolific Oscar-winning composer Malcolm Arnold.