Outstanding Yorkshire musicians on song

Pianist and musical director David Barnard
Pianist and musical director David Barnard

SONG is in the air in Leeds between October 7 and 9.

The occasion is the fourth biennial Leeds Lieder Festival, or Leeds Lieder+ as it is officially known, a weekend celebrating the diversity of art song involving some world-renowned names, this year Elly Ameling, Dame Felicity Lott and Malcolm Martineau.

A festival feature is outstanding Yorkshire musicians giving a Made in Yorkshire concert, which this year has a strong Sheffield flavour with soprano Deborah Norman and pianist David Barnard being joined by mezzo-soprano Charlotte Tetley.

Looking at the programme, as it’s usually sung by a mezzo, the latter should be singing Manuel de Falla’s well known Siete canciones populares espanolas, or Seven Popular Spanish Songs, and in all likelihood giving voice to the first performance of Five Distances by Yorkshire-born composer Bryn Harrison to his own texts dwelling on his “fascination with the notion of time in music.”

Debbie, meanwhile, should be singing the four gorgeous Richard Strauss songs: Das Rosenband (The Rose Ribbon); Cäcilie (Cecily); Befreit (Freed); Zueignung (Dedication), before the Harrison and, after it, Three Poems by Fiona McLeod by the short-lived impressionistic American composer Charles T Griffes – pronounced Griffiss, (1884-1920).

Both singers end proceedings with three Ivor Novello gems, Someday My Heart Will Awake (Debbie?), Fly Home Little Heart and We’ll Gather Lilacs – a duet.

The concert begins at 2.30pm and runs for an hour at The Venue, Leeds College of Music on Sunday, October 9 and, if you feel like hanging round, Felicity Lott ends the weekend in the same space at 5.15pm with an engaging full-length recital of French song accompanied by this year’s artistic director Malcolm Martineau.

And, if you want to make a day of it, the festival’s honorary patron, the great Elly Ameling herself, holds a two-and-half-hour masterclass at 10.30am in Leeds University’s Clothmakers Centenary Hall.

Tickets for the Made in Yorkshire concert are £10.50, concessions £8.50, £5 and the box office number is 0113 222 3434.