Stunning settings for an eclectic festival

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Classic film noir, forgotten Yiddish voices and a star soprano – some of the delights at Purbeck International Chamber Music Festival

Festival artistic director, internationally-renowned Natalie Clein

Audiences at the 2023 Purbeck International Chamber Music Festival, from 7th to 10th September, will be taken on an amazing journey through centuries of cultural and social upheaval and creativity – from the traditional songs and stories of London’s Yiddish community to the refined recitals of 19th century Europe, from 1940s Hollywood to the dramatic folk music of the Hungarian plains.
The festival, under its artistic director, the internationally renowned, Dorset-born cellist, Natalie Clein – a former Young Musician of the Year – has one of the country’s most eclectic and exciting programmes, with concerts and events in venues as different as Sandpit Field at Swanage, an Art Deco cinema and the ancient church of St Nicholas at Worth Matravers.
This year, with a theme of Forgotten Voices, the festival breaks new ground with the launch of a book about London’s Yiddishtown and two of the star performers playing live accompaniment for a classic cinematic thriller.

The festival includes live accompaniment to the classic Bette Davis thriller Deception at Wareham’s Art Deco Rex Cinema

On Saturday 9th from 3.30pm, Wareham’s Art Deco Rex Cinema hosts an afternoon of time travel for music and film noir fans with a screening of the 1946 black and white classic, Deception, starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid and Claude Rains.
The film, a tangled love triangle, has strong musical themes, including a new cello concerto. The screening will feature live excerpts of the score, including Korngold’s Cello Concerto, with Natalie Clein on cello, and Marianna Shirinyan on piano.
Also on Saturday 9th, in the morning, chamber music meets Eastern European folk at Swanage’s Sandpit Field, for a free family concert by violinists Nurit Stark and Marc Danel, who will play Hungarian and English folk songs in a collection curated by the Hungarian composer Bela Bartok in 1931. The performance is a joint event between PICMF and Swanage Folk Festival.
Historian, researcher and Yiddish performer Vivi Lachs will be at Dorset Museum in Dorchester on Friday 8th September. At 5pm, Vivi will launch her new book, London Yiddishtown, and in the evening, from 7pm, she will be one of the performers capturing the unique sounds and language of London’s Cockney Yiddish community.
The other musicians taking part in this year’s festival are the Dorset-born star soprano Kate Royal, and the Danel Quartet. The venues include Lulworth Castle Chapel, St George’s Church at Langton Matravers, St Nicholas Church at Studland, the Priory Church of Lady St Mary at Wareham, St Nicholas Church at Worth Matravers and St James at Kingston near Swanage.

  • For a full progamme of events, please see picmf.org

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