This year’s Presteigne Festival is showcasing a number of new and commissioned works by Polish composers, as well as celebrating the centenary of Andrzej Panufnik’s birth. Presteigne favourite, Clare Hammond has recently recorded all of Panufnik’s solo piano music, with additional arrangements by his daughter Roxanna, released this week on the Bis label as Reflections. It was therefore very appropriate that we all converged on the Polish Embassy last night for a double launch event, featuring music and vodka.
Clare performed a selection of works that feature on her CD and, as my recital in the Festival will include Panufnik père’s delicious, folky Love Song, I sang it accompanied by Clare, along with a couple of Mahler’s Rückert Lieder. We had a certain amount of competition from demonstrators outside the Chinese Embassy nearby, and (probably unrelated) police sirens, but that’s the familiar background sound-world to many concerts in London nowadays. It certainly didn’t disrupt our music-making and our invited audience was very appreciative.
It was fantastic that both Roxanna and Lady Panufnik, with whom I am pictured, left, were able to join us for the evening.
Buy tickets for the 2014 Presteigne Festival here
Buy Clare Hammond’s CD, Reflections, here