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Mander’s cello sonata at St Peter’s on the feast of St Cecilia

14 November, 2019 — By Michael White

Composer and conductor Louis Mander. Photo:

Cheltenham-based composer Louis Mander used to live in Hampstead, and he’s coming back for the premiere of his new Cello Sonata at St Peter’s Belsize Square next Friday (November 22). An auspicious day in that it’s the feast of St Cecilia, patron saint of music.

Mander is the pianist for this premiere, and his cellist is Patrick Johnson: a performer who enjoys the challenge of new music and does plenty of it. Not that Mander’s is the kind of music that presents especially tough challenges for listeners.

His language tends toward unbridled lyricism, with a singing quality not unrelated to the fact that he writes largely for the human voice. He’s working at the moment on a children’s opera, with a text by Pam Ayres. And like everything he does it will be modern music to enjoy, not to endure.

Sharing the programme on the 22nd are works by Delius and Poulenc: 20th-century masters with a comparably easy-on-the-ear approach to modernism. It’s at 7.30pm. Tickets on the door.

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