There’s not such a sense of occasion with the release of the Aldeburgh Festival programme compared to something like the BBC Proms. That may well be part of Aldeburgh’s appeal. It remains one of a handful – possibly even the only – UK classical music festival that steadfastly and proudly clings on to its distinctive air.
This year, that distinctiveness is reflected most in its brochure design. Just to state the blindingly obvious, I adore it.
Specifically, the imagery. Hand-drawn with a tantalising nod to 1950s modern language textbooks. There’s love there. It triggers the same reaction in me as driving the final approach to Aldeburgh Golf Club. I hope they’ve secured the rights to sell postcard prints in the Snape Maltings gift shop.
For Aldeburgh to be a destination programmatically, it needs to appear at first glance a little left-field. Whilst there are the inevitable references to the Bernstein centenary, editorially the Festival still retains that beguiling characteristic. With a full(er) programme of events and activities throughout the year, it can afford to wear its distinctiveness like a badge of honour. And good job too.
Personal highlights include Chiaroscuro Quartet and Cédric Tiberghien on piano playing Schumann Fantasy, Mendelssohn String Quartet, and Schumann Piano Quintet.
Also, pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard with a programme of Beethoven and Ives, and the Britten–Pears
Young Artists Alumni concerts.
And one of these days I would love to get on a Festival Walk. I’m not entirely convinced billing a concert in Ely Cathedral 73 miles away can still count as Aldeburgh, but I get the business thinking behind it.
- Download the Aldeburgh Festival 2018 Brochure from the Snape Maltings website
- Remaining tickets for those without priority access go on on sale on 7 February
Thoroughly Good Blog is an independent blog celebrating classical music and the arts.