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Spektrix Ref 1: PE11122023


Monday 11 December, 7:45pm


Doors & bar 6:00pm | Concert 7:45pm, ends 9:00pm, no interval

Tickets £22 / £11 (under 25)


Thelma Handy, violin | Alex Holladay, cello | Ian Buckle, piano


Isabella Leonarda - Sonata duodecima, for violin and continuo

Arvo Pärt - Spiegel im Spiegel, for cello and piano

Georges Lentz - Alkere, for piano

Sofia Gubaidulina - Rejoice! Sonata for violin and cello


'finely judged detail, expansiveness and lots of heart'

- The Guardian


The much-loved Pixels Ensemble return to the Granary with a programme of spiritually-inspired music from the 17th to the 21st centuries for violin, cello and piano, offering a reflective, twilight atmosphere to open our Advent series. 


The programme opens with Isabella Leonarda’s Sonata duodecima, published in 1693. Having entered the Collegio di Sant’Orsola, an Ursuline convent, at age 16, Leonarda committed her life to musical composition within a lifetime of religious devotion. Alkere (an Aboriginal word for sky) is Georges Lentz's response to experiencing the complete isolation of the vast, flat landscape, the total silence and breathtakingly radiant night skies of the Australian Outback. Composed at a time when Lentz was doubting his own faith, the bright carillon sounds of the opening morph into a darker, more foreboding sonority. A similar obsession with the sounds of bells colours much of Arvo Pärt’s later music, producing a deceptively simple musical language which sounds simultaneously ancient and modern. Spiegel im Spiegel is one of his most frequently performed pieces, loved for its profound serenity and invitation to meditation. The concert concludes with Sofia Gubaidulina’s Rejoice! Sonata for violin and cello. Gubaidulina has written some of the 20th century's most sublime religious music and this piece is inspired by the spiritual lessons of Grigory Skovoroda, an 18th century Ukrainian philosopher and religious thinker. The music is ethereal, incandescent and ritualistic, emotionally compelling and spellbinding in live performance.


Pixels Ensemble was created in 2016 by pianist Ian Buckle, drawing together some of the finest chamber musicians, orchestra principals and soloists in the UK. Rapidly establishing a firm presence at venues such as Liverpool’s outstanding new Tung Auditorium, Pixels Ensemble are noted for their 'thrilling rhythmic alertness' (BBC Music) and ‘fabulously detailed sound’ (Musical Opinion) and renowned for their imaginative programming.