Two Moors Garden Party 2012

Well, folks – that’s it for another year. The Two Moors Festival Garden Party has been and gone and what a wonderful couple of days it has been, despite the terrible weather on the Saturday.

It all kicked off on June 23rd, with the sun shining intermittently and the strains of Beethoven floating down the Exmoor gallery from the gallery above the courtyard, where a group of young musicians had congregated – happily leaving concert attire behind in favour of jeans and wellies – to play a bit of classical music, in between supping on Pimms and devouring Devonshire cream teas.

In all, 17 musicians flocked to Barkham to give impromptu performances of their favourite music. This year, Two Moors stalwart singer Vic Barton, pianist Mark Austin, viola player Laurie Anderson, horn player Rebecca Alexander, tenor James Crawford, oboist Peter Facer, pianist Alison Farr, bassoon player Sinead Frost, clarinettist Lizzy Mace and flautist Harry Winstanley, among others, came down to the countryside to perform, play Articulate! and drink lots of wine. We also welcomed one of the Two Moors Young Musicians Platform winners Laura Deignan, who impressed us yet again with the calibre of her playing.

Highlights of the weekend included madrigals under the gazebo, an arrangement of pieces by The Corrs, howling cameos by Flora the festival dog and many renditions of Liverpool Street Station, a very funny piece sung in rounds (watch out for the video later on this week).

As one happy member of the audience said at the end of the Saturday: “It’s a very nice relaxed way of hearing music outside the formality of the white tie and tails, where people are clearly enjoying the music. They’re not afraid to stop if they make a mistake. It’s the informality and the sheer pleasure of playing – there’s no pressure.”

Couldn’t have put it better ourselves! Here’s what some of the musicians had to say about the garden party and why they love to come down to Barkham to take part each year.

Did you make it to the garden party? What were your highlights?

As always, send in any of your photos for our readers’ gallery!


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