undefinedMoonrakers and Oxus combined picture for June 2022 recital

Vaughan Williams 150 -  Roots and Branches 

This exciting collaborative ‘cross-over’ programme will feature eight musicians on stage with folk songs interwoven with some of Vaughan Williams’s well-known works. OXUS will perform Quartet No.1 in G minor, and between each movement Moonrakers will interject songs such as “The Leaves They Do Grow High”, “The Turtle Dove” and other traditional songs, versions of which can be found in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. The ensemble will also play the Phantasy Quintet and an arrangement of “The Unquiet Grave” sung to the air of “Dives and Lazarus” which Vaughan Williams worked on. The programme will include brief introductions on the source of the materials and will take the audience on a journey from traditional to contemporary interpretations of ‘living tradition’ material.

Moonrakers is an Oxford-based group of four musicians who pride themselves in having brought traditional and contemporary folk music to new audiences in village halls, churches, arts centres and festivals across the UK.  The material is a combination of traditional Irish, Scottish, Welsh and English music and their own contemporary songs and tunes, still very much 'in the idiom'. Theirs is a tapestry of multi-instrumental acoustic sounds and harmonies around each song and tune. Becki Luff's luscious Celtic harp is complemented by Jacqui Johnson’s superb cello, backed by Jon’s bouzouki, guitar, whistles and bodhran. The warm vocals of Sarah Fell combine with Jon’s rich baritone. 

OXUS is a string quartet formed in 2005 comprising established performers whose musical activities range from orchestral leading and continuo playing to baroque and jazz performances. OXUS specialises in 20th-century and contemporary works. They frequently perform with other artists and media in works such as Steve Reichʼs Different Trains with electronics and The Juliet Letters by Elvis Costello and The Brodsky Quartet. They strive to find ways to strip away some of the formality which chamber music performance is perceived to involve. 

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