This major music festival has come about as a result of the devastation caused by the foot and mouth epidemic. Many farmers between Dartmoor and Exmoor have lost not only their livelihoods, but also in many cases, prizeflocks and herds of livestock which had been bred for generations. It wasn’t only the farmers who suffered; a multitude of businesses were doomed because of the restrictions imposed in the area.
The aim of the Two Moors Festival is to celebrate a return to Dartmoor, Exmoor and the attractive mid-Devon area inbetween. The fourteen concerts take place in churches ranging from Ottery St Mary to Lynton to Tavistock and each church is a place of outstanding beauty situated in a village or town of historic interest.
Whilst there is no specific theme running through the Festival, there is a celebratory feel to the choice of music with Philip Fowke and the Britten Sinfonia playing Beethoven’s “Emperor Concerto”, Piers Lane playing Schumann’s “Carnaval” not to mention Walton’s “Facade which will be a rousing finale in St Peter’s Church, Tiverton.
2001 is centenary year for Edmund Rubbra and some of his haunting songs for voice and harp can be heard in Dulverton. There is a first performance of Brian Hughes’s “Arithmetical Bagatelles” for piano duet and an archive discovery of Edward German’s “Movement” which was recently presented to pianist, Harvey Davies. We are grateful to Yamaha for providing the piano in this concert and in all concerts where pianos are used in the Festival.
No festival would be complete without including a concert given by budding young musicians. The South West boasts some outstanding talent which can be heard at the free lunchtime recital at Chagford Church
Festivals of this nature do not happen these days without the generosity of sponsors. I am indebted to those companies who have made the Festival possible and in particular, to Cartwheel the South West farm tourism company whose support from the outset gave me great confidence to continue organising the event.
I hope that you enjoy your visit to Devon and Somerset and that in addition to the concerts, you can enjoy David Selby’s exhibition in the Barkham Gallery in the Exmoor National Park. There is much to see and do in the area whether it be a visit to the RHS Garden at Rosemoor or simply a walk across the Moors. Don’t forget to have a cream tea whilst you are here!