When we set up the Two Moors Festival last year we had no idea what to expect. The aim of the Festival was to encourage a return to an area that had been devastated by the horrors of foot and mouth disease.
Much to our astonishment, people flocked to Dartmoor and Exmoor for the fourteen concerts that comprised the Festival. The event was a huge success and we received many letters afterwards asking us to repeat it.
Festivals of this calibre 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 continuing support has been invaluable.
The Two Moors Festival 2002 follows the same format as last year. The concerts take place in rural churches, many of which are outstandingly beautiful and deserve a visit in their own right. For those who are in the area for the first time, a trip to Sampford Courtenay church is well worth a visit, whilst Lynton’s position is glorious. Those who enjoy a pub crawl with their music might find that Ilsington, Drewsteignton and Hatherleigh have much to offer.
There is no apparent theme running through the concert programmes other than one of richness. The majesty of Parry’s “I was glad” to be sung by Exeter Cathedral Choir combined with the lush texture of Brahms's violin concerto with Tasmin Little and the Britten Sinfonia are almost upstaged by Rachmaninov’s cello sonata and the wonders of the little heard Hummel Piano Quintet.
2002 sees three “firsts”; the first performance of Edward Watson’s “Celtic Springtime” commissioned for 4 Girls/4 Harps, the introduction of the splendid Two Moors Festival Chorus and the Young Musicians Platform which is now run as a competition.
There are more lunchtime concerts this year which are designed to appeal topeople of all ages. Brass 10’s concert will be noisy and varied, 4-MALITY Percussion Quartet’s concert even noisier but a definite MUST, whilst the Elysian Quartet and the Chiltern Oboe Quartet’s recitals will be more subtle and beautiful.
In addition to the concerts, there is the Art and Sculpture Exhibition to visit on Exmoor – in fact, there is so much to do on both Moors that attending everything will be quite a challenge!