“The performance from Hazel Brooks is assured and stylish, complemented by some fine continuo accompanying as well as spirited solo playing from David Pollock.”
Early Music Review, October 2011
Hazel Brooks violin
David Pollock harpsichord
Hazel Brooks and David Pollock have been charming audiences with their performances since 1999. Fired by a shared commitment to present music of the 17th and 18th centuries in an accessible way, these two prize-winning musicians have performed together throughout the UK and beyond. Of particular note are their highly-acclaimed concerts at the Early Music Festival in Barcelona.
Programmes by the duo have been praised for their varied and colourful textures; they mix great composers such as Bach, Handel and Vivaldi with other rare treats, producing a varied and colourful range of sound-textures. Hazel and David have developed a sensitive and communicative performing style which has led to many return invitations from promoters. Spoken introductions bring to life the musical and historical context of each piece and form an important part of their concerts. Duo Dorado performances are also visually interesting. Their beautifully decorated harpsichord forms a stunning centrepiece making each concert a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.
They have released a CD, L’Eleganza, on the Singing Space label, followed in 2011 by a new recording of music by William Croft on the CRD label. Their recording of music by Daniel Purcell has just been released in January 2013 on the Chandos label.
Recent concerts in 2013 have included:
12 January: South Holland Concerts
20 January: Weymouth Music Club “a well balanced programme and brilliant playing”
10 May: Dart Festival
2011/12 concerts included:
2011 Ripon International Festival at Markenfield Hall, with a return visit to Markenfield Hall in 2012, Saltaire Festival, Chichester Festivities, London Handel Festival, City Music Society, Music in Peebles, Alnwick Playhouse, West Linton Music Society, Woodville Halls Gravesham
Previous performances: Beaford Arts, Devon – Fairfield Halls, Croydon – Fenton House, Hampstead – East Finchley Arts Festival – Saddleworth Chamber Concerts – Hambleden Concerts – Northants Touring – Chichester Festivities – St George’s Bristol – Stratford on Avon Festival – St David’s Hall, Cardiff – Avon Valley Concerts
Hazel Brooks studied at Clare College, Cambridge. After graduation she went on to study the violin at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig, and the Guildhall School of Music in London, where she specialised in early music. Here she won the Christopher Kite Memorial Prize and the Bankers Trust Pyramid Award, and she was a finalist in the international competitions in York and Antwerp.
As a baroque violinist, Hazel now works regularly as a recitalist and in chamber ensembles including Duo Dorado, the Brook Street Band and the Feinstein Ensemble. Solo recital venues have ranged from the South Bank Centre in London and St George’s Brandon Hill, to the Barcelona Early Music Festival. Hazel is frequently asked to lead orchestras and enjoys appearing as a concerto soloist.
Hazel also has an interest in unusual instruments and her recitals often include the viola d’amore. She is in demand as a medieval-fiddle specialist throughout Europe and America, and has released recordings with the Boston Camerata, USA (Warner Classics) and duo Trobairitz (Hyperion). She has been involved in a project combining Western and Moroccan musicians. Hazel has taught workshops at the Guildhall and Trinity College of Music.
‘flexible and virtuosic’ - Boston Herald
David Pollock studied harpsichord at the Royal Academy of Music where he won the Croft Early Music First Prize. Since then he has appeared at such venues as the Purcell Room and St John’s Smith Square London, St George’s Bristol and St David’s Hall Cardiff. David has given critically acclaimed recitals at the Fairfield Halls Croydon and has performed in international music festivals in Great Britain and abroad. As a concerto soloist he has performed the complete harpsichord concertos of JS Bach.
An interest in contemporary music has led to composers writing specially for David. He gave the premiere of a large-scale work Seven Mimicries for Solo Harpsichord (1996) by Gavin Stevens, and recently Colin Hand’s Five Portraits for the Virginals (2008) and Robert Page’s Sonata for Harpsichord (2009) have been the latest contributions to David’s repertoire of new music.
Solo CDs are The French Harpsichord and O Mistris Myne:150 years of English virginals music on the London Independent Records label. He is also harpsichordist with The Parnassian Ensemble whose A Noble Entertainment – Music from Queen Anne’s London was released in 2006 on the Avie label.
‘an assured sense of style and commitment’ - The Scotsman
Please contact us for a fully updated biography for concert programmes
J. S. Bach’s sublime works for violin and harpsichord, introduced with colourful anecdotes from his life.
We also offer the entire set of sonatas for obbligato harpsichord and violin across two concerts.
Cantabile, ma un poco adagio BWV 1019a/1
Sonata in B minor BWV 1014 for obbligato harpsichord and violin
Adagio, allegro, andante, allegro
Prelude and Fugue in F major BWV856 from The Well-Tempered Clavier, book 1
Sonata in A major BWV 1015 for obbligato harpsichord and violin
Dolce, allegro, andante un poco, presto
Sonata in C minor BWV 1017 for obbligato harpsichord and violin
Largo, allegro, adagio, allegro
The Italian Concerto BWV 971
Allegro, andante, presto
Sonata in E major BWV 1016 for obbligato harpsichord and violin
Adagio, allegro, adagio ma non tanto, allegro
Music from the royal courts and theatres of Restoration and Georgian London, from elegant sonatas to rumbustious country dances, introduced with evocative readings and humorous anecdotes by Pepys, Boswell and Johnson
Medley of dances and theatre tunes: Henry Purcell (1659-95)
Air, Round O, A New Ground, Hornpipe, Sefauchi’s Farewell, Ground in Gamut, Rigadoon
Sonata in G minor: William Croft (1678-1727)
Adagio, allegro, adagio, allegro
from Suite no. 5: George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Air and Variations ‘The Harmonious Blacksmith’
Sonata in D minor: Anon (English, early 18th century)
Preludio, allemanda, corrente, sarabanda, giga
Sonata op. 1, no. 1: Joseph Gibbs (1698-1788)
Adagio, allemanda, largo, andante
Suite for solo harpsichord in G: Henry Purcell (1659-95)
Prelude, Almand, Corant
Set of dances from ‘The Dancing Master’: John Playford (1623-87)
Gathering peascods, Cuckolds in a row, Chelsea beach
Sonata in D major: George Frideric Handel (1685-1759)
Affetuoso, allegro, larghetto, allegro
Vivacious vibrant violin virtuosity… via Vivaldi’s Venice!
The ‘Seasons’ included vary according to the time of year. We can include all four on request.
Sonata in E minor, RV 17a: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Preludio, corrente, sarabanda, allamanda
Sonata in F major, Op. 5 no. 10: Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713)
Preludio, allemande, sarabanda, gavotte, giga
Sonata in A major, 208: Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
Adagio e cantabile
Sonata in A major, K212: Scarlatti
Invenzione in G minor, Op. 10 no. 4: Francesco Antonio Bonporti (1672-1749)
Largo, balletto, aria, corrente
La Primavera, from Le Quattro Stagioni, RV 269: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Allegro, largo e pianissimo sempre, danza pastorale (allegro)
Concerto in F major, BWV 978 (RV 310): Vivaldi, arr. J. S. Bach (1685-1750)
Allegro, largo, allegro
L’Estate, from Le Quattro Stagioni, RV 315: Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741)
Allegro non molto, adagio, presto
Solos, Sonatas and many premiere recordings on this disc of music by Daniel Purcell, brother or cousin to the more famous Henry; violinist Hazel Brooks has been researching early English violin music and this is the latest result.
Violin Sonatas in A, G minor and B minor
Suites in D minor, F and G; Sonata in D minor (anon.)
CRD 3529 708093352920
William Croft (1678-1727) was a distinguished English composer who knew Purcell in his youth and later overlapped with Handel at the English court. His unjustly neglected violin sonatas have never before been recorded all on one disc. The disc also contains the world premiere recording of an anonymous seven-movement sonata from the same period. This astonishing piece contains the earliest known example of a virtuoso obbligato harpsichord part in an English violin sonata.
Photographer: Eric Richmond