©Sarah Trickey/Ivana Gavric

This is an archived event

Myth and Music

Music for violin and piano evoking Greek and Latin myths

Sara Trickey violin  Ivana Gavrić piano  Marina Warner speaker

Giuseppe Tartini: Didone Abbandonata

Franz Schubert: 3 Song Transcriptions

Karol Szymanowski: Three Myths

Igor Stravinsky: Duo Concertant

David Matthews: Venus and Adonis

Cheryl Frances-Hoad: Odysseus Weeps

There's something really magical about myths.  Since Greek and Roman times these strange and haunting tales have expressed human hopes and fears, loves and losses.

Many composers have mined this rich material to inspire their music.  Our concert presents an intriguing range of myth-based music by six composers. 

For added appreciation, historian and mythographer Marina Warner will illuminate the myths for us between each piece

Tartini’s depiction of Dido’s desertion by Aeneas is unashamed emotion, while Szymanowski paints the water and woodland backdrops against which the stories in his Three Myths unfold as sheer impressionism – “not a drama”, he said, but “a complex musical expression of the inspiring beauty of the Myth”.

Schubert’s songs invariably focus on the singer’s feelings – sometimes joyful when the beloved smiles; more often dispirited when rejection looms. But even though the age of the Gods is long gone, classical analogy still lends universality to the personal – Atlas bears his burdens till the end of time just as the singer does his; Ganymede is the ideal of beauty for which he yearns.

Stravinsky wanted to capture the essence of Greek and Latin pastoral verse. Two of Duo Concertant’s five movements are ‘eclogues’, and he described the work’s eclectic combination of styles (neo-classical, neo-baroque, romantic lyricism) as “a musical versification”.

David Matthews wrote his musical evocation of the Venus and Adonis myth for Sara Trickey 15 years ago. The Welsh folk song ‘My love she’s a Venus’ underpins the whole piece and, at the metamorphosis of Adonis, flowers into full bloom.

We’re very pleased that the Festival’s new commission – Odysseus Weeps, from Cheryl Frances-Hoad – will have its premiere at this concert. A new work by Cheryl in honour of our late Queen Elizabeth was played at the Platinum Jubilee Prom this summer.  

Programme Notes (also available at the concert free of charge)


©Marina Warner

Marina Warner – historian and mythographer par excellence – will give the music in this programme an extra dimension as she weaves her own narrative thread around it. She’ll draw on memories of her own, musings about the gods of Greece, and specific ideas about the individual myths. Few people today can tell us as much about myth as Marina.


Sara Trickey enjoys an exciting and diverse career as a solo violinist and chamber musician. Noted for her “fiery and passionate” performances (The Strad) and her “beautifully refined tone” (Musical Opinion), she performs at many of the major UK festivals and venues. She’s a founder member of the Odysseus Piano Trio and is currently a member of The Rossetti Ensemble and also enjoys teaching, primarily at the Junior Guildhall School of Music and Drama.


Ivana Gavrić’s playing has been described as “altogether of an extraordinary calibre” (BBC Music Magazine) and “notable for its beautiful sound, musical integrity and introspection” (The Independent). She’s attracted considerable praise for her interpretations of Janáček, Liszt and Schubert, and has recently worked closely with the composer, Cheryl Frances-Hoad.



©Cheryl Frances-Hoad

Cheryl Frances-Hoad has been composing to commission since she was fifteen and her work extends to all genres from opera, ballet and concerto to song, chamber and solo music. This year her new commission for the Platinum Jubilee Prom, Your Servant, Elizabeth, based on William Byrd's O Lord, Make Thy Servant Elizabeth Our Queen, was recently performed by the BBC Singers and BBC Concert Orchestra.


This concert is dedicated to the memory of Michael Cox


Thu 13 Oct 2022 8.00pm

Little Missenden Church

£25, £18, £10

Sara Trickey and Ivana Gavrić (concert starts at 15min)