- Kirstin Innes
- 21 August 2017
Classical concerts for squirming small people
Part of the cleverness of the Recitals for Wrigglers, two short programmes of classical music specially designed for babies and toddlers, is their pared-back setting; the sort of church hall that almost every preschooler (and their parent) already knows from toddler club or playgroup. That familiarity ensures that the audience feels comfortable – and free to roam the space – even before the concert starts. Toddlers can get as close as they like to cellist Clea Friend and violinist Louise Bevan to investigate how these lovely noises are being made (as long as they don't try and steal the sheet music), while the half-hour run time is perfectly pitched for tiny attention spans.
The morning concert, King Arthur is a collection of short classical arrangements very loosely linked by their associations with royalty. The tiny audience members are encouraged to think of themselves as princes and princesses, with stately bursts of Bach, Handel and Grieg followed up by a new version of King Arthur told through music and storytelling. By dint of material, this programme might be slightly more staid than the afternoon session, Wriggle Around The World, but the toddlers are enraptured by the music and enjoy being given the space to express their excitement, and the musicians clearly enjoy them, too.
Stockbridge Parish Church, until 26 Aug, 2.30pm, family ticket £6.