Retorica ‘dazzling’ violin duo Sat 25 April

Retorica violin duo

Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo play Baroque gems by Bach, Handel, Telemann and folk inspired pieces by Bartok.

Saturday 25 April 6.30pm

Tickets: £15/£30 with dinner to follow.

 “Riches vividly displayed by Retorica…dazzling“ Sunday Times, 2012

Retorica 2World-class musicians Philippa Mo and Harriet Mackenzie have performed to great acclaim all over the world since they met at the Royal Academy of Music, London. Highlights of their performing career include recitals in the most prestigious halls in China, including the Beijing NCPA and Shanghai SHAOC; performances in Odessa,Ukraine as part of the 2D2N Festival and tours of Japan, Germany and the Channel Islands. In the UK they have performed in the Barbican Centre as part of the Park Lane Young Artists Series, at the Jersey Liberation Festival, the Bury St Edmunds Festival and the Ripon International Festival. Retorica were also ‘Artists in Residence’ at the Prestiegne Festival 2012 and have broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

Retorica’s debut CD “English Violin Duos”  was chosen as Gramophone Magazine’s ‘Editor’s Choice’ recording and the ‘Must Hear’ CD for chamber music:

“Superbly responsive playing from Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo…. faultless technique and unfailing insight” – Richard Whitehouse, 2013

Retorica have also received critical acclaim for their recording of John McCabe’s Double violin concerto on the Dutton Label.

Retorica 1

”…their touch is quite virtuous.” Adriana Santerelli, BBC Music Magazine 2013

The uniqueness of Retorica lies in the quality of the two players as they perform the rare and expressive form of a violin duo. Their extensive repertoire together includes works by Bach, Handel, Telemann, Mozart, technical masterpieces by Wieniawski, folk-inspired works by Bartok, British works by Moeran, Rawsthorne and many works written and dedicated to them as well as the largely unexplored wealth and quality of repertoire for two violins and orchestra. They are proud to be expanding the repertoire, creating a legacy of recent works written for the duo by composers including Gabriel Prokofiev, John McCabe, David Matthews, Dmitri Smirnov, Jim Aitchison, Robert Fokkens, Ken Ueno, Deborah Pritchard, Taro Iwashiro and Sadie Harrison.

Listen to Retorica

Bach Invention No.2:

Bach Invention No.6:

Bach Invention No.8:

Prokofiev, Sonata for two violins, Op.56 Allegro:


“The two violins are wielded with enough delicacy and charm to immerse the listener into some really penetrating expression on the vivid scale of a full symphony orchestra” British Music Society News

“Excellently played” – David Denton, The Strad, 2012

“…brilliant performances of Mackenzie and Mo. It is clear that they not only understand the subtleties of the music they are playing but they want to ‘wow’ you into loving it as much as they do. In this they totally succeed.” – Christian Morris, Composition Today, 2012

Retorica’s debut CD “English Violin Duos”  was chosen as Gramophone Magazine’s ‘editor’s choice’ recording and the ‘must hear’ CD for chamber music: “superbly responsive playing from Harriet Mackenzie and Philippa Mo…. faultless technique and unfailing insight” – Richard Whitehouse, 2013

Future highlights for 2015/16 include a second tour of China, a second tour of Germany, a second tour of Japan, tours of Scotland and Wales, a new work written for the duo by Robert Fokkens and the recording of Paul Patterson’s Double violin concerto ‘Allusions’.

Phone 01308 459511 to book.  Tickets are limited so don’t delay!

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