The Hallé’s lunchtime Chamber Series at Hallé St Peter’s provides a unique opportunity to hear players and guest artists perform in more intimate surroundings.

Not only a composer but also a conductor and pianist, in this concert Thomas Adès showcases all three roles. Adès’ own Mazurkas were written for Emmanuel Ax, to celebrate the bicentenary of Chopin – modern, spiky and rhythmically fractured, it will be a special experience to hear them played by the composer. Janáček’s Concertino for piano and small ensemble was written in 1925 and two years later, he added a commentary to the work. He described the first movement as a ‘grumpy hedgehog’ and the second as a ‘fidgety squirrel’, the atmosphere of the third like a ‘night owl and other night animals’ and the last, ‘a fairy-tale, where everybody is arguing’. Benny Goodman, the ‘King of Swing’, was the inspiration behind Bartók’s Contrasts and the first performance was given by him, Goodman and the violinist Joseph Szigeti. The first dance is followed by a much more introspective, relaxed Pihenö, while the final movement is a frenzied, rhythmic whirlwind.