Past Concerts

Ieuan Davies

Quintets:

Venue: Sacred Heart Church, Bournemouth

Programme

MozartHorn Quintet in Eb K407
ReichaLento from the Quintet in E op. 106
SchubertString Quintet in C op. 163

For this concert, we are delighted to be joined by Ieuan Davies on the French horn (pictured above right) in the first half, and Christopher Magnus ('cello) in the second for Schubert's last major chamber work.

The quintet

Quartet: Seven Last Words,

Venue: S. Dominic's Priory, Shirley Holms Road, Lymington, Hampshire

This will be the third occasion on which the Grainger String Quartet has performed Haydn's op. 51 in the context of a lenten meditation service, just as it was at its first performance in Cádiz in 1787.

Quintets:

Venue: S. Catherine's Church Hall, Wimborne

Programme

MozartHorn Quintet in E♭ K407
ReichaHorn Quintet in E op. 106
SchubertString Quintet in C op. 163

Deservedly a well-loved favourite, the Mozart quintet is scored for horn, violin, two violas and 'cello. There are three movements, of which the last, a memorable Rondo, plays very subtle rhythmic tricks.

Undeservedly little known, the Reicha quintet is a gem. The lovely second movement, Lento, is followed by a fascinating Scherzo in which the accent almost (but not quite) always falls on the second (middle) beat of the bar. The first movement and the effective, rousing finale feature spectacular virtuosity from both horn and first violin.

The Schubert Quintet is arguably the composer's greatest achievement, and one of the most impressive chamber works of all time. All four movements explore the dramatic extremes. The music is propelled from moment to moment by a compelling musical argument that never falters. The ecstatic stillness of the Adagio second movement, once experienced, is never forgotten.

Quartets:

Venue: S. Catherine's Church Hall, Wimborne

Programme

MozartString Quartet in G K457
BeethovenString Quartet in D op. 18:3
String Quartet in c op. 18:4

The Mozart quartet, composed in December 1782 when Mozart was 26, is the first of Mozart's mature quartets, the first of a set of six that were to be published in 1785 with a dedication to Haydn. The first movement is technically complex, with a long development section. The Minuet that follows has curiously abrupt changes in dynamics and disruptive rhythms, while the central Trio, in the minor key, features stark melodic leaps that must have struck its early audiences as shockingly modern. The third, slow movement features strange triplet passages of a decidedly menacing character. The final movement, though posing as a severe, traditional fugue, soon explodes into joyous, exuberant merriment to which the counterpoint provides a sort of foil of half-seriousness while displaying subtler compositional fireworks of dazzling contrapuntal invention.

Although the third in the published order, Beethoven's Op. 18 no. 3 was in fact the first quartet Beethoven ever wrote, in 1798 when he was 28. It is of traditional form and agreeable, sunny disposition, but it is a musical wolf in sheep's clothing, with many features that would have shocked its first audiences — not least, the formidable skill with which it is written. For this quartet, our violinists change places and we are led by Pip James.

By contrast, Op. 18 no. 4 is moody, dramatic and declamatory. We play the first and last movements, of which the second is a rondo.

Quartets at Highcliffe,

This was the second of two successful concerts we gave jointly with the Coda Choir. Our contributions were:

Quartets:

Venue: S. Catherine's Church Hall, Wimborne

Grainger Quartet, Wimborne 2009-03-27

Programme

HaydnString Quartet in D op. 76:5
BridgeIdyll no. 3
BeethovenString Quartet in F op. 59:1

Buoyed by the success of his two London visits, by 1797 Haydn was at the pinnacle of his career. Perhaps knowing that his remaining time was limited, in this quartet Haydn gives us reason to suppose that he was giving more weight to divine inspiration and less to the successful formulæ that had established him as the father of the string quartet. The first movement is slow, in form something of a cross between theme & variations and sonata form, with a lengthy coda in fast tempo that is almost a second development section. The second movement, Largo cantabile e mesto, is in the remote (and unusual) key of F# (that's six sharps in the key signature!) The finale is also notable in that its thematic material anticipates the scherzo of op. 77:2, while its crazy Hungarian style closely resembles the finale of that quartet.

Frank Bridge was born in Brighton and died in Eastbourne. He started life as a string player; during his studies at the Royal College of Music he developed his skills as conductor and composer. His only composition pupil, Benjamin Britten, was to write a famous set of orchestral variations on the theme of the second of these idylls, which were published in 1906. The tender, romantic spirit of these pieces can perhaps be explained by the fact that their dedicatee, a Miss Ethel Sinclair, was soon to become Mrs Bridge.

The quartet op. 59:1 is early fruit of Beethoven's “middle period”, characterized by a deeper, more uncompromising mode of expression. The first movement seems like one long development section, and perhaps that is why Beethoven made a point of noting that the exposition was not repeated. The second movement, Allegretto vivace e sempre scherzando, caused outrage at its first performance, with opinions varying as to whether it was “crazy music” or indeed not music at all. The slow movement is by turns grief-stricken, defiant and transformed by hope, but always unremittingly serious. The final movement is based on a “thème russe”, at the request of Count Razumovsky, who commissioned the op. 59 quartets from Beethoven.

Tickets £6 to include a glass of wine. Proceeds to CAFOD / Christian Aid.

Trios at Sopley Parish Church, 6 May 2009 at 19:30

Another in our series of successful evenings with the CODA Choir.

Lunchtime concert before the Mayor & Deputy Mayor of Valognes

Playing at the Mayoral Luncheon, Valognes

24 May 2009 à l'Église Notre Dame d'Alleaume, Valognes

Quartet playing Beethoven in Valognes

From a short press review:

The Grainger String Quartet a offert un concert exceptionnel de par son talent et sa diversité musicale.

Dimanche en fin d'après-midi, le comité de jumelage Valognes Wimborne a proposé un concert de découverte à un public constitué essentiellement des membres du jumelage. Le quatuor à cordes The Grainger String Quartet a enchanté l'église d'Alleaume. « Ce quatuor est membre du comité, il habite Wimborne et est actuellement en vacances dans la région, » souligne Bernard Tardieu, président du comité de jumelage. « Il nous offre ce concert en toute amitié et donnera une nouvelle présentation au château de Cerisy-la-Salle jeudi 28 mai. »

au Château de Cerisy-la-Salle, Manche, Basse-Normandie

The château is home to a long-running series of learned multidisciplinary conferences. The photo below shows the Grainger String Quartet giving a short concert in the recently renovated stable building before an audience attended by conference members and members of the public.

Grainger Quartet at Cerisy la Salle

Quartet at Canford Magna Parish Church, Friday

We played in the first half of a concert also featuring light music by Jo Dore; tickets £10 include drinks and canapés. All proceeds go to support the Building Project at S. Barnabas Church, Bearwood.

GershwinSummertime
MozartExsultate, Jubilate
CarmichaelStardust
FauréAprès un Rève
ElgarSalut d'Amour
DvořákHumoresque
DelibesFlower Duet
VivaldiWinter (from 4 Seasons)
BeatlesWhen I'm 64
RodriguezLa Cumparsita (tango)

Quartet at Holt (near Wimborne),

We played a selection of short classical and light pieces in a concert in aid of Holt Church.

Quartet: Seven Last Words,

Venue: S. Dominic's Priory, Shirley Holms Road, Lymington, Hampshire

This was be the fourth occasion on which the Grainger String Quartet performed Haydn's op. 51 in the context of a lenten meditation service, just as it was at its first performance in Cádiz in 1787. The Sisters have a really good web site and produced a great poster (PDF) for the event.

Quartet: Seven Last Words,

Venue: S. Catherine's Church, 4 Lewen's Lane, Wimborne Minster

For the second time this year, and the second time at this venue, the Grainger String Quartet performed Haydn's op. 51 in the context of a lenten meditation service.

Quartet: Sway,

Venue: S. Dominic's Priory, Shirley Holms Road, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 8NH

The quartet played at the Dominican Sisters' Summer Fête, which took place from 12:00 to 15:00 on Saturday.

Quartet: Concert,

Venue: Whitchurch Silk Mill, 28 Winchester Street, Whitchurch, Hampshire, RG28 7AL

This concert featured Mozart's late A Major Quartet from the set of six quartets he dedicated to his mentor Haydn.

Quartets:

Venue: S. Catherine's Church Hall, Wimborne

BeethovenQuartet in A op. 18:5
Frank Bridge3 Idylls
BeethovenPresto from Quartet in B♭ op. 130

Quartet: Seven Last Words,

Venue: S. Dominic's Priory, Shirley Holms Road, Lymington, Hampshire

This was the fifth occasion on which the Grainger String Quartet here performed Haydn's op. 51 in the context of a lenten meditation service, just as it was at its first performance in Cádiz in 1787. The Sisters have a really good web site and produced a great poster (PDF) for the event.

Quartet concert,

Venue: S. Barnabas Church, Bearwood

The quartet gave a concert featuring some serious quartet repertoire and some lighter numbers.

Quartet concert,

Venue: S. Catherine's Church Hall, Wimborne

HaydnQuartet in f Op. 20:5
TchaikovskyScherzo from Op. 30
MozartQuartet in G K387

Tickets £6 included a glass of wine and nibbles in the interval. Stand by for fugues!

Quartet: Seven Last Words,

Venue: Canford Parish Church

This was the first occasion on which the Grainger String Quartet has here performed Haydn's op. 51 in the context of a lenten meditation service, just as it was at its first performance in Cádiz in 1787.

Choral/Quartet concert,

Venue: Sacred Heart Church, Bournemouth

The Harmonium Singers presented a concert in association with the Grainger Quartet. Further details on the Shine Appeal web site.

Admission by programme (advance £7.50, £10 at the door) to include a glass of wine and canapés during the interval.

Choral/Quartet concert,

Venue: Holy Trinity Church, Winchester

The Harmonium Singers presented a concert in association with the Grainger Quartet. The programme included music by Handel, Wesley, Parry, Palestrina, Pergolesi/Durante, Mozart, Duruflé, Vaughan Williams, Purcell and Tchaikovsky.

Quartet concert,

Venue: S. Anne's Church, Rhinefield Road, Brockenhurst SO42 7SR

The quartet gave a concert featuring Mozart's flute quartet in D K285, and a selection of shorter numbers including some arrangements and selected movements by Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Borodin.

Admission: £6 included refreshments and wine.

The flute was played by Sr Mary Catherine, a Dominican from S. Joseph's Priory at Sway and an alumna of the Juillard School of Music. Fortunately, one of her community managed to get a quite atmospheric video of the first movement, which can be seen on YouTube. We hope to do some more concerts with Sr Mary Catherine!

Quartet concert,

Venue: S. Barnabas Church, Bearwood

CoatesKnightsbridge March
Beethoven4tet Op. 18:6 1st movement
VivaldiWinter (from 4 Seasons)
Mozart4tet in G K359 4th movement
ParryLady Radnor Suite: Prelude
LePrinceAntiques Roadshow
HamiltonCry me a River
LePrinceDr Who; Harry Lime Theme
Borodin4tet 2: 1st movement
AndersonBlue Tango; Typewriter
Tchaikovsky4tet 3: Scherzo
Vaughan WilliamsIntermezzo
DonaldsonMakin' Whoopee

Admission: £8 (concessions £6; under-16s free) included refreshments and wine.

Quartets:

Venue: S. Catherine's Church Hall, Wimborne

HaydnQuartet in B♭ op. 76:4 "Sunrise"
DvořákString Quartet in F op. 96 "American"

Concert in aid of CAFOD. Tickets £6 include a glass of wine and nibbles in the interval.

Choral/Quartet concert,

Venue: S. Mary's Church, Andover

Summer Celebration: a concert with the Harmonium Singers including music played at the coronation of Her Majesty in 1953.

DuranteMagnificat
PurcellChaconne from King Arthur
Frank BridgeAn Irish Melody

Tickets £8 in advance or £10 at the door, including refreshments in the interval.

Sunday

Venue: East Band Cottage, East Bank Road, Brockenhurst SO42 7RW

Mozart Clarinet Quintet, Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue, Schubert's "Trout" Quintet and many more exciting items with the Grainger Quartet and guest artists.

All proceeds to charity. Refreshments included in ticket price.

Venue: S. Barnabas Church, King John Avenue, Bearwood

Concert with guest players, featuring portions of Schubert's "Trout" Quintet, Strauss's Pizzicato Polka, Elgar's Chanson de Matin and a selection of lighter numbers.

Tickets £7.50, included light refreshments in the interval.

Venue: S. Petroc's Church, Padstow

The concert included:

HaydnQuartet in B♭ op. 76:4 "Sunrise"
Frank BridgeAn Irish Melody
DvořákString Quartet in F op. 96 "American"

Tickets £7.00 included drinks and nibbles in the interval. Proceeds went to the S. Petroc's Coracle Appeal.

Quartet concert,

Venue: S. Anne's Church, Rhinefield Road, Brockenhurst SO42 7SR

The concert included Dvořák's celebrated "American" quartet, and Sr Mary Catherine joined us on the flute for Pachelbel's Canon and the final movements from Bach's orchestral suite no. 2 in b minor.

Tickets £7.

Concert with the Candover Choir,

Venue: S. John's Church, Northington, Hampshire O24 9UB

Works included The Armed Man and Haydn's Little Organ Mass. Concert in memory of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, raising money for Help for Heroes, the Royal British Legion and the five benefice churches.

Tickets £10 included interval refreshments.

Choral/Quartet concert,

Venue: S. Mary's Church, Andover

A concert with the Harmonium Singers in memory of the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, in aid of military charities.

FauréCantique de Jean Racine
AlbinoniAdagio for Strings and Organ
FauréRequiem

Concert

Quartet concert,

Venue: S. Catherine's Church Hall, Wimborne

MozartString Quartet in D K575
DvořákString Quartet in d op. 34

Concert in aid of Aid to the Church in Need. Tickets £6 included a glass of wine and nibbles in the interval.