Next event:

The Third Hay Chamber Music Festival

Friday, 24 - Sunday, 26 March 2017

 

Fitzwilliam String Quartet

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Lucy Russell (violin), Marcus Barcham-Stevens (violin),
Alan George (viola), Sally Pendlebury (cello)

Dragonfly String Trio

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Marcia Crayford (violin), Susie Mészaros (viola),
Moray Welsh (cello)

Members of Sinfonia Cymru

 

The Festival comprises the following three concerts
(advance booking for all concerts strongly recommended):

 

 

Friday,
24 March

7.30pm

 

artist pic

artist pic

Fitzwilliam String Quartet and
Dragonfly String Trio

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets: £15     Now booking

Bruckner

Intermezzo in D minor for string Quintet

Schubert

String Trio in B flat major, D 581

Brahms

String Sextet No 2 in G major, Op 36

 

Post concert discussion with the musicians

 

The Festival opens in St Mary's Church, Hay on Wye, with its superb acoustics. The Fitzwilliam String Quartet is joined by three other eminent string players, Marcia Crayford, Suzie Meszaros and Moray Welsh, for a programme of music for quintet, trio and sextet.

The Intermezzo in D minor by the Austrian composer Anton Bruckner has been described as 'a sunny little work saturated with the feel of the Tyrol', inspired by folk dances, particularly the ländler.

The String Trio D 581 is the last of three trios written by the 20 year old Franz Schubert. It is an interesting foretaste of his later mature string quartets, one the best known of which is in Saturday's programme.

Johannes Brahms' String Sextet No 2 is scored for two violins, two violas, and two cellos. Brahms did most of the composition in the comfortable country surroundings of Lichtental, near Baden-Baden. It has been described as 'the most ethereal of Brahms's larger works'. It is certainly one of Brahms's most happy inspirations.

The Fitzwilliam String Quartet is amongst the longest established string quartets in the world. The current line-up combines founding member violist Alan George with a new generation of performers: violinists Lucy Russell and Marcus Barcham-Stevens and cellist Sally Pendlebury. International recognition came early for FSQ, as the first group to record and perform all fifteen of Shostakovich's string quartets, drawing on the players' personal connection with the composer. Today, the FSQ performs a wide and diverse range of music from the late 17th century to the present day. It remains one of the few quartets to play on both historical and modern instrument set-ups and has brought over 50 new works to the repertoire. The FSQ has performed regularly across Britain, Europe, North America, the Far East, and Southern Africa, as well as making many award winning recordings for Decca, Linn, and Divine Art Records.

The Dragonfly String Trio: Marcia Crayford (violin), Susie Meszaros (viola) and Moray Welsh (cello) are great favourites of Hay Music having played several times as a trio and also in both previous Hay Chamber Music Festivals. Marcia Crayford was leader of The Nash Ensemble for many years and has led many of the leading UK orchestras. Susie Meszaros is violist in The Chilingirian Quartet. Moray Welsh is a distinguished orchestral and chamber music player. He spent three years with the great Russian cellist Rostropovich.


Saturday,
25 March

7.30pm

 

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Fitzwilliam String Quartet

Richard Booth's Bookshop, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets: £15     Now booking

J S Bach

Three Contrapuncti from The Art of Fugue

Alan Mills

Variations on a Theme of C P E Bach

Glazunov

Two Novelettes for String Quartet

Schubert

String Quartet No 14 in D minor

 

'Death and the Maiden'

 

Pre-concert suppers in the Café at £15. Limited availability. Please book when purchasing Saturday Concert tickets.

 

Appropriately for the 'Town of Books', this concert, given by The Fitzwilliam String Quartet, is in the unique and beautiful setting of a bookshop.

It starts with three pieces from J S Bach's great 'Art of Fugue', which are followed by Alan Mills's variations on a theme by Bach's son Carl Philip Emanuel Bach.

Alexander Glazunov's Novelettes represent his most immediately appealing music for string quartet and make great use of folk music.

Schubert's string quartet No 14 in D minor, known as 'Death and the Maiden', is one of the pillars of the chamber music repertoire. It was composed in 1824, after the composer suffered a serious illness and realised that he was dying. The quartet is named for the theme of the second movement, which Schubert took from a song he wrote in 1817 of the same title.


Sunday,
26 March

3.00pm

 

artist pic

artist pic

Fitzwilliam String Quartet and
Members of Sinfonia Cymru

St Mary's Church, Hay-on-Wye

Tickets: £15     Now booking

Mozart

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, K 525

Mozart

Symphony No 29 in A major, K 201

Haydn

Symphony No 45, 'Farewell'

 

Returning to St Mary's Church for the final concert in this year's Festival, musicians we heard on Friday and Saturday are joined by the young professional members of Sinfonia Cymru to form a chamber orchestra.

Mozart's ever-popular Eine Kleine Nachtsmusik is followed by two great and very different symphonies.

Symphony No 29, written in Salzburg in 1774 by the 18-year-old Mozart is one of his better known early symphonies. It has been described as 'music that crystallises the young man's emerging compositional self-confidence, and that shows him spreading his wings in symphonic music just as he had already started to do in the opera house and in his chamber music'.

Haydn's Symphony No 45 has an interesting and amusing origin.The tale of how the symphony was composed in 1772 was told by Haydn in old age to his biographers. At that time, Haydn's patron Prince Esterházy was resident, together with all his musicians and retinue, at his favourite summer palace in rural Hungary. The stay there had been longer than expected, and most of the musicians had been forced to leave their wives back at home in Eisenstaedt, about a day's journey away. Longing to return, the musicians appealed to their Kapellmeister, Haydn, for help. The diplomatic Haydn, instead of making a direct appeal, put his request into the music of the symphony. During the final movement each musician stops playing, snuffs out the candle on his music stand, and leaves in turn, so that at the end, there are just two muted violins left (played by Haydn himself and his concertmaster). Esterházy seems to have understood the message: the court returned to Eisenstaedt the day following the performance!

Sinfonia Cymru is a young and innovative chamber orchestra from Wales, made up of professional musicians in the early stages of their careers and is the first and only orchestra of its kind to be revenue-funded by the Arts Council of Wales. Founded in 1996 and typified by excellence, flexibility and innovation, Sinfonia Cymru delivers a hugely diverse programme of activities each year and tours regularly to venues across Wales. In recent years, Sinfonia Cymru has performed with an enviable rostra of guest artists including Bryn Terfel, Alina Ibragimova, Benjamin Grosvenor, Rachel Podger, Carlo Rizzi, Llyr Williams and Catrin Finch. Sinfonia Cymru also features at music festivals every year and in 2016 performed with Bryn Terfel and Joseph Calleja at the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, as well as two concerts as part of Wales Millennium Centre's Festival of Voice. In October 2015, Sinfonia Cymru performed at the Royal Albert Hall alongside Danielle DeNiese, Alison Balsom, Sting and Michael Sheen in a broadcast concert for Sky Arts to celebrate Bryn Terfel's 50th birthday. The orchestra has also broadcast on both S4C and BBC Wales. They joined The Fitzwilliam String Quartet in memorable performances at last year's Hay Chamber Music Festival.


 

 

 

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