Upcoming Chamber Music Weekends


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A Weekend of Mozart
13–15 March 2015

The London Bridge Ensemble:
Daniel Tong piano
Tamsin Waley-Cohen violin
Kate Gould cello
Michael Gurevich guest viola

Alasdair Beatson piano

Mary Bevan soprano

Pre-concert talks by Richard Wigmore

‘The miracle that God let be born in Salzburg’, to quote Mozart’s father, is today enshrined as the most popular of all classical composers: the most played, the most mythologised, the most commercially exploited. His genius is rightly hailed as universal, protean. Yet even in an age when Mozart has never had it so good, there are masterpieces that seldom appear on concert programmes.

Our celebration of Mozart’s chamber music and song seeks to counter this, balancing the familiar – the two piano quartets, and the tragic A minor Sonata – with comparative rarities like the E flat String Trio, K.563, whose profundity belies its billing as a ‘Divertimento’. Mary Bevan’s programme of Mozart’s songs may surprise those who think that German Lieder began with Schubert – to contrast with this, she also performs a number of opera arias. And if you are unfamiliar with Mozart’s music for piano duet – still among his best-kept secrets – Daniel Tong’s and Alasdair Beatson’s performances of two magnificent 4-hand works could well come as a revelation.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen, Kate Gould, and Daniel Tong form The London Bridge Ensemble, one of the UK’s most exciting and brilliant chamber groups. They have performed at major concert venues throughout the UK and recorded to critical acclaim. They are regularly joined by additional string players to perform larger works – for this weekend, Michael Gurevich joins them as guest viola.

Daniel Tong is principal pianist for the weekend, performing in all four concerts. He has also played a large part in assembling the programme. Daniel’s musical life is spent performing as a soloist and chamber musician, directing two chamber music festivals (including his own, in the Wye Valley) and occasionally writing. He has appeared at many of the foremost British venues, and at Aldeburgh, Cheltenham and Edinburgh festivals to name but a few, and is frequently heard on BBC radio.

Pianist Alasdair Beatson is a highly regarded chamber and orchestral musician. In July 2014 he gives his sixth Wigmore Hall recital and other engagements include performances with Pieter Wispelwey, Adrian Brendel and Pekka Kuusisto. He has appeared at Aldeburgh, Bath Mozartfest, Delft and Oxford Chamber Music festivals amongst others and has a regular association with the Scottish Ensemble.

Soprano Mary Bevan trained at the Royal Academy of Music, where she won the prestigious Richard Lewis award. She recently made her Royal Opera House début as Barbarina in Le Nozze di Figaro, and is currently a Harewood Artist at English National Opera. Also a dedicated recitalist, Mary has appeared at the Oxford Lieder Festival and at Wigmore Hall.

The concept and programme for this weekend is devised by Richard Wigmore – lecturer, writer on music, and broadcaster – who will also give illuminating pre-concert talks. He writes for BBC Music Magazine, The Telegraph and Gramophone.

The Programme

Concert 1: piano duet & solo
Friday 13 March 2015, 6.15pm
Pre-concert talk at 5.45pm

Daniel Tong & Alasdair Beatson
Fantasia in F minor for a Musical
Clock, K.608; Piano Sonata No.8 in A minor, K.310 (solo piano, performed by Alasdair Beatson); Piano Sonata for Four Hands in F, K.497.

Concert 2: piano & strings
Saturday 14 March 2015, 11.00am
Pre-concert talk at 10.30am

The London Bridge Ensemble
Duet for Violin & Viola in B flat, K.424; Violin Sonata No.21 in E minor, K.304; Piano Quartet in E flat, K.493.

Concert 3: piano & strings
Saturday 14 March 2015, 6.15pm
Pre-concert talk at 5.45pm

The London Bridge Ensemble
Piano Quartet in G minor, K.478; String Divertimento in E flat, K.563.

Concert 4: soprano & piano
Sunday 15 March 2015, 11.00am
Pre-concert talk at 10.30am

Mary Bevan & Daniel Tong
Abendempfindung’ K.523, ‘Das Veilchen’ K.476, ‘Als Luise die Briefe’ K.520, ‘Der Zauberer’ K.472, ‘An Chloe’ K.524, ‘Lied der Trennung’ K.519, ‘Sehnsucht nach dem Frühling’ K.596, ‘Oiseaux, si tous les ans’ K.307, ‘Dans un bois solitaire’ K.308; arias by Mozart (exact selection to be confirmed).

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Easter at The Castle
Mendelssohn’s Octet • The Mandelring Quartet & Quartetto di Cremona
3–6 April 2015

The Mandelring Quartet:
Sebastian Schmidt violin
Nanette Schmidt violin
Roland Glassl viola
Bernhard Schmidt cello

Quartetto di Cremona:
Cristiano Gualco violin
Paolo Andreoli violin
Simone Gramaglia viola
Giovanni Scaglione cello

For this special Easter weekend over three days, with five concerts, The Mandelring Quartet – one of the finest string quartets in the world – joins forces with Quartetto di Cremona with whom they have performed and recorded extensively.

The highlight of the weekend, and the element around which the rest of the programme is built, is a performance of Mendelssohn’s incomparable Octet on the morning of Easter Sunday.

If that is not quite enough of an enticement, we also hear the full set of Mendelssohn’s six string quartets, and Beethoven figures prominently in the final two concerts. Combined with these will be some of Mozart and Haydn’s best-loved quartet works.

The Mandelring Quartet are an exceptional group, famed for their expressivity and remarkable homogeneity of sound and phrasing. They have been prize-winners at prestigious competitions such as Munich International Music Competition, Evian and Reggio Emilia. Their busy concert schedule has taken them to major venues and festivals worldwide. This will be their second appearance at Taunton – their first being The Schumann Weekend in 2010.

Quartetto di Cremona formed in the year 2000 at the Stauffer Academy of Salvatore Accardo in Cremona. They went on to train with (amongst others) Hatto Beyerle of the Alban Berg Quartet. They have performed at many of the major concert venues and festivals in Europe and have enjoyed numerous appearances at Wigmore Hall. They are currently Artists in Residence at Milan’s Societa’ del Quartetto.

In due course, we will be offering participants an optional excursion on Easter Sunday afternoon – otherwise this is simply free time.

The Programme

Concert 1: The Mandelring Quartet
Friday 3 April 2015, 6.00pm

Mendelssohn, String Quartet No.1 in E flat, Op.12; Mozart, String Quartet No.17 in B-flat, K.458 ‘The Hunt’; Mendelssohn, String Quartet No.3 in D, Op.44 No.1.

Concert 2: The Mandelring Quartet
Saturday 4 April 2015, 11.00am

Mendelssohn, String Quartet No.2 in A minor, Op.13; Haydn, String Quartet in D, Op.64 No.5, ‘The Lark’; Mendelssohn, String Quartet No.4 in E minor, Op.44 No.2.

Concert 3: The Mandelring Quartet
Saturday 4 April 2015, 6.00pm

Mendelssohn, String Quartet No.6 in F minor, Op.80; Haydn, String Quartet in D, Op.71 No.2; Mendelssohn, String Quartet No.5 in E flat, Op.44 No.3.

Concert 4: The Mandelring Quartet & Quartetto di Cremona
Sunday 5 April 2015, 11.00am Easter Day

Webern, Langsamersatz; Beethoven, Große Fuge Op.133; Mendelssohn, String Octet in E flat, Op.20.

Concert 5: Quartetto di Cremona
Monday 6 April 2015, 11.00am

Beethoven, String Quartet in C, Op.59 No.3, ‘Razumovsky’; Beethoven, String Quartet No.15 in A minor, Op.132.

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