Sunday 22 September 7.30pm
£15.00 (£1.00 under 18)
St Chads Church
Mozart - Piano Quartet No. 2 in E flat major, K. 493
Debussy (arr. Lenehan) - Prelude
Schumann - Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 47
We welcome the Festival Artists to the beautiful acoustic of St Chad’s to continue their exploration of ‘late’ Mozart. In 1786 Mozart was commissioned to write pieces for domestic use by an entrepreneurial music publisher but what he came up with was far too difficult for music-loving families! We were gifted two wonderfully subtle and beautiful pieces; Mozart basically inventing the idea of the piano quartet.
The great twentieth century composer and conductor Pierre Boulez considered the score of Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune (composed in 1894) to be the beginning of modern music, observing that “the flute of the faun brought new breath to the art of music.” John Lenehan has arranged for piano and string quartet a wonderfully melting realisation of Debussy’s piece.
The final music of this year’s festival is also a great masterpiece. Steven Isserlis, the Festival’s patron, has researched the music of Schumann extensively and writes: In short, he is a genius, unlike any other, one who can lead us into worlds undreamed of by anyone else. Every time I work on his music I marvel afresh, not just at the power of his imagination, but also at the brilliance of his mind.
Schumann’s Piano Quartet was the culmination of an intense period of composition during 1842 after Clara returned from a major concert tour. The couple were in love but strained by Clara’s success and fame as a pianist. His creative effort drove Schumann to the edge of a mental breakdown but from his genius flows as Steven Isserlis puts it, “miracle after miracle.”
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