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York Chamber Music Festival: Event 4
York Chamber Music Festival: Event 4
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Saturday 17 September 7.30pm
York Chamber Music Festival: Event 4
£15.00 (under 18 free)
Venue: Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

Gala Concert Festival Artists
Tristan Gurney, Jonathan Stone violin
Sarah-Jane Bradley, Scott Dickenson violas
Marie Bitlloch, Tim Lowe cellos
Alasdair Beatson piano

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827) Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 16

Luigi Boccherini (1743 – 1805) String Sextet in F Minor, Op. 23, No. 5, G457

Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904)  Piano Quartet No 2 in E Flat Major

Beethoven finished his Mozart-inspired Piano Quintet in E flat major for piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn on a concert tour to Berlin in 1796 where the young musician was wowing  audiences with his piano improvisations. Back in Vienna the quintet was premiered at Ignaz Jahn’s restaurant, not quite the exalted venue of King Frederich-Wilhelm’s palace where the 26 year old had been a sensation. Ever with an eye to good business  (in this case the sale of sheet music) Ludwig  quickly arranged the quintet, with minimal reworking, as a piano and strings quartet. Both versions were published together as Op. 16 in 1801.

Boccherini’s set of six sextets composed in 1776 are uniquely the earliest string sextets to have been composed and it is due to Boccherini’s genius that he invented both the particular beauty of this lush string ensemble but also how to ‘voice’ its particular combination of instruments (adding a second viola and cello to the standard string quartet). It was the trail-blazing blueprint for others to follow. Hear those by Richard Strauss and Tchaikovsky tomorrow afternoon. Not to be missed!

Finally, we find Dvorak on holiday in the old farm house he bought as a summer retreat in Vyoská, near Prague. From this tranquil base he wrote much of his greatest music including the Piano Quintet that we played with Angela Hewitt last year and  its little sister the Piano Quartet in E Major. In fact not so ‘little’ because it is a rich and powerful piece that dazzles like a gypsy dance and sounds practically orchestral as it whirls headlong to its conclusion!

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