Our 2018 Concerts

four magic programmes

 
 
MMF 2018 Colours-02.jpg
 

Listen to excerpts from the works that we presented at the 2018 Festival on Spotify at martinboroughmusicfestival (here)

or

Click on the works below to link to YouTube / Vimeo performances

 

Friday 28 September 2018 at 7.30pm

diedre irons | PIANO  

Wilma smith | violin

Matthias balzat | cello  

Beethoven – Cello Sonata in C Major

César Franck – Violin Sonata in A Major

Brahms – B Major Piano Trio No 1, Op 8

 

Our opening concert in this year’s Festival begins with Beethoven’s Cello Sonata in C Major, Op 102 No 1, composed in 1851, and dedicated to Countess Anna Maria Erdödy, an excellent cellist, and a close friend of Beethoven. This sonata is, unusually, in two sonata-form movements, each preceded by a slow introduction.

This will be followed by César Franck’s wonderfully romantic Violin Sonata in A Major, comprising four movements. Composed in 1886, Franck gave this beautiful work to the Belgian violinist Eugène Ysaÿe on the morning of his wedding. Ysaÿe performed it for his wedding guests the same day, with pianist Léontine Bordes-Pène. Franck’s violin sonata is one of the most celebrated pieces in the violin sonata repertoire. 

After the interval, Diedre, Wilma and Matthias will perform Brahms’ Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8. This work was completed in January 1854, when the composer was only twenty years old, and it is in four movements. Brahms completely revised this work 34 years later, allowing both versions to exist. We are presenting the revised version this evening.

Programme notes by Vicki Jones

 
 
 

Saturday 29 September 2018 at 2pm

Wilma smith | violin

Amalia hall | violin  

Christopher moore | viola

Matthias Balzat | cello

mark walton | clarinet

Beethoven – String Trio in C Minor

Gareth Farr – String Quartet No 2 'Mondo Rondo'

Brahms – Clarinet Quintet in B Minor, Op 115

 

Beethoven's String Trio in C Minor, Op. 9 No. 3 will be performed by Amalia, Chris and Matthias. The trio was composed in 1799, and dedicated to Beethoven’s patron, Count Johann von Browne. It is in four movements.

The Mondo Rondo String Quartet is one of Gareth Farr’s most widely performed chamber music works. It is immediately engaging due to its combination of exotic melodies and percussive, funky rhythms throughout three contrasting movements. Gareth incorporates a clever use of the ensemble with hocketting pizzicato, combining this with subtle ‘body percussion’ (by tapping on the string instruments, to evoke the unique sound of the m’bira African thumb piano).

The final work in this concert will be Brahms’ wonderful Clarinet Quintet, in B Minor. Op 115.

This work was composed in 1891, a year after Brahms resolved to retire from musical composition. This resolve was quickly forgotten when he heard a performance by the clarinetist Richard Mühlfeld (1856-1907) who was a musician of extreme technical facility, musicality and expression. The quintet was premiered with Mühlfeld on the clarinet, and it has been said that no subsequent chamber work for clarinet has ever matched this masterpiece.

Programme notes by Vicki Jones

 
 
 

Saturday 29 September 2018 at 7.30pm

Diedre irons | piano

Wilma smith | violin

Amalia hall | violin  

Christopher moore | viola

Matthias Balzat | cello

mark walton | clarinet

Schubert – Quartettsatz, D703

Mozart – Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K581

Schumann – Piano Quintet in Eb Major, Op 44

 

Our concert opens with Schubert’s Quartettsatz, D 703, in C Minor. Schubert composed this single-movement work, now called Quartettsatz, in December 1820, with the intention of writing a complete four-movement quartet. Musicologists can only speculate as to why he never completed the work. When published, decades after Schubert’s death, it was listed as his String Quartet No. 12. 

Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in A Major, K 581, in four movements, was composed in 1798. Mozart loved the tone and range of the clarinet, and admired the artistry of Anton Stadler (1753-1812), the principal clarinetist of the Court Orchestra in Vienna. Mozart nicknamed this work the ‘Stadler Quintet.’

After the interval, the Festival Quartet will be joined by Diedre Irons, for Schumann’s Piano Quintet in E-flat Major, Op. 44, a work in four movements. Schumann composed his piano quintet in just a few weeks in September and October 1842, and dedicated it to his wife, the great pianist Clara Schumann. Schumann's piano quintet is considered one of his finest compositions and a major work of nineteenth-century chamber music.

Programme notes by Vicki Jones

 

Sunday 30 September 2018 2pm

Diedre irons | piano

Wilma smith | violin

Christopher moore | viola

Matthias Balzat | cello

mark walton | clarinet

Bach – Cello Suite No 3 in C Major

Darius Milhaud – Suite for Violin, Clarinet & Piano, Op 157b

Brahms – Piano Quartet in C Minor, Op 60

 

Our afternoon concert begins with Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3, in C Major, BW1009, in six movements. The third suite is majestic and joyful. The undulating waves of optimism reach stormy proportions in the middle of the prelude and even the quiet Sarabande exudes contemplative positivity. This suite ends with the fastest and most rambunctious Gigue of all the suites.

Milhaud’s Suite for Violin, Clarinet and Piano, Op157b was composed in 1936, and poses an interesting problem for the composer due to the fact that the two upper instruments operate in an almost identical span of notes. The composer must work with their differing timbres, rather than with differing ranges. Milhaud handles this in a delightful manner. The Ouverture is light, playful, and jazzy. The second movement, Divertissement, has three distinct sections. The third movement, Jeu (French word for “play”), is based on a cheerful folk dance with country fiddling effects on the violin, and the fourth movement, Introduction et Finale, begins with low heavy repeated chords in the piano. This is the only solemn passage in the entire work, and it serves merely as a foil to the lighthearted music that will follow. The movement shows obvious jazz influence.

The final work in our 2018 Festival is Brahms’ Piano Quartet No. 3 in C Minor, Op. 60 (“Werther”), in four movements. Brahms first worked on this piece in 1854-56, when his close friend, Robert Schumann, was suffering with severe mental illness and finally died. The composer came to Düsseldorf to help Clara Schumann, for whom he had complicated romantic feelings, and the couple’s family. The turbulent emotions of this time run through this piece, which Brahms set aside and reworked, beginning in 1873, adding two new movements. “You may place a picture on the title page,” he wrote, to the publisher, “namely a head — with a pistol in front of it. I shall send you a photograph of myself for the purpose.” Because of the similarities of this scenario with the title character in Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, who kills himself over the unrequited love of his friend’s wife, the quartet is nicknamed “Werther.”

Programme notes by Vicki Jones

 

"

I really recommend this wonderful new Martinborough Music Festival. We went last year and the musicians and works were fabulous.

"

Diana marsh - executive director, sounz