Tag Archives: Chamber music

Concert of Seven Last Words by Haydn, 7.30pm on Sunday 17th March in Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews

On  Sunday 17th March at 7.30pm in Holy Trinity Church, St Andrews, St Patrick’s Ensemble will perform The Seven Last Words of Our Saviour on the Cross by Joseph Haydn. The work is a moving reflection on the ‘Seven Last Words’ and will be performed in Haydn’s own arrangement for string quartet. The movements will be interspersed with readings of the ‘Words’ and spoken reflections.

st andrews poster
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The quartet will consist of Paul Livingston and Daniel Rainey, violins, Jessica Wyatt, viola, and Robert Anderson, cello – all outstanding young players who have studied in Scotland as well and internationally. Based in Glasgow, the St Patrick’s Ensemble has performed throughout Scotland, including performances of the Vivaldi Four Seasons at the Usher Hall, and an evening of chamber music by James MacMillan at Glasgow University, introduced by the composer.

This promises to be a reflective and moving concert in a beautiful and atmospheric church, ideal for the Easter season. Tickets are priced at £10 (£8 concessions) and will be available at the door. Please encourage friends and relatives to attend!

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Lunchtime concerts in St Andrews on 27th Feb and Dundee on 8th March

Lately I’ve been working really hard preparing for a couple of lunchtime recitals that are coming up soon. As before, I’m playing with Audrey Innes, a pianist who teaches at St Andrews Music Centre and with whom I have played for a number of years – I hesitate to call her my duo partner, as she regularly plays with many others and is in high demand.

Anyway, this time we’re playing a programme of Schumann’s beautifully lyrical Adagio and Allegro (originally written for horn), paired with the fiery and powerful viola sonata Op 11 No 4 by Hindemith (himself a viola player). These are both highly romantic works, with the Schumann written in 1849 and the Hindemith in 1919 but displaying many backward looking features as well as forward looking ones such as whole tone scales.

This is the first time that I am doing more than one recital of the same programme – I don’t want to call it a series, as it is only 2 concerts, but still! It is also the first time that I will have one of my concerts recorded professionally – the father of one of my pupils is a recording engineer, and he has kindly offered to bring some of his students over to record the St Andrews concert, which is very exciting but a little nerve wracking!

Here are the details of the 2 concerts:

St Andrews

Weds 27th Feb at 1.10pm (not 1.15pm as it used to be) in the Younger Hall, North St, St Andrews- details here although the start time is wrong

Dundee

Friday 8th March at 1.20pm in Dundee University Chaplaincy – details here

Hope to see you at one of them!

2013 projects

I still can’t believe we’re in 2013! It all sounds so space age…

I’ve started my new job and it’s going well – I am learning a lot about obesity and literature searching, and I have discovered the joys of Endnote and never having to write out a reference again! Academics and essay writers take note: Endnote or a similar referencing manager (there are free ones) will save you literally hours  of tedious referencing and bibliography writing. (I sound like they are paying me to advertise them, which they are not!) Anyway, I think I will really enjoy my work at the medical school, even though it is quite weird being a ‘staff’ member where I used to be a student (I’m now in a different dept though, so not as weird).

One of the brilliant things about my job is that it it so flexible, which allows me to continue teaching and playing in stuff while still doing the work I need to do. This year, I have resolved to do more playing, especially chamber music, so with that in mind I have arranged a trio with some friends which I hope will work out really nicely. Other things I am doing this year are:

  • I will start going to the baroque orchestra at the St Andrews Music Centre, run by my good friend and amazing cellist Claire Garabedian; I think I will get to borrow a baroque bow which will be fun!
  • I’ll continue helping out at StAFCO (St Andrews and Fife Community Orchestra), taking occasional sectionals
  • I have two lunchtime concerts coming up in February and March, both with experienced pianist Audrey Innes who I have played many a concert with! For both concerts, we are playing a programme consisting of Hindemith viola sonata Op 11 No 4 which is very romantic and fantastical as well as being incredibly dramatic and a huge piece to play, combined with a short piece by Frank Bridge (also a viola player) and Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro (originally a horn piece), a real gem of a piece. The concert in St Andrews is Weds Feb 27th at 1.10pm in the Younger Hall (note 5 mins earlier start time), and the concert in Dundee is on Friday 8th March at 1.20pm in the University Chaplaincy.
  • Along with a friend, we are trying to organise concerts in St Andrews and at a stately home near Broughty Ferry of Haydn’s Seven Last Words for string quartet, to coincide with Lent. Hopefully we can confirm these soon.
  • Of course, I’ll continue with my teaching. I’ve got a new pupil (an adult learner interested in fiddle) starting on friday!

Monty is still being incredibly sweet – he’s dozing on my lap, purring contentedly. His latest trick is to attack packets of loo roll, creating a large amount of mess and very holey loo roll, but he seems to think he is saving us from a terrible tissue monster…

Lunchtime Concert with Paul Livingston, Dundee University Chaplaincy, 28th Sept 1.20pm

At 1.20pm on Friday 28th September at Dundee University Chaplaincy, I will be performing a duo recital with a superb violinist and friend of mine, Paul Livingston. Paul freelances with Scottish Opera and is part of a duo with guitarist Ian Watt; you can see his full biography here.

We’ll be playing Mozart’s beautiful Duo in G major (K.423) and the amazing (and slightly infamous) Handel/Halvorsen Passacaglia in G minor, and a few pieces tbc. There’s a great performance of the Passacaglia by Perlman and Zuckerman here, and you can hear David and Igor Oistrakh play the Mozart here.

In other news, I will be returning to the St Andrews and Fife Community Orchestra tomorrow to continue helping out with the string section, and I am planning 2 lunchtime concerts in February and March 2013 with Audrey Innes, playing the Hindemith viola sonata op 11 No 4. I’m also entering 2 pupils for ABRSM grade exams this term; in June, my pupil who took grade 1 achieved a merit, so I was very pleased with that. Finally, we will soon be getting a kitten – I can’t wait!

Link

I haven’t posted about what I’m doing in a while, so here’s a run down of what’s been happening lately.

  • I am continuing to attend and help at St Andrews and Fife Community Orchestra (known as ‘StAFCO’) which is run jointly by St Andrews Music Centre and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and conducted by Gillian Craig. It is an amazing collaboration, as the sectionals get taken by members of the SCO, and the sub-principal cellist Su-a Lee is performing the Elgar Cello Concerto in the concert on 31st May which should be brilliant. We are rehearsing with her tonight which I’m looking forward to! Next week I will be taking a string sectional rehearsal, which should be good.
  • Excitingly, I now have some violin pupils! It’s great to get stuck in to some teaching, and it’s good for me to play my violin again (even if it feels a bit like a toy it is so small, no offence violinists!) I’m hoping to get some viola pupils too but I’ll have to wait and see what happens…
  • Last weekend I helped out at the SCO Connect’s Scrapers and Tooters project in Galashiels (Scottish Borders). The weekend was a lot of fun and we played Gluck, Beethoven and Dvorak under the watchful eye of Michael Bawtree and with help from members of the SCO who took sectional rehearsals, including Eric de Wit (cello) and Lorna McLaren (1st violin)
  • I am in the process of writing to schools in the Fife and Tayside area to see whether I can do any more teaching within the school environment. Watch this space…
  • The next 2 weeks will be pretty busy with concerts. On Sunday 22nd April I’ll be playing Elijah with the Heisenberg Ensemble and Stirling City Choir in Stirling, and then the following weekend the St Andrews Chorus have their spring concert of Puccini and Verdi on Sat 28th in the Younger Hall, and then on the Sunday it is my Chamber Concert with Tom Duncan and a few others, featuring Bach’s E flat Cello Suite amongst other works.
  • I’m hoping to collaborate with my friend Gillian Gamble on a project for her new social enterprise ‘Just Made’ which focusses on getting young people into the creative arts through education and training. We are still in very early planning stages of this but it’s quite exciting!

St Andrews Opera and Lentfest 2012 with James MacMillan

A couple of exciting things have come my way recently which I wanted to share:

  • St Andrews Opera, run by the Michael Downes, the director of the music centre at St Andrews, will be staging a version of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews from June 14th-16th, and Michael has asked me to play in the orchestra (which will include single strings – effectively a string quartet). The production will be directed by Kally Lloyd-Jones (who has worked for Scottish Opera among others) and include singers from St Andrews and Bloomsbury Opera. More details can be found here
  • Secondly, I have been asked to play for an event in Glasgow University’s Memorial Chapel on 7th March, in which I will be part of a string quartet playing James MacMillan’s string quartets. This event is part of Lentfest 2012 and will consist of an introductory talk from the composer himself illustrated with musical examples, followed by a concert including the first movement of quartet No. 1Visions of a November Spring’ , and Quartet No. 2, ‘Why is this night different?’ Details of the event can be found here, and the facebook event is here

Other than that, I will be helping out this wednesday at a local community orchestra in St Andrews called St Andrews and Fife Community Orchestra (StAFCO) which is run jointly by the Music Centre and the SCO, so that should be fun!

 

Guardian music blog: ‘String quartets: til death do us part?’

I was just browsing the Guardian’s Music section when I came across this article written by Toby Deller on the dynamics between players in a string quartet and what happens when one of the players moves on. The issues it raises are strangely apt for me at the moment, as my plans for starting a new quartet are starting to take shape and evolve into something more concrete – really exciting but I can’t say more a this moment!

I’m also currently reading Vikram Seth’s book An Equal Music, which is about the players in a fictional quartet called the Maggiore Quartet, and the complex personal and musical relationships between the players (if you scroll down to the bottom of the article to the comments, the second one mentions the book!). I’m about half way through it; initially, I wasn’t that keen on it as I didn’t find the descriptions of rehearsals and more technical details very convincing*, but now that I’m further into it the personalities are becoming more central to the plot and I’m really enjoying it…

*Wikipedia informs me that Seth himself is not a musician, but the book was inspired by his then partner, the French violinist Philippe Honoré, which perhaps explains this