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.
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!
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. 1 ‘Visions 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!
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