Newsletter #5     October 2015

Welcome to our fifth newsletter – designed to keep you informed about our activities, as well as other local chamber music events.

Strings Attached committee member Guy Richardson is the composer of a work for violin and piano, to be played by Ellie Blackshaw and Rachel Fryer on Saturday 3 Oct at 6.00pm at St John’s Church, Knoyle Road, Brighton. Other composers are Janacek and Elgar – not bad company. But note that it’s the evening on which this newsletter is dispatched i.e. TONIGHT.


For those who have not yet bought their tickets we are pleased to repeat details of the whole season. But before getting to those details, let’s consider, to whet the appetite, the first piece we are going to hear, Stravinsky’s Three Pieces for String Quartet. 
We heard it three years ago played by the Kuss Quartet and most of us were baffled by it; three apparently unrelated fragments, lasting only 7 minutes in total, a cacophony of unfathomable rhythms and strident discords. It can, in fact, be fathomed but it needs some advance warning, hence this preview.
In the first piece the first violin repeats a ‘tune’ that lasts for 23 beats while the viola and cello repeat ‘tunes’ of 7 beats each. Only the second violin ‘runs free’. Seven and 23 are prime numbers, so the chance of the players meeting up again in the minute the piece lasts is nil. Similarly the discords serve a purpose, creating  and then resolving tension. The chance of taking in all this at a single hearing is small, but there are several performances available on . Listening to them in advance will give you a chance of making sense of it.
But why did Stravinsky go to all this trouble when he could have written more like his contemporary, Elgar, who had still to write his own great string quartet? It’s because it was 1910 and revolution was in the air. Stravinsky wanted to overturn all preconceptions about the string quartet – even preconceptions about individual instruments. At one point in the second piece he instructs the second violin and viola to turn their instruments round and play them like cellos! Listening to this rather than Elgar is like looking at early Picasso rather than Monet. What a wonderful choice to have!

And now for the details of all the 2015/16 concerts.

25 October 2015   Elias String Quartet 
Stravinsky      Three pieces for string quartet
Schumann      String Quartet in F Op.41 No.2
Mendelssohn  String Quartet in A minor Op.13

29 November 2015   The Aronowitz Ensemble
Dvorak       Cypresses for string quartet (selections)
Beethoven  Sonata in D for cello and piano Op.102 No.2
Brahms       Piano Quintet in F minor Op.34

20 December 2015   Bennewitz Quartet
Dussek   String Quartet No.3 in E flat Op.60
Janacek  String Quartet No.1 “Kreutzer Sonata”
Schubert  String Quartet No.14 “Death and the Maiden”

24 January 2016   Royal College of Music
Janacek   Mladi  Suite for Wind Sextet JW VII/10
Beethoven (arr O’Neill)  Sonata No.8 in C Minor Op.13 “Pathetique”
Strauss     Serenade in E Flat Op. 7 TrV 106
Mozart      Serenade No.12 in C Minor K388

21 February 2016   Elias String Quartet
Haydn   String Quartet in C Op.54 No.2
Britten   String Quartet No.1 in D Op.25
Dvorak  String Quartet in E flat Op.51

27 March 2016   Heath Quartet 
Mozart            Adagio & Fugue in C minor K546
Tchaikovsky  String Quartet No.2 in F
Ravel             String Quartet in F

Concerts will, as usual, take place at 11.00 am in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange.
Tickets prices have been held at last year’s level of £18.50 (concessions £16). A season ticket for the whole season (all six concerts) is £99 (concessions £84) and for half-season concerts £49.50 (concessions £42). The half-season can be either the three concerts in 2015 or the three in 2016.
Tickets are available from the Brighton Dome Box Office (01273 709709) or . Tickets for those aged 8 – 25 are free as part of the Cavatina Scheme. They can only be booked in person or by telephone to the box office. The young person need not be present at the time of booking but a name and email address will be required.

We are delighted to note that Strings Attached member Don Newbold has sponsored the 2015/16 Coffee Concerts series.


If you haven’t yet renewed your membership of Strings Attached for the period 1 August 2015 to 31 July 2016, a membership renewal form can be downloaded from . For gift aid reasons please complete one form per person. Paid-up members will receive a membership card which, to save postage, we plan to distribute initially at the October concert, and which can be used to obtain a free glass of sherry or fruit juice during concert intervals instead of the coffee on offer last season.
We hope you will choose to renew your membership and support our work – and encourage like-minded people to join us too.

This upsets some people who feel it’s cheating. Although it has no power to enforce it, the committee has decided on a stance: that it is reasonable for people to reserve seats when they arrive, for instance by putting clothing on them, but only for themselves, not for friends they expect to arrive later.

The Dome has a lot to offer those with mobility problems, from on-street disabled parking to reserved spaces for wheelchairs. For those with hearing problems the Corn Exchange has an induction loop system and infrared hearing assistance. The key thing for those who need help with access is to contact the Dome in advance, either by ringing Visitor Services on 01273 261525 or by emailing .  The Dome website has more detail on .


The Brighton Early Music Festival (BREMF) starts on 22 October and runs until  7 November. Details and tickets are available on .  There are so many outstanding concerts in this wonderful festival that it’s hard to single out just a few. Just looking at the operas there is what is thought to be the first opera ever written by a woman,  La liberazione di Ruggiero dell’ isola di Alcina, at the Old Market, and Handel’s Acis and Galatea in St George’s Church. Also in St George’s is a recital by Emma Kirkby, whose sweetness of voice and expressive phrasing have enchanted us for decades.

The Nicholas Yonge Society begins its season on 23 October with the Busch Ensemble playing the piano trios of Haydn, Mendelssohn, Henze and Dvorak, and ends with the already legendary Brodsky Quartet playing Borodin, Shostakovich and Beethoven, played standing, presumably in their renowned Issey Miyake outfits. Tickets are available at .

Brighton Festival Chorus is running a Come & Sing Day on Saturday 10 October, where music director James Morgan will lead a day of rehearsing Brahms – A German Requiem followed by a performance in the evening.  The workshop and performance will take place at St George’s Church, Brighton.  For further details, and to book a place, please visit the BFC website at .

Finally, don’t forget to check the Strings Attached chamber music calendar. It lists other chamber music concerts in Sussex, featuring both professional and amateur performers, and can be found at  .

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