Newsletter #7     December 2015

Welcome to our seventh newsletter – designed to keep you informed about our activities, as well as other local chamber music events.
Please note that if you are not a paid-up member of Strings Attached you will not receive any further newsletters. If you need to check whether your membership is up to date contact  .



The concert on 29 November by the Aronowitz Ensemble was a huge success and a complete sellout. Extra seats had to be added on the morning, such was the demand for tickets. The concert included a Beethoven sonata for cello and piano, and our last newsletter had raised the question of whether we wanted piano and solo string works in our concerts. The overwhelming answer seems to be that, if the work and the players are of this calibre, we do (although a better piano might have been an improvement). For reviews of the concert by Andrew Polmear and Richard Amey see  and choose ‘News and Views’.

The next concert will be given by the Bennewitz Quartet on 20 December 2015:  



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”


The essential reading that is Chris Darwin’s programme notes are now available on the Strings Attached website (above). You may be puzzled by the inclusion of the Czech composer Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760 – 1812). The Bennewitz performed for us in 2013, playing works by those great Czech composers, Dvorak and Smetana, in what was judged one of the best concerts since the start of these Strings Attached/Brighton Dome coffee concerts. The Bennewitz are themselves Czech so it makes sense for them to want to play Dussek.  But if he’s known for anything it’s his piano music and his writing for the harp, certainly not the string quartets. So why should we be looking forward to his third quartet?
It’s really quite a good piece. It’s lively and tuneful, with two allegros and a jaunty scherzo; even the adagio is lively in a serious sort of way. But it’s definitely a minor work, written in 1806, the same year as Beethoven wrote the Razumovsky quartets. So why not play one of those?
A practical reason is that few of us can take three great works in one concert, and the Janacek and the Schubert that follow are huge pieces. But a more important reason is that great composers do not rise, like Venus, from the waves. They are the products of their milieu, even though they stand out from their contemporaries like giants. Hearing this firmly classical work by Dussek helps us to understand why Beethoven started composing as he did – in the same classical style  – and also what he did that was so different from Dussek and so revolutionary: unexpected pauses, daring harmonies, endless invention – all designed to startle and intrigue rather than sooth and reassure.


Coffee concerts 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) or you can buy a half-season ticket for the three concerts in 2016 for £49.50 (concessions £42).

Tickets are available from the Brighton Dome Box Office (01273 709709) or .

Young people: tickets for those aged 8 – 25 are free as part of the Cavatina Scheme. They can only be booked in person at, or by telephone to, the box office. The young person need not be present at the time of booking but a name, date of birth and an email address will be required. Under 14s must be accompanied by a paying adult. The total number of seats per concert under the scheme is limited, so booking ahead is a good idea.


If you haven’t renewed your membership for 2015/16, you can do so by downloading a membership form from . Alternatively, you can do so at the next concert. Your £10 annual fee includes a free sherry or fruit juice during concert intervals. A bargain!




The easiest way to access these is via the Strings Attached chamber music calendar. Go to and choose ‘calendar’ from the menu. Details of concerts organised by music societies in Lewes (Nicholas Yonge), Seaford, Steyning, Horsham and Chichester (Chichester Chamber Concerts), and many more, can all be accessed with links to the relevant websites.


We wish you all a very happy Christmas and lots of musical treats in 2016.


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