Newsletter #8     January 2016

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

(if you don’t want to read this section, please don’t miss the stuff about the AGM and survey which follows)

The concert on 20 December by the Bennewitz Quartet was judged to be “exhilarating”. For reviews of the concert by Guy Richardson and Helen Simpson, and by Richard Amey, click  choose ‘News and Views’ then scroll down to ‘Bennewitz Quartet’ .


The next concert on 24 January will be given by The Royal College of Music Wind Ensemble

Janácek   Mládí (Youth) Suite for Wind Sextet JW VII/10
Beethoven (arr. Robin O’Neill)  Sonata No.8 in C minor Op.13 ‘The Pathétique’
R Strauss   Serenade in E flat major, Op.7, TrV 106
Mozart   Serenade No.12 in C minor, K.388

We no longer have to be persuaded that a concert by wind students of the RCM is a good idea – they persuaded us of that last year. However, this time there is something you might find outrageous in their programme – an arrangement for wind ensemble of one of Beethoven’s best known and most loved piano sonatas: No. 8; “The Pathétique”. How can a piece that’s so obviously written for piano by played by a wind ensemble?
It doesn’t do to be too precious about these things. It was common practice in Beethoven’s time to arrange successful pieces for any number of different instruments, and this happened to “The Pathétique”. Beethoven isn’t known to have made arrangements himself but no doubt he was pleased at the royalties they brought in. In 1799 he was at the start of his career and was the first major composer to try to make a living freelance, rather than being employed by a church or court. He needed the money. Sad to say, he got nothing from this arrangement – it’s by a current professor at the RCM!
A more important point is that an arrangement can bring out different things in music that is sufficiently complex, and this piece is. Bach, who didn’t really need the money, wrote a sonata in G major (BWV 1027) for viola de gamba and harpsichord, but also wrote it for two violins and continuo and for two flutes and continuo. They are recognisably the same piece but each gives the listener a different experience. We don’t know which was the original and we don’t really need to know.
So I find myself looking forward to new discoveries about “The Pathetique” from this arrangement.
Chris Darwin’s programme notes for the whole concert are available on


Coffee concerts take place at 11.00 am in the Brighton Dome Corn Exchange.


Tickets prices have been held at the 2014/15 level of £18.50 (concessions £16) or you can buy a half-season ticket for the three remaining concerts in the 2015/16 season 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 concerts under the scheme is limited, so booking ahead is a good idea.




Strings Attached’s fifth Annual General Meeting will be held after the coffee concert on Sunday 21 February 2016 in the Founders Room at Brighton Dome at 13.00. You are warmly invited to attend. A sandwich lunch will be provided for which there will be no formal charge although a donation of £5 per head is suggested.


If you intend to come to the AGM, please let us know by Sunday 14 February by contacting the Treasurer, Christine Moon, on 01323 492414 or at  This is so that the caterer can be informed of the number attending and provide enough food to go around.


Please bring with you to the meeting the following papers:

  • Agenda for AGM 2016
  • Minutes of the 2015 AGM
  • Annual Report for 2015
  • Statement of Accounts for 2015

They can be downloaded at  Click on ‘Annual General Meeting 2016 Agenda’ to get access to all the papers. We will not supply copies on the day.


Nomination of committee members
Strings Attached has a committee currently comprising 5 members (a total of 8 places is available). The committee meets 5 times a year with email communication between meetings. If you would like to become involved, either as a committee member or by helping behind the scenes, please contact the Chair, Mary McKean, on 01273 554278 or at


The skills of the current committee would be greatly enhanced by new members who have skills in publicity and public relations, fundraising or graphic design and/or a knowledge of or interest in social media. Please do not be put off if your skills do not relate to these areas – we’ll still be glad to hear from you.


Contribution to the AGM discussion in the event of being unable to attend
If you are unable to come to the AGM but have comments on the papers or the coffee concerts or ideas for future activity, please send them to




If you have not already done so, we would be very grateful if you would complete our annual survey of the Brighton Dome and Festival Coffee Concert series and our other activities.


As you know if you have taken part in our surveys before or attended an Annual General Meeting, we share the results with Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome and Festival, and his team. They take our feedback very seriously and in the past we have been very influential in shaping many aspects of the concerts including their length and the kind of ensemble and music we hear. Over the past 4 years this has helped make these concerts the wonderful events they now are. However, we cannot represent your wishes if we do not know what they are!


Completing the survey is very straightforward and should take no more than 5 – 10 minutes. To take part, click on this link:  Please do this before 15 February 2016. You even get a chance to say what you think of this Newsletter. We’ll report the results at the AGM.


If your spouse/partner is also a Friend of Strings Attached but hasn’t received this communication (because we don’t have their email address) do share it with them and get them to complete the survey too. However, they will need to complete the survey from a different machine (computer/tablet/phone). The survey software will only accept one entry from any one machine.


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