We so enjoyed our string concert in Emsworth last year that we just had to
In this concert we present a wide range of music for strings spanning more
than 300 years. The oldest piece will be the Concerto for Two Violins by
Bach in which two of our section leaders, Brian Howells and Cathy Mathews, will
take the solo parts.
Opening the concert will be a 20th century work by the British
composer Benjamin Britten. His ‘Simple Symphony’ (which the
players will tell you is anything but simple!) includes two baroque dances, a
Bourrée and a Sarabande, alongside ‘Playful Pizzicato’ and
‘Frolicsome Finale’ and is a gorgeously lighthearted piece using
tunes that Britten wrote when he was just a teenager.
A short ‘Romance’ by 19th Century Finnish composer,
Sibelius, will be followed by the ‘Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin
Britten’ by Arvo Pärt. Pärt felt a close connection to
Britten but could not fully access his music until he was able to leave Estonia
in 1980 – four years after Britten’s death. The
‘Cantus’ was written to honour Britten and is written for strings
and a bell.
The second half of the concert will consist of the intense ‘Chamber
Symphony’ by Shostakovich – a transcription of his String Quartet
no. 8 which was written in 1960 and dedicated to ‘the victims of fascism
and the war’. Our Musical Director, Robin Browning, will give
an introduction to this before we play it.