Thursday 3 October 2013

Britten+ - Britten's chamber music explored

Benyounes Quartet
Tonight (3 October) the Benyounes Quartet continue their exploration of Britten's chamber music at St Johns Smith Square. The concert is the third in a six concert series which will include Britten's chamber music played by the Benyounes Quartet, Philip Higham (piano) and Jeremy Young (piano). The series is giving us an enviable opportunity to hear Britten's major works for string quartet and for cello alongside music which influenced him. Tonight's concert is being given by Higham and Young, and they will be performing Britten's Sonata in C, op 65, Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata and Frank Bridge's Sonata in D minor.

Britten's Sonata in C, op 65 was written in 1960 for Rostropovich, who premiered it at the Aldeburgh Festival in 1961, however the work has not gained the currency of the Cello Suites which Britten also wrote for Rostropovich. Britten's teacher, Frank Bridge, wrote his Sonata in D minor during World War I and the sonata reflects Bridge's disillusion with hils fellow man and with events in Europe.

The concert series continues with three concerts where the quartet are joined by cellist Philip Higham. on 10 October, they play Britten's Cello Suite No. 1 and Beethoven's String Quartete op 130 with the grosse fugue. Then on 27 October they perform Britten's arrangement of Purcell's Chacony, Britten's Cello Suite No. 2 and his String Quartet No 2. Finally on 28 November Britten's Simple Symphony  and Cello Suite No. 3 are combined with Schubert's String Quintet.

The Benyounes Quartet (Zara Benyounes, Emily Holland, Tetsuumi Nagata, Kim Vaughan) was founded at the RNCM in 2007. In 2012 they took 2nd prize at the 1st International Sandor Vegh String Quartet Competition in Budapest, where no first or third prize was awarded. You can hear them playing a Mozart piano concert with Jeremy Young on YouTube as a preview to their forthcoming disc of three Mozart concertos.

Further information about the concert series from the St John's Smith Square website.

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