Tuesday 10 December 2019

Spring at Conway Hall: pre-concert talks, Beethoven, premieres and more at the Sunday concert series

Robert Hugill's pre-concert talks as part of the Spring 2020 season at Conway Hall Sunday Concerts
The Spring 2020 Sunday concert series at Conway Hall has been launched, with an impressive array of concerts from 12 January to 7 June 2020. I will be giving four pre-concert talks during the season, Breaking new Ground looking at Beethoven's Violin Sonatas (19 January 2020), Cello sonatas by Beethoven, Brahms and Shostakovich (23 February 2020), A tale of two friendships on the relationships between Brahms and the Schumanns, and Shostakovich and Weinberg (5 April 2020) and In search of Bach on Bach's cello suites (10 May 2020).

Beethoven is, of course, very much a focus of the concerts with the artistic director of the series Simon Callaghan performing Beethoven's complete Piano Trios with Ben Gilmore, and Ashok Klouda, and Simon will join the Galliard Ensemble to perform Beethoven's Quintet in E flat for piano and winds alongside music by Richard Strauss's pupil Ludwig Thuille and Poulenc's Sextet, and Simon will also join the United Strings of Europe, directed by Julian Azkoul, for Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 4.

Besides the focus on core 19th century chamber music, there are some interesting forays into the 20th century with Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time and Hindemith's Clarinet Quartet (one of the few works for the same line-up as the Messiaen), Webern's Langsamer Satz, Korngold's Trio in D, Ravel and Debussy's Quartets, Ravel's Trio in A minor, Stravinsky's Three pieces for Quartet, Shostakovich's Trio no. 1 and Weinberg's Trio Op.24.

The series includes premieres of works by Freya Waley Cohen (a new piece for soprano Heloise Werner and the Tippett Quartet), Camden Reeves (Quartet No. 5 from the Solem Quartet) and Jasmin Kent Rodgman (a new work for the United Strings of Europe).

The series opens with musicians from the Highgate Festival in a programme which includes Clara Schumann's masterpiece, her Piano Trio in G minor and the penultimate concert in the series concludes with Trio Sora playing Fanny Mendelssohn's Trio in D minor, a contemporary work to the Clara Schumann but one not so well known.

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