All concerts 19:30 at the Influence Church, Victoria Road, Richmond DL10 4AS Main doors open 18:30, auditorium doors open 19:00
Apollo5 29 September 2021
Apollo5 is an a cappella vocal group, an offshoot of the equally celebrated Voces8. The artists are Clare Stewart and Penelope Appleyard (sopranos), Josh Cooter and Oli Martin-Smith (tenors) and Greg Link (bass).
Performing across a wide range of musical styles, the singers have appeared in many European countries, the USA and Asia. In Britain they have sung at the Royal Albert Hall, Kings Place and the Barbican, as well as appearing frequently on BBC Radio 3 and recording numerous albums.
The group's recent album, O Radiant Dawn, leaped into the top 10 of the UK classical charts, and we believe they'll be bringing their new one with them, Where All Roses Go. The singers are known for their exceptional communication with audiences, frequently performing from memory. When not performing, the group is committed to offering workshops, masterclasses and children's concerts, as well as longer projects and residencies.
The programme was a wide-ranging selection of works spanning 500 years, from William Byrd and Thomas Tallis through to Gerald Finzi, Eric Whitacre and other composers of the 20th and 21st centuries, and including works written for the ensemble.
Generously supported by Judy Moorhouse
The Sacconi Quartet
20 October 2021
Mozart String Quartet No. 16 in E flat, K428 Schubert Quartet No. 13 in A minor, D804, 'Rosamunde' .......... Ravel String Quartet
The Sacconi Quartet consists of Ben Hancox and Hannah Dawson (violins), Robin Ashwell (viola), and Cara Berridge (cello).
Founded by the current members over 20 years ago, the Sacconi Quartet has achieved widespread recognition in leading British concert halls and festivals in Britain and across Europe, and won major prizes in chamber music competitions. Since 2008 the group has run the Sacconi Chamber Music Festival in Kent.
The concert opened with a work from Mozart's early years in Vienna, dedicated to Haydn. It was followed by Schubert's haunting 'Rosamunde' Quartet. The evening ended with Ravel's String Quartet, one of the great standards of the canon; superficially modelled on Debussy's quartet, Ravel's is less impressionistic, and shows a return to the rigours of strict Classicism. (Performing order revised 12 October.)
Generously supported by Anna Jackson in memory of Tim Jackson
Alison Gill and Yoshie Kawamura (piano four hands) 17 November 2021
Schubert Fantasie in F Minor D.940 Mendelssohn Andante and Allegro Assai Vivace Op. 92 Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 .......... Stravinsky Petrushka (complete)
Yoshie Kawamura was born in Nagoya, Japan, and has lived in the UK since she was 11. Trained at the Guildhall School of Music and in Germany, she has performed worldwide, a highlight being the performance of Schumann’s Piano Quintet with the Berlin Philharmonic Quartet in Japan. She lives in the North East, performing at Sage Gateshead, Durham Cathedral and other local venues.
Alison Gill studied at the Royal Academy of Music, when she made her Wigmore Hall debut, filmed for Channel 4. She has now returned to the North-East, where she is highly sought after as an accompanist, working regularly with Opera Nova and the Royal Northern Sinfonia Chorus. She has also accompanied choral masterclasses with John Rutter, Bob Chilcott and Will Todd. She and Yoshie met while working at Sage Gateshead, and have been performing as a duo since 2019.
Schubert's Fantasia, dedicated to his pupil and muse Caroline Esterházy and published posthumously, has been described as one of his most important works for piano. With a surprise false ending... The Mendelssohn which followed also has a famous dedicatee - Clara Schumann - and is considered one of the most challenging pieces in the entire piano duet repertoire. The Hungarian Rhapsody Number 2 is probably the best known of Liszt's Rhapsodies; originally written for two hands, it was adapted by Liszt himself for four.
We ended with Stravinsky's own piano duo arrangement of his ballet Petrushka - a distillation 'in black and white' of his brilliance.
Generously supported by Sally and Nicholas Reckert
The New London Chamber Ensemble
2 February 2022
Beethoven Quintet for Piano and Winds Op. 16 Paul Reade Victorian Kitchen Garden Suite Poulenc Trio for Piano, Oboe and Bassoon .......... John Woolrich A Cabinet of Curiosities Mozart Quintet for Piano and Winds K452
A wonderfully varied season continued with a wonderfully varied programme from the London-based wind ensemble, returning to Richmond after a five-year absence. Among tonight's works two stood out as less familiar. Paul Reade’s delightful piece was winner of the 1991 Ivor Novello Award for Best TV Theme, having been written to accompany the 13-part BBC2 series, The Victorian Kitchen Garden. It's a perfect distillation of the English pastoral tradition. John Woolrich's Cabinet of Curiosities is a delicate set of nine miniatures with little hints of Robert Schumann.
The evening came full circle. Mozart's K452 ("the best thing I have written in my life") contains beautiful, idiomatic writing for the winds and some virtuoso work for the piano. It is believed to have inspired the Beethoven Quintet, with which we began, and which is also in E-flat, and which uses the same scoring. So does the Woolrich work. Mozart, echoing down the centuries...
Generously supported by one of our Members
The Consone Quartet
23 February 2022
Haydn String Quartet Op. 71 No. 2 Beethoven String Quartet No. 5 .......... Carl Czerny String Quartet in D Minor
The Consone Quartet comprises Agata Daraškaite and Magdalena Loth-Hill (violins), Elitsa Bogdanova (viola), and George Ross (cello).
Last Wednesday’s concert left no one in any doubt as to why the Consone Quartet are BBC New Generation Artists. The playing was technically assured, but also extremely stylish. The obvious rapport between the players, which when combined with their period instruments, produced a beautifully blended sound.
All three works spanned a great musical shift. Haydn's lyrical Op. 71 No. 2 looks forward to Romanticism, while Beethoven's String Quartet No. 5 looks back to Classical Mozart. The Austrian Carl Czerny wrote a huge amount of music which bridged the late Classical and early Romantic eras. Many of his works are still being re-discovered.
Generously supported by one of our Members
Maggie Cole (fortepiano) and Kati Debretzeni (violin)
16 March 2022
Mozart Violin Sonata No. 32 Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 5 Op. 24, 'Spring' Ivan Khandoshkin Sonata for Solo Violin Haydn Keyboard Sonata in E Minor Hob XVI/34
We last saw Maggie Cole in 2019, when she appeared with Trio Goya on an evening of poor weather, with a last-minute change to the group's line-up and programme. Despite those apparent problems, there was a big turnout (our audiences have a nose for these things) and it was an excellent evening. Tonight she appears with her Trio Goya colleague, the violinist Kati Debrezeni - so expectations are high!
Mozart played the piano part in the première of his Sonata No. 32; although he remembered it well, he had no time to write it out, so performed with a sheet of blank music paper in front of him, to fool the audience. The Emperor Joseph II apparently saw the empty sheet music through his opera glasses, and asked Mozart to show him the manuscript. Mozart had to confess the truth, although that is likely to have amused the monarch.
Beethoven's 'Spring' Sonata, one of his happiest and most popular works, is followed by a piece by the relatively little known Ivan Khandoshkin, reputedly the finest violinist of eighteenth century Russia. The concert ends with a rare minor-key sonata by 'Papa' Haydn; scored for harpsichord or fortepiano, at the performer's choice, it shows Haydn's growing awareness of the dynamic possibilities offered by the fortepiano.
The Piatti Quartet is Nathaniel Anderson-Frank and Michael Trainor (violins), Tetsuumi Nagata (viola) and Jessie Ann Richardson (cello). The artists last came to Richmond four years ago, when their concert was dominated by a huge performance of Beethoven's late Op. 130 Quartet.
Mark-Anthony Turnage is one of the most played and most celebrated contemporary composers, blending classical and jazz idioms, modernism and tradition. The Piattis have a close relationship with Turnage; the artists premièred his Second Quartet at Wigmore Hall in 2016, and commissioned and performed this Fourth Quartet in 2019.
Next comes one of the most popular and recognisable of all string quartets: Dvořák's 'American' Quartet was written in 1893, when the composer lived in the United States. Dvořák was struck by the rich folk-music traditions he found, in whose melodies he discovered "all that is needed for a great and noble school of music".
The evening ends again with Beethoven. His Quartet No. 7, one of his three 'Razumovsky' Quartets, was more complex and dramatic than anything previously conceived in the genre. Earlier chamber music had been written for the pleasure of aristocratic amateur musicians, but the Razumovskys moved it into the concert hall and the repertoire of the first professional string quartets.
Doug Waugh, previously Chair of the Richmondshire Concerts, has generously offered Members a free glass of fizz during the interval, to celebrate the end of the society's first full post-Covid season, and the coming of Spring. (If you hold a Season Ticket, you're a Member.)