Concert at St Michael at the North Gate – 20th July 09.
On Monday we returned to the church of St Michael at the North Gate in Oxford to give a lunchtime recital as part of their ‘Music on Mondays’ concert series.Free lunchtime concerts are found in many large cities, including London, Birmingham and Oxford and many shoppers or workers choose these havens of calm to pop into to eat their sandwiches whilst listening to chamber music or other forms of classical music.
The concerts are an opportunity for Oxfordshire string quartets, ensembles and other musicians to perform works of their own choice, so we chose to give the first airing to the Spohr op. 82 no. 2 which had taken me so long to re-set (see earlier blog posts!).
As this was a lesser known work, we wanted to also give the audience something they would recognise so opened with Borodin’s beautiful Nocturne in D (the third movement from his second string quartet).
We were delighted to see the church so packed, with an audience of around 100, ranging across all ages from children to senior citizens.
As a first performance, the Spohr went very well and we played it with plenty of spirit – hoping that the infectious melodies of this bustling, upbeat quartet in G major would mean the audience left the church with a smile. Although audiences can sometimes be a bit wary of unfamiliar works, several people came up to us at the end and said how much they’d enjoyed the music, so we’re encouraged to perform it again soon.
Below is an excerpt from the concert – the Borodin Nocturne.