String Quartet Concert at St Michael at the North Gate Oxford – On Monday the Manor House String Quartet 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 relax whilst listening to spiritually uplifting 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 String Quartet (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 the beautiful Borodin Nocturne from string quartet no. 2 in D.
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.