London String Quartet Concert at St Christopher’s Hospice – On Thursday the 4th of March, the Manor House String Quartet was pleased to perform as part of the Dame Cicely Saunders Concert series held at St Christopher’s Hospice in Sydenham, South London. The concert hall at the venue seats approximately 70 audience members and provides an intimate atmosphere where performers and audience feel as if the music is being shared. The works we performed were Schubert’s famous Quartettsatz in C minor (D703), Ferdinand Ries’s String Quartet in G (Op. 70. no 2) and a firm favourite of ours – Louis Spohr’s String Quartet in G (Op. 82 no. 2).
I had an interesting conversation with a couple who attend many chamber music concerts in London and they commented enthusiastically on the Ferdinand Ries piece in particular as they had never come across his work before. When I enquired whether playing music by lesser known composers would be in any way off putting, they replied that on the contrary, they would be interested in attending recitals of lesser known chamber works, simply because most established string quartets play such a narrow and predictable repertoire consisting of only well known masterpieces.
All of the music we played dated from 1820-1832 and with Louis Spohr and Ferdinand Ries both being born in 1784, the works seemed to have a natural connection and were both optimistic and sunny in nature.
The concert was very enthusiastically received and because we always announce items with a little history of each piece, it helps to add interest and put pieces in perspective. Audience members also comment that they feel welcomed and part of the music, rather than passive observers.