Manor House String Quartet For The Bicentenary of Lloyds of London – On Monday the 16th of May, the Manor House String Quartet were engaged to provide a very special kind of background music for a corporate function at Lloyds of London in Lime Street. The party was to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Lloyds and this specific event was associated with the maritime insurance division, with members of staff from across the globe.
As it was the 200th anniversary, the theme of the evening was ‘1811’, with waiters and waitresses dressed in the attire of that particular period. Our brief was to provide music from as close to that year as possible and to avoid performing pieces that would not have yet been written by 1811. The events company who sourced our group specifically approached us for our extensive repertoire of chamber music, including many out of print works by lesser known composers of the 18th and 19th centuries. As a result of this, we were able to play music by Beethoven and Schubert, as well as the likes of Lachner, Prager and Spohr – all of which would have been in fashion at the time despite being rarely played these days. Here is a video of the quartet performing a delightful movement from a string quartet by Louis Spohr (1784 – 1859):
The quartet were positioned on a specially erected platform which meant that despite the volume of conversation in the room, we could still be heard clearly in all areas. Many guests approached us to listen more closely and we were able to tell them that all the music we were playing was authentic to 1811. It was not only the music performed which was in keeping with the period, I had been specifically asked to play on a violin dating from 1800 which used to be my regular instrument before switching to a superior hand made modern violin by luthier Martin McClean¬†of Moneymore in Northern Ireland.