Essex String Quartet Concert at the New Windmill Theatre Upminster – On Sunday 23rd February the Manor House String Quartet played an afternoon concert at the New Windmill Theatre in Upminster, Essex – which is a recital series sponsored by the London Borough of Havering. An audience of 70 people came to hear a programme consisting of Beethoven‚Äôs quartet in A major (Op. 18, No. 5), Ferdinand Ries‚Äôs quartet in G major (Op. 70 No. 2) as well as Schubert‚Äôs quartet in A minor (D. 804). Here is a video of our group playing the famous ‘Melodie’ from Gluck’s opera ‘Orfeus ed Euridice’:
As the concert was due to start at 3pm, we arrived early at the Theatre in order to rehearse and acclimatise ourselves to the acoustics. We found that by positioning ourselves further forward on the raised stage, the sound was much more able to fill the entire space (rather than being swallowed up by the stage ceiling and curtains when placed further back).
The concert was a most enjoyable occasion with a real rapport existing between the four players, but it was not without drama. After the Beethoven quartet, my A string had unraveled and we took a short break in order to replace it. In situations like this, it‚Äôs always nice to engage with the audience and have a little joke about it and often they work out well. In this instance, the small break allowed the audience a little time to pause between the Beethoven and Ries.
In the interval we got chatting to some of the audience members and in particular a lady whom I recognized from previous concerts we‚Äôve performed at nearby Langton‚Äôs House. In the second half we performed the wonderful Schubert quartet, full of such drama and longing amidst a varied musical landscape. The audience seemed very happy with the afternoon‚Äôs entertainment and we hope to return to this venue in the near future.