Concert of Classical Music in Leighton Buzzard – On Saturday 29th November the string quartet performed a programme of works by Beethoven, Ferdinand Ries and Schubert for the Leighton Buzzard Music Club. Here is a video of the group performing a movement from a string quartet by Louis Spohr:
Our lineup consisted of Vaughan Jones and Joanna Lee on Violins, Reiad Chibah on viola and Magda Pietraszewska on cello. The same combination already played this programme back in February at Upminster in Essex, so it was an interesting experience to repeat it after a gap of nine months. We rehearsed on three occasions for the concert and yet with music that is as intricate as these three works, it‚Äôs important to keep them fresh. The Beethoven A major quartet (Op. 18 No. 5) has a vigorously optimistic opening that summarises essential aspects of Beethoven‚Äôs personality: namely, the struggle between earthbound existence and spiritual ascendancy. The Ries G Major quartet (Op. 70 No. 2) on the other hand, takes on elements of Beethoven‚Äôs temperament but is altogether sunnier and more straightforward. Nevertheless, it really is a wonderful ride and it was this piece that the audience talked about in the interval. It‚Äôs just a shame that it doesn‚Äôt get performed more often. In the second half we performed Schubert‚Äôs quartet in A minor (often referred to as the ‚ÄòRosamunde‚Äô) and I personally feel that this has the widest palette of the three works. It encompasses lightness, freedom, tempestuousness, reflection, bleakness and introspection and has a finale with a wonderful lilting theme, like a ride in a carriage across open countryside. The experience of playing a concentrated programme of such wonderful music, in front of an appreciative audience is the best thing a performing musician can ever do. I hope that we get opportunities to perform many more concerts and so doing, introduce gems like the Ferdinand Ries!