Tonight the Solstice String Quartet performs at the Purcell Room as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artists New Year Series. They took time out of their rehearsals to tell us a bit about what they’re playing:
A debut concert at the Purcell Room is quite a way to bring in the New Year and we are thrilled to have the chance to use it to perform a wonderful programme of modern and contemporary music. Two sublime works by the great Hungarian composers Ligeti and Kurtág provide the bulk of the programme, alongside which we have two shorter pieces by English composers, Joe Cutler and Giles Swayne. We have had the privilege of getting to know Giles and working with him on his piece (Threnody, Op.113) in preparation for the concert, and it has been both fascinating and moving to discover the work’s history at first hand.
Threnody was composed in memory of the violinist, chamber musician and teacher Christopher Rowland (1947-2007), a friend of Swayne and dedicatee of several of his works. The music, which takes the form of a theme with eight variations and coda, is bound together by several strands of material reflecting Rowland’s great passion for the music of Mozart, in particular the Sinfonia Concertante K.364, as well as Beethoven and Bartók, all of which are quoted in the course of the work.
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