The Auld Alliance
During the 2006-7 season we will focus on French and Scottish repertoire, exploring where possible ties between the two countries.
John Blackwood McEwen (1868 – 1948) wrote no less than 17 beautifully turned string quartets; while the earlier ones recall Brahms, he soon fell under the spell of Debussy (and indeed of France in general) and the later works show a corresponding lightness of touch. Eugen d’Albert was a Glaswegian, although obviously of French parentage: his two quartets are influenced more by Fauré and Chausson.
Debussy, Fauré and Chausson will obviously feature in this series, through string quartets but also Chausson’s concerto for solo violin, piano & quartet and Fauré’s chamber works with piano. There is also Ravel’s Quartet and works by Milhaud (who wrote 18 string quartets!), Saint-Saens, Lalo, and Vincent d’Indy. And many more beautiful works by unjustly neglected French composers – Guillaume Lekeu, Alberic Magnard, Roger-Ducasse, Florent Schmitt.
For the Scottish side, the above-mentioned McEwen & d’Albert will feature alongside Mackenzie, the Earl of Kelly and perhaps Marie Dare. As usual, works closer to the present day from both countries may well feature in our lunchtime concerts at Edinburgh’s Reid Hall.
Running alongside all these French and Scottish delicacies will be more substantial nourishment in the form of our slow but ongoing Beethoven cycle, starting in April 2006.
Programme suggestions for 2006-7
- Beethoven Quartet in B flat, op. 18 no. 6
- Beethoven Grosse Fuge, op. 133
- J. B. McEwen Quartet no. 9 “Threnody” (“The Flowers of the Forest”)
- Ravel Quartet in F
- OR replacing the 2nd half with a Fauré piano quartet or quintet (with Jill Morton)
- J. B. McEwen Suite of Old National Dances (English, Scottish, Old French and Japenese)
- Eugene d’Albert Quartet no. 1 (1907?)
- Debussy Quartet in g minor, op. 10
- Britten Divertimento (1936) and/or Alla Marcia (1933)
- Bridge Quartet no. 1 (“Bologna”)
- Bridge Three Idylls (1906)
- Britten Quartet no. 3 (linked to Death in Venice)
- Bridge 3 Idylls
- Beethoven String Quartet Op 18 no 3
- Dvorak 2 Waltzes Op 54
- Bruch String Quartet no 2
- Webern “Langsamer Satz” (1905) 6 Bagatelles op. 9
- Mozart Quartet in C K. 465 “Dissonance”
- Bartok Quartet no. 1
- Seiber Quartet no. 1
- Dvorak Quartet in A flat op. 105
- Hans Gal Quartet no.1 in F minor
- Wolf Italian Serenade
- Schumann Piano Quartet op. 47
- Fauré Piano Quintet no. 1 or 2
- Mozart Adagio & Fugue K. 546 (or a Divertimento K. 137/138)
- Schumann Piano Quartet op. 47
- Shostakovich Piano Quintet in g minor op. 57
- OR Franck Piano Quintet in f minor (with Jill Morton)
(with Jill Morton, Robert Markham, Martin Roscoe, Steven Osborne)
With piano and voice
- Fauré La bonne chanson
- plus additional repertoire as wished. Suggestions could include Barber Dover Beach / Schumann lieder and either Piano Quartet or String Quartet in a minor / works by Beethoven / Fauré String Quartet Op. 121, 1st Piano Quartet Op. 15.
(Jill Morton, piano, and baritone tbc)
Contemporary repertoire suggestions for 2006-7
- Judith Weir String Quartet (1990) c.13.00
- Edward Harper The Lowlands of Holland
- The Ash Grove
- Mhairi’s Wedding c.12.00
- Kenneth Dempster String Quartet No. 4 (The Cold Dancer) c.12.00
- William Sweeney String Quartet No. 3 c.15.00
- James Clapperton The Great Divorce (1990) c.15.00