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York Chamber Music Festival 2022 Event 4

Up Next: 17th September 2022, 7:30pm
Location: Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York
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Saturday 17 Sept 7.30pm
£15 unreserved
Sir Jack Lyons Concert Hall, University of York

Gala Concert by Festival Artists

Tristan Gurney,
Jonathan Stone (violins)
Sarah-Jane Bradley,
Scott Dickenson (violas)
Marie Bitlloch,
Tim Lowe (cellos)
Alasdair Beatson (piano)

Ludwig van Beethoven (1770 – 1827)
Piano Quartet in E flat major Op. 16

Luigi Boccherini (1743 – 1805)
String Sextet in F Minor, Op. 23, No. 5, G457

Antonín Dvořák (1841 – 1904)
Piano Quartet No 2 in E Flat Major


Beethoven finished his Mozart-inspired Piano Quintet in E flat major for piano, oboe, clarinet, bassoon and horn on a concert tour to Berlin in 1796 where the young musician was wowing audiences with his piano improvisations. Back in Vienna the quintet was premiered at Ignaz Jahn’s restaurant, not quite the exalted venue of King Frederich-Wilhelm’s palace where the 26 year old had been a sensation. Ever with an eye to good business (in this case the sale of sheet music) Ludwig quickly arranged the quintet, with minimal reworking, as a piano and strings quartet. Both versions were published together as Op. 16 in 1801.

​Boccherini’s set of six sextets composed in 1776 are uniquely the earliest string sextets to have been composed and it is due to Boccherini’s genius that he invented both the particular beauty of this lush string ensemble but also how to ‘voice’ its particular combination of instruments (adding a second viola and cello to the standard string quartet). It was the trail-blazing blueprint for others to follow. Hear those by Richard Strauss and Tchaikovsky tomorrow afternoon. Not to be missed!

​Finally, we find Dvorak on holiday in the old farm house he bought as a summer retreat in Vyoská, near Prague. From this tranquil base he wrote much of his greatest music including the Piano Quintet that we played with Angela Hewitt last year and its little sister the Piano Quartet in E Major. In fact not so ‘little’ because it is a rich and powerful piece that dazzles like a gypsy dance and sounds practically orchestral as it whirls headlong to its conclusion!

York Chamber Music Festival Opening Hours

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St Margaret's Church,
Walmgate, York, YO1 9TL

Monday - Friday | 9am - 5pm

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