St Christopher

Schubert Ensemble
Event 6
Sunday October 9th, 3.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

Music for piano and strings – Drakeford memorial
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Piano quintet in C minor
Richard Drakeford
Cello suite, Dialogue for violin and piano, 2 Easy pieces for double bass and piano, Hors d’oeuvre for piano (selection)
Anton Dvořák
Piano quartet no 2 in E flat op87
David Matthews/Thomas Hyde
Drakeford tribute (first performance)

This is an archived event from the 2011 programme.

SCHUBERT ENSEMBLE: Simon Blendis violin  Douglas Paterson viola  Jane Salmon cello  Peter Buckoke double bass  William Howard piano

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Richard Drakeford, (see News page and Event 4), a gifted composer (taught by Howells and Rubbra) and one of the Festival’s founders.   

The Schubert Ensemble will play a range of his worksHis chamber music is accessible, enjoyable and beautifully crafted – Richard was passionately engaged with the English tradition.  The Cello suite is a beautiful sequence of dance movements while the Dialogue for violin and piano displays his ability to compose longer dramatic structures. A pair of short pieces for double bass and piano for young performers reflects his career as a teacher.

Richard’s works are embedded among pieces he would have enjoyed hearing himself.  The Vaughan Williams quintet grew from studies with Ravel, like his great Housman cycle On Wenlock Edge. The opening of the expressive andante melody evokes the later Tallis Fantasia.

Dvořák said that the melodies of his colourful and imaginatively-scored piano quartet “simply surged over me”.  The tuneful score of this big, rich work is imbued with the spirit of Czech folk music.

“The Schubert Ensemble are blessed with the most natural, unforced, singing tone – strings and piano alike. In Dvořák’s virile, big-hearted Piano Quartet in E flat, the keyboard becomes an orchestra for a triple concerto, all rolling chords and quivering trills....” (Anna Picard, Independent)

The Ensemble will play a brief tribute piece from two composers who knew Richard well, David Matthews and Thomas Hyde.

The Schubert Ensemble (admired by Richard) is a leading exponent of music for piano and strings – named Best Chamber Ensemble by the Royal Philharmonic Society, with 30 critically-acclaimed CDs.

A US reviewer described performances that “fizzle with energy and pep”; the Scotsman wrote of “compelling passion” in a “perceptive, finely judged and enjoyable performance”; the Los Angeles Times was impressed by their “nearly supernatural degree of polish” and “passionate grace”;  and the Daily Telegraph praised their “combination of reckless abandon and perfect control”.

For more information on the Schubert Ensemble, click here.

Dedicated to the memory of Richard Drakeford

Supported by the Festival’s Memorial Fund, the Festival Friends, Trustees of Richard Drakeford, 

The Schubert Ensemble Trust and Martin and Joanne Verden