St Christopher

Cavaleri Quartet
Event 2
Saturday October 6th, 2.45pm 
Little Missenden Church

Masters of the string quartet
Joseph Haydn
‘Sunrise’ quartet in B flat, op76 no 4, Hob III:78
Hugh Wood
Quartet no 3, op20
Ludwig van Beethoven
Quartet no 11 in F minor op95, ‘Serioso’

This is an archived event from the 2012 programme.

CAVALERI QUARTET:  Anna Harpham violin;  Ciaran McCabe violin;  Ann Beilby viola;  Rowena Calvert cello

Here are major works by three masters of the string quartet – Haydn, father of the medium; Beethoven, who scaled its peaks; and a contemporary successor, Hugh Wood.

Haydn’s superb Sunrise quartet is a late work – elegant and witty but ambitious. The nickname comes from the opening – the violin rises and soars over sustained chords.  The piece also features a serenely beautiful Adagio, a dance-like Scherzo and a jaunty Rondo finale based on an English folk melody.

Beethoven’s F minor is the shortest and most concentrated of his quartets – bubbling with Beethovenian energy and invention, with powerful contrasts, light and dark passages. There is an austerely beautiful Allegretto, but the piece ends with a surprise, a light and rapid coda skittering along like something out of a comic opera.

We celebrate Hugh Wood’s 80th birthday with a performance of the masterly 1978 3rd string quartet, one of his finest achievements. This luminous and timeless one-movement work follows a journey from darkness to joy, a desolate opening transfigured into rapt lyricism.

The Cavaleri are an immensely impressive young quartet, surely destined for great things.  In 2011 they won first prize in the Royal Over-Seas League Competition, and Special Prize in the Premio Paolo Borciani International String Quartet Competition, and are now quartet in residence at the Oxford University Faculty of Music.

They trained at the RCM, winning the Helen Just and Susan Connell prize for chamber music.  They have been coached by members of the Alban Berg, Brodsky, Chilingirian, Endellion, Maggini and Medici Quartets and took part in masterclasses with Gábor Takács-Nagy and members of the Amadeus, Arditti, Keller and Vermeer Quartets.

Reviews testify to the special quality of their performances:

 “They achieved a chaste beauty – and the most miraculous pianissimo – in the slow movement. The finale was all fire and spirit. Both works received performances which transcended mere music making, this was real communion with the composer” (Bob Briggs, Seen and Heard International)

For more information on the Cavaleri Quartet click here.

Concert sponsored by Roy K Phillips