St Christopher

Navarra String Quartet
Event 10
Friday October 9th, 8.00pm 
Little Missenden Church

The essence of the string quartet
Josef Haydn
String Quartet, op76 no 4, Sunrise
Joseph Phibbs
String Quartet no 2 (new commission)
Ludwig van Beethoven
String Quartet in C# minor, op131

This is an archived event from the 2015 Programme.

NAVARRA QUARTET: Magnus Johnston violin  Marije Johnston violin  Simone van der Giessen viola  Brian O’Kane cello

This must-hear concert for chamber music lovers features late quartets by Beethoven and Haydn, and a new commission by Joseph Phibbs.

Beethoven’s breathtaking C sharp minor quartet is one of music’s high peaks, from the matchless beauty of the slow opening fugue through the magical inventiveness of the Andante variations to the defiant power of the concluding Allegro.

“One of the richest of all musical works in its range of ideas and expression and in the way it enlarges forever, at one blow, the very concept of what a string quartet can be… No musical world can be quite complete without op131” (Phillip Weller)

Haydn’s elegant and witty Sunrise quartet takes its nickname from the opening, the violin soaring over sustained chords. It also features a serenely beautiful Adagio, a dance-like Scherzo and a jaunty Rondo finale based on an English folk melody.

The Navarra have recorded a CD of Joseph Phibbs’s music, and he wrote this new piece for them. It evokes aspects of Eastern European folk music. Like his first quartet it explores melody (fragmentation, elaboration), and different instrumental groupings.

The Navarra, one of today’s most dynamic and poetic string quartets, has “a warmly rounded and very expressive sound, perfectly suited to Haydn: on this showing, they are already in the first rank of his music’s exponents” (The Independent).

Among many international awards they took First Prize in the Florence International Chamber Music Competition.

BBC Music Magazine described Joseph Phibbs as “one of the most successful composers of his generation”. Rivers to the Sea won the orchestral category of the British Composer Awards.

“Phibbs’s sheer accomplishment as a composer is unmistakable here. Every idea is telling, every phrase beautiful” (Paul Driver, Sunday Times)

His first quartet’s première was “Completely absorbing, full of mystery and beauty” (Alexander Stiller, Rye News).

Co-commission with The Presteigne Festival
Supported by the Britten-Pears Foundation
and the Little Missenden Festival Friends