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IRELAND Phantasie-Trio in A minor - for violin, cello and piano
BRIDGE Quintet for Piano and Strings in D minor
STANFORD Fantasy in A minor - for horn and string quartet
BRITTEN String Quartet No.3 Op.94
John Ireland was just one of a distinguished list of composers who studied with Stanford that includes Vaughan Williams, Holst, Bridge and Coleridge-Taylor. Ireland’s passionate Phantasie-Trio was written for a competition, at which the piece took second place after a work by Bridge, whose Piano Quintet is written in his early, Romantic style.
Bridge’s sole composition pupil was Benjamin Britten, whose final string quartet is full of powerful, emotional undercurrents. Created in an arch-like structure, each of its five movements possesses a distinct character. Britten biographer Philip Brett said of the piece it is “as profound a work as Britten ever wrote”.
Pre-concert Talk, 6.45pm: Professor Jeremy Dibble from Durham University explores late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century British music including the music of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford and John Ireland.
Listen to music featured in the programme via Spotify:
We asked the Friends of Music in the Round to comment on the pieces in the May Festival that they were most looking forward to hearing. Here are some of their comments about this concert:
“Britten's third string quartet is a late masterpiece, intimately related to his last opera, Death in Venice, so right to hear this in his centenary year.”
“Britten's third string quartet is my very favourite piece of his: I first heard it as the music for an excellent ballet.”
“Frank Bridge is England's greatest composer of chamber music. His piano quintet is a fairly early work, but still excellent.”
“When the chamber music of Frank Bridge was included in the 1991 festival, I was most impressed, and thought that it should be performed more often. It is a pity that he is best known as the teacher of Benjamin Britten.”
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