Repertoire

Music stands

Our repertoire ranges from duos to work for sinfonietta-sized ensembles, and we regularly work with guest artists to expand our programming possibilities.

Sample programmes

2016-17 season

 

1-hour concert | Fugues and canons, old and new

Although synonymous with the baroque, the contrapuntal forms of fugue and canon have enjoyed several periods of renewed interest. Mozart’s language was immeasurably deepened on his introduction to the music of Handel and Bach at the house of his friend Gottfried van Swieten, and Haydn’s quartet borrows a fugal theme from Handel’s Messiah. Stravinsky’s Double Canon recalls Webern in its icy beauty, whist the Austrian composer’s own quartet is structured around a motto spelling out the name of a hero, B-A-C-H.

Mozart: Adagio and Fugue K. 546
Stravinsky: Double Canon
L. Berkeley: Canon in Memoriam I.S.
Webern: Quartet op. 28
Haydn: Quartet op. 20 no. 5

 

Full-length concert | Voices: Elsewhere and elsewhen

Debussy and Ravel were both commissioned by rival harp manufacturers to write pieces demonstrating their competing designs. The resulting works outlived the short commercial spat, enriching the harp’s repertoire and accepted voice along the way. Berio’s Sequenza IXa for clarinet looks back on its own instrument’s wide-ranging voice as conceived by artists from Mozart to Benny Goodman. Folk songs real, fake and inaccurately transcribed jostle in Berio’s Folksongs, written for his then wife Cathy Berberian, whilst Stravinsky’s late settings of Shakespeare make something rich and strange of familiar texts.

Ravel: Introduction and Allegro
Berio: Sequenza IXa for clarinet
Bartok: violin duos (selection)
Stravinsky: 3 Shakespeare Songs

Interval

Debussy: Danses sacrée et profane
Berio: violin duos (selection)
Berio: Folksongs

 

1-hour or full-length concert | Merrie England

For many, the way forward in twentieth-century British music would lie via the distant past of Purcell and the great Tudor composers. A Purcell Garland reimagines Purcell’s viol fantasias for a modern ensemble, whilst Britten and Adès both find inspiration in the lute songs of Dowland.

1-hour programme

Knussen: Upon one note from A Purcell Garland
Adès: Court Studies from The Tempest
Adès: Darkness Visible
Rebecca Clarke: Passacaglia on an old English Tune
Britten: String Quartet no. 2

Evening Programme

Knussen/Benjamin/Matthews: A Purcell Garland
Adès: Court Studies from The Tempest
Adès: Darkness Visible
Britten: Lachrymae or Simple Symphony
Rebecca Clarke: Passacaglia on an old English Tune

Interval

Britten: String Quartet no. 2