Bandstand Chamber Festival and St John's Waterloo present:
CAVATINA Chamber Music Trust (sponsors of Community Tickets scheme)
The Neville Abraham Foundation
The Carne Trust
Dasha Shenkman OBE
With thanks to
Maggini Quartet Charitable Fund
Thomas and Megan Tress
St John’s Waterloo
Please follow social distancing protocol and wear a mask at all times.
There are no public toilets available at St John’s Waterloo. The nearest toilets are in Waterloo Station. Please do not film the concerts.
Spotlight Chamber Concerts
Spotlight Chamber Concerts and the Waterloo Festival bring some of the world’s finest classical musicians to the safely socially-distanced interior of one of London’s landmark churches, St John’s Waterloo. With dramatic lighting centred only on the performers and seating in the round, the audience is invited to focus solely on the immersive experience of live music in this series of late-evening concerts and recitals.
This series was founded by Anthony Friend in 2020, and is an initiative of the Maggini Quartet Charitable Fund.
27 May 2021 (originally 19 December 2021)
4 June 2021
Solem Quartet & Friends
8 June 2021
Doric String Quartet
11 June 2021
Alina Ibragimova & Samson Tsoy
17 June 2021
23 June 2021
Anthony Marwood, Hélène Clément & Tim Posner
24 June 2021
Steven Isserlis & Sam Haywood
Wednesday 23 June 2021
Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)
String Trio in B-flat, D. 471
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Divertimento in E-flat, K. 563
The picture one gets of Schubert growing up in his cosy family home, reading through chamber music at the piano or playing viola in a family string quartet, is a heartwarming, wholesome one. Even at the height of his career, many of Schubert’s premiere performances took place in an aristocratic domestic setting, or at his own informal performances for a circle of friends, known as Schubertiads. Perhaps this image is reinforced by the sheer geniality and warmth of so much of his music. However, Schubert had his teenage rebellions, too, and by the time he was 19 he was finally able to leave home and move in with his older, more worldly friend, the confusingly similarly-named Franz Schober. Free from his stifling home environment, and having quit his job in his father’s school, Schubert began to compose more prolifically; within a few years, he was a much talk-about musical presence in Vienna.
The String Trio in B-flat, D. 471 is a first movement for a trio that Schubert never completed. It is typical of Schubert’s (and Mozart’s) ability to compose an apparently simple, happy melody with an indefinably melancholy quality. The fanfare-like, bravura second theme briefly shatters the mood created by the music’s opening, but never for long. Even at this early stage in his career, Schubert’s deft handling of harmony enables him to add tinges of minor-key colour to a predominantly major key movement. In the disconnect between the cheerful surface and the emotional content of the movement there lies a deep, inward poignance.
Mozart, one of the greatest child prodigies in history, had toured Europe and performed for royalty from the age of five. One of his longest tours as an adult, however, took place in the spring of 1789, known as his ‘Berlin journey’. Beginning in Vienna, he hitched a lift with his patron and fellow freemason, Prince Karl Lichnowsky, who would later support Beethoven and who had his own reasons for making the journey; they travelled north to Prague, and then on to Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin. Mozart’s aim in travelling had been to attract the patronage of the King of Prussia, Friedrich Wilhelm II, a keen amateur cellist, for whom Mozart composed the ‘Prussian’ quartets (we heard one of these played by the Doric String Quartet earlier in the series).
Mozart had been a freelancer in Vienna since 1780, putting on a vast number of subscription concerts consisting almost entirely of his own music. By the end of the decade, opportunities to compose more operas (this period gave us some of his best-known, including Le Nozze di Figaro and Don Giovanni) had not yielded the financial returns that Mozart was hoping for, and he financed the trip by borrowing heavily from his friend – and another fellow freemason – Michael Puchberg. Whilst on his Berlin journey, Mozart premiered a late, mature string trio, composed about six months previously, which he dedicated to Puchberg in gratitude. Mozart was on viola, with Anton Teyber on violin and Antonín Kraft playing cello.
This trio, the Divertimento in E-flat, is set up as a piece of light music: divertimenti, serenades and notturnos are all more or less interchangeably used as titles for (usually) six-movement works containing different character pieces or dances, essentially intended to be pleasant background music. Not so in the hands of Mozart, who seems to have relished pouring all of his emotional intelligence and compositional genius into many pieces in these supposedly ‘lighter’ genres. One of his most famous pieces of music, for example – immortalised in the Peter Shaffer play and film Amadeus – is the slow movement from one of his wind serenades, the Gran Partita.
Similarly, there is a mismatch between the severely restricted forces available to Mozart in a string trio and the scope of the work he produced for them: it is by some margin his longest chamber work. Composed shortly after his three last, genre-expanding symphonies, Mozart seems to have enjoyed the challenge of writing similarly large scale music for the minimum number instruments. In a trio, no notes can be wasted: each of the instruments must contribute something meaningful at all times, often fulfilling multiple roles in quick succession. It is as though three actors were trying to perform a play containing dozens of characters.
Each of the movements begins in a seemingly sweet, pleasing popular style. Hidden inside, like jewels stitched into the seams of an apparently plain garment, Mozart lavishes countless variations of musical texture, unbelievable motivic cogency, and at times sheer virtuosity of musical invention. The first and last movements of six are exuberant Allegros, both kaleidoscopes of musical characters; the second is a heartbreakingly tender Adagio; the third is a Minuet built upon a rhythmic game, the strong notes cutting across the three beats of the bar. The fourth movement, Andante, is a particularly ingenious theme and variations in which the order and texture of the variations is scrambled and blasted apart; its minor-key variation is written three-part invertible counterpoint – three independent lines that fit perfectly no matter which voice appears at the top, middle or bass. The fifth, another Minuet, evokes the hunt’s horn calls with its bare fifths and tweeting birdsong.
Anthony Marwood, violin
British violinist ANTHONY MARWOOD enjoys a wide-ranging international career as soloist, director and chamber musician. Recent solo engagements include performances with the Boston Symphony, St Louis Symphony, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, New World Symphony and Sydney Symphony.
Current invitations include the London Philharmonic at the Royal Festival Hall (Adès Concerto), Schumann with the Adelaide Symphony, his concerto debut in Budapest (Beethoven violin concerto and triple concerto) at the Liszt Academy, conducted by András Keller, his debut with the Spanish National Orchestra in Madrid, and a multi-concert residency at the Adelaide Festival. He will also return to Les Violons du Roy in Canada, where is Principal Artistic Partner, and the Amsterdam Sinfonietta (Mendelssohn double concerto with pianist Alexander Melnikov).
He has worked with conductors Valery Gergiev, Sir Andrew Davis, Thomas Søndergård, David Robertson, Gerard Korsten, Ilan Volkov, Jaime Martin, and Douglas Boyd. The 2019/2020 season includes recitals with pianist Aleksandar Madzar in Serbia and London, and with accordionist James Crabb in Australia and New Zealand. In 2020 Anthony will also appear at festivals in the USA including his debuts at Tanglewood and La Jolla Music Society SummerFest) and in Brazil (Illumina Festival São Paulo).
Many leading composers have written concertos for him, including Thomas Adès, Steven Mackey, Sally Beamish and Samuel Carl Adams. Anthony is a prolific recording artist, and his most recent release – his 50th on the Hyperion label – is a recording of Walton’s Violin Concerto with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Martyn Brabbins. The disc received wide critical acclaim, including a 5-star review in The Guardian and a ‘Recommended Recording’ in The Strad Magazine, whilst the Sunday Times described him as “a thrilling, virtuosic soloist”.
Anthony studied with Emanuel Hurwitz and David Takeno in London. He has collaborated with numerous actors, Indian classical dancer Mayuri Boonham, Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O’Connor, sculptress Nicole Farhi and South African guitarist Derek Gripper. He was the violinist of the Florestan Trio for sixteen years and won the Royal Philharmonic Society Instrumentalist award in 2006.
Anthony is co-Artistic Director of the Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival in East Sussex, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2018. He performs annually at the Yellow Barn Festival in Vermont and enjoys a close association with the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne. He was appointed an MBE in the 2018 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List and was made a Fellow of the Guildhall School of Music in 2013. He plays a 1736 Carlo Bergonzi violin, kindly bought by a syndicate of purchasers, and a 2018 violin made by Christian Bayon.
Hélène Clément, viola
Born in France in 1988, Hélène Clément has performed at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Wigmore Hall in London, Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Konzerthaus in Berlin, the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, the Cité de la Musique in Paris.
Her chamber music partners have included Nicolas Altstaedt, Jonathan Biss, Benjamin Grosvenor, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Alexander Melnikov, Mitsuko Uchida and Peter Wispelwey, as well as the Brentano String Quartet and the Nash Ensemble.
Since September 2013, she is the viola player of the Doric String Quartet. Recent highlights include recitals at the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw, Vienna Musikverein, Frankfurt Alte Oper, Hamburg Laeiszhalle and De Singel, and regular performances at the Wigmore Hall. Further afield they have toured to Japan, Israel, Australia, America, Asia and New Zealand. The Quartet has released a wide range of recordings, working exclusively with Chandos Records.Their most recent releases include works by Haydn, Britten and Mendelssohn.
Ms. Clément is a frequent guest at the prestigious Marlboro Music Festival in America and Prussia Cove in England.
She is Principal Viola Player of the innovative Aurora Orchestra based in London.
She teaches viola and chamber music at the Royal Academy of Music of London. Mentoring and coaching young talents is taking a growing place in her life, and she is with her String Quartet the Artistic Director of the Mendelssohn on Mull Festival.
Ms Clément is currently playing on a 1843 Italian viola owned previously by Benjamin Britten and Frank Bridge. The viola is generously lent to her by the Britten-Pears foundation.
Tim Posner, cello
In 2018, Tim Posner became the first British cellist ever to be awarded a prize at the International Karl Davidov Competition in Latvia. Born in 1995, he began playing the cello at the age of eight and is currently studying in the ‘Solo Class’ of Leonid Gorokhov at the Hochschule für Musik in Hanover. Tim has performed as soloist with renowned orchestras including the NDR Radiophil- harmonie, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Mozart Players with conductors such as Andrew Manze. Highlights of the 2021 Season will include the world premiere of Polo Piatti’s Cello Concerto and a recital debut at the Het Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
As a chamber musician, Tim regularly plays in various ensembles. In 2010 Tim founded The Tey- ber Trio with violinist, Tim Crawford and violist, Timothy Ridout, with whom he continues to per- form internationally. He has performed at numerous chamber music festivals such as the Musik- dorf Ernen, IMS Prussia Cove, Wye Valley, Lewes, Peasmarsh and Cheltenham festivals. Tim has collaborated with acclaimed musicians including Lars Vogt, Alasdair Beatson, Ewa Kupiec, Matthew Hunt and the Doric String Quartet. As an orchestral musician, Tim has performed as principal cellist of the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen and as a guest cellist in Chamber Orchestra of Europe.
St John's Waterloo
St John’s, the church on the roundabout at Waterloo, was built in 1824 for Waterloo’s working people and rebuilt in 1951 as the church of the Festival of Britain: a beacon of hope and resilience. Today, more than ever, it is responding to the needs of London’s diverse communities as a church, a charity and a well-known music and arts venue, committed to being here for everyone.
St John’s Artistic Director Euchar Gravina said: “St John’s is a well-known music venue and runs the annual Waterloo Festival. In these challenging times, we’re finding new ways of bringing hope and new ways to serve through a year-round programme co-curated by artists and performers whose aim is to create stronger communities as well as creating art.”