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
Pavel Kolesnikov & Samson Tsoy
17 June 2021
23 June 2021
Anthony Marwood, Hélène Clément & Tim Posner
24 June 2021 (originally 18 December 2020)
Friday 4 June 2021
Franz Peter Schubert (1797-1828)
Octet in F, D. 803
Adagio – Allegro – Più allegro
Allegro vivace – Trio – Allegro vivace
Andante – variations. Un poco più mosso – Più lento
Menuetto. Allegretto – Trio – Menuetto – CodaAndante molto – Allegro – Andante molto – Allegro molto
Beethoven was undoubtedly the rising star in Vienna’s music scene at the turn of nineteenth century. A piano virtuoso, famed for his keyboard improvisations as much as for his groundbreaking compositions, he shocked and amazed his audiences. Yet for many years his most popular work was his Septet, Op. 20, scored for clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello and double bass. It is essentially a serenade: an entertaining piece with many contrasting movements, played on a special occasion and perhaps intended as background music. The earnest, avant-garde young Beethoven resented the fact that his reputation rested on a piece of light music, and when he heard of its success in Britain he said he wished to burn the score.
Other composers were less averse to the idea of composing lighter music in this well-established Viennese tradition. Mozart was perhaps the master of the serenade, managing simultaneously to appeal to what he probably considered to be the rather simple tastes of the aristocracy whilst composing some of his most profound, beautifully crafted music. In 1824, twenty-five years after Beethoven had composed his Septet, Schubert was approached by Count Ferdinand Troyer and asked to compose a piece in the vein of Beethoven’s famous Septet; he willingly obliged.
Troyer was an amateur clarinettist and member of the court of Archduke Rudolf, the friend and patron of Beethoven. Several other serenades for mixed strings and winds appeared around this time, such as those by Spohr and Hummel, providing a vehicle for each player to shine in this delicious combination of instrumental colours. Presumably Troyer wanted an opportunity not just to get together and play music with friends, but to play a beguiling clarinet part. This domestic setting would also have appealed to Schubert, whose compositions were often performed in private concerts, attended by a circle of admirers and known as Schubertiades.
Schubert’s Octet is modelled very closely on Beethoven’s Septet, adding a second violin but keeping to the six-movement structure and broad scheme of musical keys of Beethoven’s example. The first violin part was even played by Ignaz Schuppanzigh, the violinist who premiered the Septet a quarter of a century earlier (along with many of Beethoven’s string quartets).
However, the Octet also shares many of the characteristics of Schubert’s other late, large-scale compositions. In his final years, Schubert’s prolific output included some pieces that were not intended to appeal to his publishers, who encouraged him to satisfy the public’s voracious appetite for music that could be played at home by amateurs. Works like the three enormous late Piano Sonatas, his ‘Great’ Symphony in C and his String Quintet in C were composed in grand dimensions, with long paragraphs of music roaming freely into remote keys and harmonies. They were published posthumously, held up as great masterpieces by his peers following his early death at the age of 31. One gets the sense, in these pieces but also in the substantial first, second and final movements of the Octet, that Schubert was concerned less with rhetorical argument and more with the journey itself. The music has a grand sweep despite its sometimes light and cheerful material, and there is great pleasure to be had in allowing oneself to be carried along by it.
A stately, grandiose introduction paves the way for a sprightly yet relaxed first movement, its many surprising shifts of key and texture handled with the deftest of touches. The sublimely beautiful Adagio second movement flows forward inexorably, whilst simultaneously creating the illusion of time standing still. A vigorous Scherzo offers a breath of Austrian mountain air before a charming, Mozartian theme and variations based on a theme from Schubert’s unperformed opera of 1815, Die Freunde von Salamanka (‘The Friends from Salamanca’). The fifth movement, a Minuet that ought to be all courtly elegance, somehow carries some of the sense of the outdoors that we had in the Scherzo – perhaps more of a Pastorale than a noble dance. The astonishing slow introduction of the Finale, with a rumbling tremolo in the low strings, almost preempts the drama and grandeur of a Bruckner symphony. A humorous Allegro takes over, however, providing an effervescent and at times virtuosic conclusion to a glorious hour of music.
Amy Tress, violin
William Newell, violin
Stephen Upshaw, viola
Stephanie Tress, cello
The Solem Quartet has established itself as one of the most innovative and adventurous quartets of its generation. Recently announced as an awardee of the Jerwood Arts Live Work Fund, one of 33 artists selected from more than 1200 applicants, the Solem Quartet takes its place amongst some of the UK’s brightest artistic voices, with award recipients spread across practices including music, theatre, opera, circus, dance, live art and performance.
They enjoy a busy concert schedule, ranging from international tours to performances at venues such as London’s Wigmore and Queen Elizabeth Halls, Bridgewater Hall in Manchester and Oxford’s Holywell Music Room, and have built a strong following since winning the Royal Over-Seas League Ensemble Competition 2014. Alongside this, their groundbreaking series ‘Solem Lates’ has seen the Quartet rise to prominence as leading exponents of new music, working closely with living composers in pioneering multimedia performances. In one such project they performed the live score to screenings of Yorgos Lanthimos’s 2015 film The Lobster, in collaboration with Picturehouse Cinemas.
In both their regular concerts and ‘Solem Lates’ projects, the Quartet presents daring feats of virtuosity within thoughtfully curated programmes. In ‘Beethoven Bartók Now’, the group’s latest Solem Lates project, the Solem Quartet collaborate with leading young composers of today to perform commissioned new works and present the historic works of Beethoven and Bartók in a fresh light, bringing new life and relevance to these iconic masterpieces; a wealth of digital content and educational activity surrounds each performance.
The Solem Quartet has benefited from inspirational teaching from a number of the world’s greatest chamber musicians including Gábor Takács-Nagy, Thomas Adès, Michal Kaznowski, Gerhard Schulz, Krysia Osostowicz and Richard Ireland. They have attended IMS Prussia Cove and the European Chamber Music Academy and were chosen for the 2014-15 ChamberStudio Mentorship with renowned cellist Christoph Richter. In 2016-17 they were selected as both Tunnell Trust Artists and Park Lane Group Artists.
The Quartet takes great pride in its educational work. From 2015-17 they held the Junior Fellowship in Chamber Music at the Royal Northern College of Music and since 2016 they have been Quartet in Residence at the University of Liverpool. Their immersive concerts and workshops have taken them to mainstream and special needs schools through Live Music Now and they have performed or given seminars at Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Cardiff Universities. They are also Ensemble in Residence at Aberystwyth MusicFest.
Anthony Friend, clarinet
Anthony Friend is a clarinettist whose playing has been praised as “delicious” (The Times) and “energised and raunchy, but not too much” (The Telegraph). Anthony’s chamber music collaborators have included the Allegri, Solem and Maxwell quartets, the Philharmonia Chamber Players quartet, pianists Karim Said, Joseph Havlat and Florian Mitrea, violist Ásdís Valdimarsdóttir, harpist Oliver Wass, double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado, the Pelléas Ensemble and wind quintets Cavendish Winds and the Magnard Ensemble.
As an orchestral musician he has worked with conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner, Sakari Oramo, Leif Segerstam and Mark Wigglesworth. He regularly freelances with orchestras such as the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and English National Opera, and was a member of Southbank Sinfonia in 2017. He has been broadcast on BBC radio and television and played in major venues in the UK and abroad.
Anthony studied at the University of Cambridge and the Royal Academy of Music, and subsequently with Patrick Messina in Paris.
He founded the Bandstand Chamber Festival and Spotlight Chamber Concerts in 2020.
Catriona McDermid, bassoon
Catriona leads a varied career as a modern and period instrument bassoonist and keen educator, with recent highlights including her solo performance on BBC Radio 3 ‘In Tune’ and premiering a new work by Toby Young with Navarra String Quartet. Catriona is in demand as an orchestral bassoonist, playing guest principal with orchestras such as London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and RTÉ Symphony Orchestra and she also performs with leading period instrument ensembles such as Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Florilegium and English Touring Opera. As a soloist Catriona is a former Countess of Munster and Handel House Talent artist. Catriona is also a passionate chamber musician, as a baroque bassoonist performing with ensemble Ensemble Molière. As a modern player she is a member of wind quintet Magnard Ensemble, current Making Music artists and previous Tillett Trust, Tunnell Trust and Britten Pears Chamber Music Residency artists.
Stephen Craigen, horn
Stephen Craigen is a horn player in demand across the UK and Europe whose playing has been described as “particularly polished” (The Independent). He appears regularly as guest principal with orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and with the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen. As a chamber musician he has collaborated with artists including Roman Simović, Thomas Carroll and Boris Kucharsky. A keen advocate for contemporary music, Stephen has worked with composers such as George Benjamin, Rebecca Saunders and Vito Žuraj, and with ensembles such as the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. After completing his initial studies with Julian Baker, Stephen studied at the University of Cambridge and then the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with David Pyatt and Jeff Bryant, where he was winner of the Armourers and Brasiers Brass Prize.
Marianne Schofield, double bass
Originally from London, Marianne Schofield is a double bass player with a strong commitment to chamber and contemporary music. As a founder member of ground-breaking contemporary quartet The Hermes Experiment (formed of soprano, clarinet, harp and double bass), Marianne is passionate about presenting new music in an engaging way, and she is also an artistic board member of the award-winning contemporary collective Riot Ensemble. She has performed as a chamber musician with the Haffner Wind Ensemble, the Navarra quartet, Chroma, the Harborough Collective and Berkeley Ensemble. Marianne also enjoys performing on a larger scale through her freelance orchestral work, most recently with Aurora Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, English National Opera, London Symphony Orchestra, and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Marianne studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the University of Cambridge, and is a graduate of the Hallé/RNCM String Leadership Scheme. She is grateful to the Cambridge Bursary Scheme, the Headley Trust and the Greenbank Scholarship for supporting her studies.
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.”