Arcturus in Leeds
Leeds College Of Music, Leeds
Wednesday 31st January 2018
Claire Osborne - violin
Howard Breakspear - viola
Andrew Fairley - cello
Genna Spinks - double bass
Michael Cleaver - piano
Simon Holt - everything turns away
Glière - Duo
Mozart - Piano Quartet No 2
Simon Holt's piece everything turns away is a response to Breughel's painting The Fall of Icarus. Icarus has flown too close to the sun, and the wax gluing his feathery wings has melted. The painting shows him falling into the sea close to the shore, but no-one notices, and life on shore goes on without interruption. Holt has conceived his work much more theatrically than is usual in chamber music: the strings play in the manner of folk going about their own business, then comes the catastrophe......
A selection from Glière's fine Duo provides us with a great opportunity to hear what has become a rare showcase for double bass, in partnership with the violin.
Mozart's Second Piano Quartet is a prime example of its composer's championing of the new-fangled pianoforte and the somewhat unappreciated viola. Mozart confounded amateur performers with something too difficult for them to play, and too complex for their listeners to enjoy. The piano quartet, therefore, struggled to get off the ground. How things have changed - today this quartet is much-loved and widely accepted as a masterpiece.
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