WERTHER ENSEMBLE

Saturday 3rd October 7.30pm – Theatr Mwldan

Jamie Campbell (violin) Hanna Strijbos (viola)

James Barralet (cello) Simon Callaghan (piano)

Werther Ensemble picture

  • Mozart Quartet in G minor, K478
  • Mendelssohn Quartet in F minor, Op 2
  • Faure Quartet in C minor, Op 15

The London-based Werther Ensemble consists of four distinguished musicians who are each leading soloists and chamber musicians in their own rights, with interesting and varied careers. The individual members have won many major prizes and performed at many of the major European venues, including Wigmore Hall, Concertgebouw, Royal Festival Hall, Purcell Room, Cadogan Hall, Symphony Hall and Bridgewater Hall and throughout America and Asia

The Werthers gave their first performance as a piano quartet in February 2013 when they played Brahms’ op 60 - ’the Werther’ – from which they take their name.  In May 2013 they made an enormous impact as the resident musicians of the inaugural Whittington International Chamber Music Festival (of which cellist James Barralet is Artistic Director) at which the entire chamber music output of Brahms was played in nine days. They now regularly perform at the Conway Hall (where pianist Simon Callaghan is Artistic Director), St John’s Smith Square and around the UK. They have been featured on BBC Radio 3‘s In Tune.

 

This programme spans the history of the piano quartet form.  Mozart’s G minor quartet, written relatively late in his life is probably the first major work written for this combination.  Mendelssohn’s youthful quartet, written at fourteen and published in 1823, clearly demonstrates the prodigious talents of the young composer.   Faure’s lyrical and deeply romantic quartet was written between 1876 and 1877, during the break up of his engagement to singer Pauline Viardot.  Even though not directly linked to the traumatic events of his personal life the music clearly bears some of the melancholy of Faure’s mood at the time while at the same time displaying wonderful flashes of virtuosity.

With such an engaging programme played by this esteemed group, we are very pleased to welcome the Werther Ensemble to open our 2015-16 season of recitals here in Cardigan.

How good it would be if more professional musicians conveyed this kind of delight in what they play.
—Alan Cooper (author), Whittington International Chamber Music Festival