- This event has passed.
Notes on the performers
This promising Quartet’s playing has been characterised as an “enormous power [with] highly delicate playing” the Henley Standard. The Edenis Quartet, formed in 2020, comprises of students from the Royal Academy of Music. They receive regular coachings from their mentor John Myerscough, cellist of the Doric Quartet, through the Academy’s Advanced Specialist Strings Ensemble Training Scheme – a competitively selected programme for a small number of serious quartets, generously supported by the Frost Trust.
In 2020, they appeared as the solo quartet in Elgar’s Introduction and Allegro, performing with the Academy Sainsbury Soloists directed by Clio Gould. In the Academy’s lunchtime recital series, they have played works such as Dvorak’s ‘American’ Quartet, Beethoven’s ‘Harp’ Quartet, Haydn’s Op.20 No.5, Mozart’s 1 st ‘Prussian’ Quartet, and Mendelssohn’s Op.44 No.1. Other venues they have performed in include Charlton House, Regent Hall and Northend Village Hall.
In 2021, they had the privilege of playing for Dame Jenny Abramsky, where they performed Minna Keal’s Fantasy for String Quartet, a piece that has not been yet recorded. The Edenis Quartet have had multiple coachings with renowned musicians including members of the Carducci Quartet, Doric Quartet, London Haydn Quartet, and chamber musicians such as Levon Chilingirian, Martin Outram and Isabel Charisius.
The Edenis Quartet were invited to Hatfield Chamber Music Festival 2021 where they performed alongside the Carducci Quartet, Guy Johnston, Brett Dean and VOCES8 choir. They were invited back to perform for the launch of the 2022 festival, giving an opening concert and a side-by-side performance of Brahms’ Sextet No.2 in G major with Guy Johnston, Magnus Johnston and James Boyd. Future projects include a recital at the Academy, playing Hannah Kendall’s Glances/I don’t belong here for string quartet which was premiered in 2019, and performing at Wigmore Hall as part of For Crying Out Loud!, their concert series especially designed for parents and carers, and their babies under the age of 1.
Joseph Haydn (1732- 1809)
Quartet in G major op 23 no 5 “ How do you do?”
- Vivace assai G major
- Largo e cantabile
- Scherzo – Trio
- Finale – Allegretto
The Op. 33 String Quartets were written by Joseph Haydn in the summer and Autumn of 1781 for the Viennese publisher Artaria. This set of string quartets has several nicknames, the most common of which is the “Russian” quartets, because Haydn dedicated the quartets to the Grand Duke Paul of Russia and many (if not all) of the quartets were premiered on Christmas Day, 1781, at the Viennese apartment of the Duke’s wife, the Grand Duchess Maria Feodorovna. The “Russian” quartets were some of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s favourite works by Haydn and in 1785 Mozart dedicated six string quartets to Haydn in admiration of the quartet
The Vivace assai begins with a galant cadence: a musical equivalent of a bow or curtsey, whose rhythm also prompted the nineteenth-century English nickname ‘How do you do?’. It initiates a movement of almost symphonic boldness and drive, with quasi-orchestral textures created by double stopping and pounding repeated bass notes. This moment of lyric repose is mirrored at the centre of the contrapuntally vigorous development, where the second theme reappears in E minor before deflecting to new keys. True to form, Haydn continues to spring surprises throughout the recapitulation—a transformation rather than restatement of earlier events—and coda, which begins with a dramatic plunge from G to E flat major and ends teasingly with the ‘How do you do?’ cadence. The slow movement is a soulful, increasingly ornate G minor Largo e cantabile in which the first violin
impersonates a tragic operatic heroine. Commentators from Donald Tovey onwards have suggested the influence of Gluck here. More specifically, the opening bars seem like a minor-keyed echo of Orpheus’s Elysian aria ‘Che puro ciel!’ in Orfeo ed Euridice, which Haydn had performed at Eszterháza in 1776. Haydn seems to stick his tongue out in the Scherzo, constantly fooling the listener with displaced accents, and then inserting a malicious pause just when we seem to have found our feet. In extreme contrast, the trio is almost exaggeratedly demure. At the very end Haydn deflates the tragic mood with a single pizzicato twang. Simplicity is also the keynote of the finale, a set of three variations on a lilting siciliano tune. While the variations are essentially decorative, the second has a luminous grace, with that easy fluidity of texture characteristic of Op 33
Maurice Ravel (1875 – 1937)
Quartet in F major
- Allegro moderato ( tres doux)
- Assez vif (tres rhythme)
- Tres lent
- Vif et agite
Maurice Ravel completed his String Quartet in F major in early April 1903 at the age of 28. It was premiered in Paris in March the following year. The work follows a four-movement classical structure: the opening movement, in sonata form, presents two themes that occur again later in the work; a playful scherzo second movement is followed by a lyrical slow movement. The finale reintroduces themes from the earlier movements and ends the work vigorously. The quartet’s structure is modelled on that of Claude Debussy’s String Quartet, written in 1893, although Ravel’s musical ideas strongly contrast with Debussy’s. Debussy admired Ravel’s piece rather more than did its dedicatee.