In 2014, Enydmion celebrates its 35th birthday with a weekend of concerts at Kings Place. Since it’s our birthday we’re calling the shots, and we’ve programmed three evenings of our (and our audiences’) favourite pieces.
On Thursday 6th February, our fabulous horn player Stephen Stirling joins the equally fabulous Krysia Osostowicz and Michael Dussek for our perennially popular horn trio programme, pairing works by Brahms and Ligeti. The Brahms horn trio was voted into the Top 50 Chamber Classics by BBC Music Magazine readers, and we’re delighted to have been invited to play it as part of Kings Place’s “Chamber Classics Unwrapped” series.
Also part of the Top 50 series is Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola and harp, which we’re playing on Friday 7th February. It’s a difficult piece to programme around, but we’re not afraid of a challenge and Helen Tunstall, Helen Keen, Krysia Osostowicz and Asdis Valdimarsdottir come together for a concert featuring solos, duos and trios by Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Martinů and Debussy’s eternal counterpart, Ravel: the renowned harpist Skaila Kanga made her own arrangement of Ravel’s piano “Sonatine” for the same forces as the Debussy sonata, and we perform them side-by side.
On Saturday 8th February, in an all-Brahms concert, our clarinettist Mark van de Wiel takes centre stage with Michael Dussek, performing both clarinet sonatas – the last chamber works he wrote. Our wonderful cellist Jane Salmon joins the pair for the Clarinet Trio to round off our birthday weekend.
All the concerts are on sale now, and there are still some Online Saver tickets available for only £9.50, and as a special birthday gift to you, there’s a 20% discount when booking two or more concerts!
Endymion is taking part in “Brahms Unwrapped” at Kings Place in just a few weeks, bringing their celebrated programme of the Brahms Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in A minor, Op.144 and the Horn trio in E flat, Op.40. We’re happily augmenting our regular short programme with both of his Clarinet Sonatas, Op.120.
The Horn Trio is by far the earliest work in the concert, written in 1865 after the death of Brahms’ mother. It’s full of childhood memories of woodland and countryside, as well as “a sense of enigma, turbulence, serenity, deep sorrow, exuberant joy,” according to our violinist Krysia Osostowicz.
Another frequent performer at Kings Place, Daniel Tong, joins us to perform the much later Clarinet Trio. Towards the end of his life, Brahms had pretty much decided to give up composing, but ended up exploring the potential of the clarinet as a chamber instrument like no one had since Mozart. A contemporary musicologist and friend of Brahms’ said his trio was “as though the instruments were in love with one another”. As well as the trio (from 1891), he wrote two Clarinet Sonatas in 1894, which are regarded as masterpieces for the instrument. At our concert, they’ll be performed by Mark van de Wiel with Daniel Lebhardt.
Tickets are already on sale here. Kings Place has its £9.50 Internet Savers, and then tickets start from as little as £13.50. This concert really is full of Endymion’s core repertoire, and not to be missed!
Endymion performing Mozart's Clarinet Quintet at Kings Place in 2009
Early next year Endymion will be exploring some fantastic chamber works with two concerts in January 2012 focussing on Quintets. Far from being the “fifth wheel” at the chamber music party, the Quintet will be taking centre stage to prove that the harmony and balance of the four-person Quartet is not the only way to true musical elegance.
Endymion’s first concert is on 20th January at King’s Place in London, where we’ll be indulging in an all-Brahms programme, performing his two String Quintets and his Clarinet Quintet. Both String Quintets are scored for an extra viola (rather than an extra cello), leading to a warm sound-palette which is complemented by some typically Brahmsian harmonies and modulations, especially in the first movement of String Quintet No.1. By the time Brahms began writing his first String Quintet (reportedly his favourite chamber work) in 1882, he had left some of the classical sobriety of the two famous String Sextets of the 1860s behind him. Instead, we find a clever and high-spirited Romantic take on some well-known Baroque forms, such as the Sarabande and Fugue. The second String Quintet calls on some of the same folksy rhythms and melodies as his friend Antonín Dvorák, albeit always with Germanic shading. Brahms came out of retirement especially in order to write the Clarinet Quintet for the clarinettist Richard Mühlfeld, along with a Trio and two Sonatas, and it is often considered Brahms’ greatest work for chamber ensemble. Tickets for the concert are on sale here.
We’ve also been invited back to the University of Surrey in Guildford after our successful Mahler concert in July. On 29th January we’ll be performing an afternoon concert at 3pm of three Clarinet Quintets by Brahms, Mozart and Philip Venables. Mozart’s famous work was one of the very first written for that instrument combination, establishing the Clarinet in the chamber music repertoire, and undoubtedly forming a model for Brahms’ own Quintet a century later. Originally written for the basset clarinet, it has become one of the most popular chamber works of the last few centuries through its simple and joyous lyricism and faultless structural elegance. The Prelude by Philip Venables, written in 2006 (the 250th Anniversary of Mozart’s birth) for the Sounds New MozartNOW Festival in Canterbury in 2006, is indeed a prelude to Mozart quintet’s itself. Dissecting, manipulating and elaborating on the first two bars of Mozart’s quintet, Venables explores not only Mozart’s work but also the Clarinet quintet medium in a thoroughly absorbing fashion.
We’re also looking forward to coaching some of the students in Guildford on 31st January.
I have just uncovered a video of Endymion coming off stage after performing Dohnányi’s wonderful Sextet in C at Kings Place in the 2009 Kings Place festival. It was a great concert – a great piece to play – and a lovely hall to play it in.
We’re performing this wonderful Sextet next year at Wigmore Hall on 23rd October – we will let you know when tickets go on sale! We’ve also recorded this piece, and the CD is available here on our own disc or here on a compilation disc.
Location: Memorial Hall, Freshwater, Isle of Wight
Description: Onyx play their first concert of the year for West Wight Arts Association, in Freshwater. The light programme includes pieces by Berlioz and Copland, as well as Rossini's famous overture to "William Tell".
Endymion bring their "Hommage à Brahms" programme to the University of York.
Beethoven – Violin sonata no.10 in G major, Op.96
Ligeti – Trio for horn, violin and piano, ‘Hommage à Brahms’
Brahms – Trio for horn, violin and piano in E flat major, Op.40
Endymion at Kings Place
February 6, 2014, 7:30 pm
Kings Place, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG, United Kingdom
Endymion celebrates its 35th birthday with a weekend of concerts at Kings Place. Two of the concerts are also part of the Chamber Classics Unwrapped series: showcasing the Top 50 chamber works, as voted for by readers of BBC Music Magazine. At number 43 was Brahms' horn trio, and Endymion perform it with their tried and tested successful pairing of the Ligeti work for the same instruments, subtitles "Hommage à Brahms". Our principal violinist, Krysia Osostowicz, offers a Beethoven violin sonata by way of contrast.
Beethoven – Violin Sonata No.10 in G major, Op.96
Ligeti – Trio for horn, violin and piano, “Hommage à Brahms”
Brahms – Trio in E flat major for horn, violin and piano, Op.40
Violin Krysia Osostowicz
Horn Stephen Stirling
Piano Michael Dussek