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Hay Chamber Music Festival: The Fitzwilliam String Quartet and Anna Tilbrook
Sunday 29th April 2018, 3pm
Hay Chamber Music Festival: The Fitzwilliam String Quartet and Anna Tilbrook
Purcell (arr. Britten):  Chaconne
This chaconne is a fine example of a piece of music written by one composer and realised by another. Benjamin Britten had a long affection for the music of Henry Purcell and chose to edit the work for string orchestra.
Mozart:  Piano Concerto in A major, K414 (version for piano and string quartet)
During Mozart's first few years in Vienna, one of his primary sources of income was the subscription concert.  For such concerts, he generally composed piano concertos, enabling him to showcase his exceptional facility at the keyboard. Between 1782 and 1786, the years in which he gave the most concerts, Mozart wrote 15 concertos for piano and orchestra, nearly all for his own use, which have come to represent the Classical ideal of the genre. To his father, Mozart described these three concertos as "a happy medium between what is too easy and too difficult; they are very brilliant, pleasing to the ear, and natural, without being vapid."
Like all three of Mozart’s early Vienna piano concertos, K414 and K415 can be performed with piano and string quartet alone.  In the second movement of K414 Mozart quotes a theme from the overture to La Calamita de Cuori by Johann Christian Bach, his former mentor in London, who had just died. Mozart also wrote back to his father concerning Bach's death, saying “what a loss to the musical world!“ so we may  regard the moving andante as a musical epitaph by the younger man for the old master.
Shostakovich:  String Quartet No. 14 in F sharp major, Op. 142
Shostakovich began working on the String Quartet No 14 in 1972, the year when he twice travelled to Britain, using the second trip to visit the young Fitzwilliam Quartet in York to hear their British premiere of No 13 - its successor was sent to them some months later, following a long illness. Earlier the same year he had also travelled to Aldeburgh: this remote sea-side town on the east coast with its shingle beaches, salt marshes and reed-beds was the home of his friend Benjamin Britten. Shostakovich had dedicated his Fourteenth Symphony to him three years previously and greatly admired Britten's work.
Mozart:  Piano Concerto in C major, K415 (version for piano and string quartet)