“We look forward to illuminating the genius of Britten through the myriad of textures, colours, and musical languages which were a vital influence on him.” - Rolf Gjelsten, Cellist
This centenary year, the New Zealand String Quartet has been inspired to create two colourful and thought-provoking programmes – each constructed around one of Britten’s masterful string quartets. The kaleidoscope of works will comprise of composers close to Britten’s heart who have had a profound influence on his writing. From Purcell, Mozart, Schubert, and Britten’s mentor Frank Bridge to Ravel and Stravinsky, audiences will hear a succinct and quintessential expression of each composer’s voice in a fresh new way.
The programmes will be toured to seven cities around New Zealand from late August to mid September, and will include the Quartet’s first concert appearances at Auckland’s Q Theatre and Whittakers Museum on Waiheke Island. The tour aims not only to appeal to loyal audiences in main centres, but to reach out to regions less frequently visited by the New Zealand String Quartet, including Tauranga and Oamaru.
The late winter tour will be presented in a carefully chosen range of venues that promise intimate and memorable experiences for all. As well as the two special Auckland venues, concerts will be staged in a warm-hued wine cellar in Taradale, an exclusive private lodge in Oamaru, an upmarket hotel in Tauranga, the historic First Church in Dunedin and will finish in Wellington at the beautiful Hunter Council Chamber at Victoria University. (Please note the change of venue in Wellington due to closure of St Mary of the Angels Church for earthquake strengthening.)
We hope that the music chosen will delight and inspire even the most seasoned concert-goers. Quartet members look forward to being able to provide insights to the music through their engaging introductions and insightful programme notes.
Programme One Igor Stravinsky – Concertino (1920) Frank Bridge – Idyll No 1 (1906), Pieces No 2 and 3 (1904) Benjamin Britten – Quartet No 1 (1941) W.A. Mozart – Quartet in Bb Major, K.589 (1790)
Programme Two Henry Purcell – 2 Fantasias (1684) Franz Schubert – Quartettsatz in C Minor, D.703 (1820) Benjamin Britten – Quartet No 3 (1975) Maurice Ravel – Quartet in F Major (1903)