Kirkcaldy Music Society will provide a rare opportunity to hear Mendelssohn’s glorious OCTET on Wednesday (April 5) in the Old Kirk, with return visits to KMS from the Aurea and Gildas String Quartets.
They will also play Strauss’ Sextet from Capriccio and Korngold’s Sextet. Based in Glasgow, the Aurea Quartet comprises four prize-winning graduates of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
During their first year performing together, they achieved joint first prize at the 2011 Cavatina Intercollegiate Quartet Competition in London, and won all of the chamber music prizes at the RCS. The Gildas Quartet have been praised for their ‘refreshing approach’ and ‘exciting precision’, and are fast establishing themselves as one of the most exciting young ensembles to emerge in recent years. Currently City Music Foundation Artists and Junior Fellows at the Birmingham Conservatoire, they have been recognised with awards from the Park Lane Group Young Artists Scheme, the Tunnell Trust and the Royal Northern College of Music.
Mendelssohn’s composition for four violins, two violas, and two cellos (two string quartets) is remarkable for the fluidity of its melodies and for the delicate balance of its various parts. Written in 1825, when the composer was only 16 years old, the piece likely premiered at one of the home concerts of the Mendelssohn family. The octet has remained a favourite of string players, chamber-music lovers, and general audiences alike.
Richard Strauss’s one-act opera Capriccio comes from the final period of the composer’s life. The String Sextet is totally romantic in feeling. It begins serenely and builds in intensity to a passionate if restrained climax before subsiding once more into tranquility. Erich Korngold’s String Sextet is his finest chamber work and is a direct descendant of Brahms’ Sextets. Combining the melodic sweetness of late German romanticism with the rich textures and epic pictorial imagery of the Viennese Art Nouveau, the work is nevertheless decisively stamped with Korngold’s distinctive personal idiom.
This concert cannot be included in the 2016-17 season ticket and is therefore not supported by Enterprise Music Scotland. Because of this, the society would be grateful to receive donations or sponsorship. The ticket price has not been increased and so is excellent value. Tickets, available at the door will cost £12 and £5 for ES40 (disabled/students) with free admission to accompanied children.