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"...for warmth and intimacy and glorious surroundings, Llanfyllin can scarcely be beaten" - The Allegri Quartet

Concert Programme 2014

Chamber Concerts: St. Myllin's Church, Llanfyllin, Powys

Friday, 18th July 2014
HaydnQuartet Op. 1, No. 3 in D-major,
MozartQuartet in D-minor, K421
GriegQuartet No. 1, Op. 27 in G-minor
Sunday, 20th July 2014
HaydnQuartet in D-minor, Op. 103
JanáčekQuartet No. 1 "Kreutzer Sonata"
BeethovenQuartet in C-minor, Op. 131
Friday, 25th July 2014
ThuilleQuartettsatz in A-major (1879)
BeethovenQuartet Op. 18, No. 5 in A-major
BrahmsQuartet No. 3 in B-major
Sunday, 27th July 2014
Guest artists Norbert Blume, viola and Daisy Vatalaro, cello
BrahmsSextet No. 2 in G-major, Op. 36
TchaïkovskySextet in D-minor "Souvenir de Florence", Op. 70

The Allegri String Quartet
ViolinOfer Falk
ViolinRafael Todes
ViolaDorothea Vogel
VioloncelloVanessa Lucas-Smith

All concerts took place at 7.30pm at St. Myllin's Church, Llanfyllin.
(By kind permission of Rev. Hermione Long.)

2014 Concert Report

We had a good start to the 2014 Festival, with some excellent publicity, including two fascinating pieces written by John Browne in the local magazine, The Chronicle. John wrote about the background to Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata (concert 2), and the career of Ludwig Thuille, a little known composer featured in concert 3.

Fine weather on both weekends encouraged the audience to come early and enjoy sitting in the churchyard with a pre-concert drink. Intervals too were convivial, in the warm evenings.

Quartets by Haydn and Mozart, as featured in concert 1, are always popular at Llanfyllin; however, the final piece of the first concert, Grieg’s only surviving string quartet (in G minor) was new to some of us. Rooted in the classical tradition, it is nationalistic and romantic, with a bold leitmotif appearing in all four movements and dance-like sections. The final presto al saltarello was incredibly exciting. An uplifting way to end the first concert of the Festival, and I do hope the Allegri will feature it again.

More Haydn, and Beethoven’s Op 131 for the second concert, but the impressive work this time was Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata. Elaine Watts set the scene, and created a marvellously threatening atmosphere by her dramatic reading of an extract from Tolstoy’s novella. Then the music began, with an adagio laying out the story of a jealous husband who murdered his wife. Subsequent movements depict the seduction, feelings of passion, jealousy, despair and finally restoration of human dignity.

Concert 3 began with Thuille’s Quartettsatz, a lyrical piece with hints of Schubert and Brahms. A friend of Richard Strauss, Ludwig Thuille’s music has a more conservative feel than that of his contemporary, and it has been much neglected until the Allegri re-discovered it. They have been so taken with Thuille’s work over recent years they have recorded a CD; the Llanfyllin audience was equally captivated, and sales of the CD during the interval were brisk indeed. Quartets by Beethoven and Brahms were fitting companions in this sparkling concert.

Guests Norbert Blume, viola, and Daisy Vatalaro, cello, joined us for the final concert of the season, sextets by Brahms and Tchaikovsky. A capacity audience revelled in the riveting performance of these stunning works, which brimmed with emotion and passion. The final movement of the Souvenir de Florence, Allegro vivace, left us elated: a marvellous end to the 2014 Festival.

Margaret Clennett
Llanfyllin Festival Co-Chair