Sidmouth Music February concert: Fitzroy Quartet

The Fitzroy Quartet. Picture: Supplied by artists

The Fitzroy Quartet. Picture: Supplied by artists - Credit: Archant

For its February concert the Sidmouth Music series plays host to a foursome who joined forces in 2014 whilst at the Royal Academy of Music.

Since then the Fitzroy Quartet has been establishing itself internationally and achieving notable success with a number of awards to its name; taking second prize in the International Beethoven Competition, selected as artists for Le Dimore del Quartetto, taking the Tunnell Trust Award and participating in the Pro Quartet European Chamber Music Academy.

The recent itinerary for the Quartet has taken the players across Europe and to South Africa.

For their 3pm performance in Sidmouth Parish Church on Saturday, February 15 they have selected a programme combining two established masterpieces of the repertoire with a contemporary work written in 1987.

The programme will open with Haydn's quartet in D minor, the second of a late set of six quartets published as opus 76 and described by Robbins Landon as 'serious, learned and intellectually formidable'. It has become known as 'The Fifths' or 'The Bells' because of its opening, recognisable as the Westminster chimes.

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The second work is by Benedict Mason whose style of composition in his later works has been compared to that of Ligeti. His Quartet no 1 is conceived as a travelogue, with its movements describing different modes of travel and has been likened to the quartets of Janacek.

The final piece, forming the second half of the programme, is to be Schubert's 'Death and the Maiden' Quartet, D810 in which all four movements are set in the key of D minor. Whether this was for purely musical reasons, to reflect his composition based on the story of the untimely death of a young girl, or whether it can be viewed as forming a reflection of his own state of mind as he recognised his own life would be limited by poor health, is a matter for conjecture.

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Tickets at £17 are available from Paragon books and the TIC in Sidmouth, online through the website, as well as on the door, with enquiries to (01395) 514618.

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