What's On 2023

22-25 June 2023 – Peasmarsh Chamber Music Festival

Please download our 2023 Festival booking brochure here.


Thursday 22 June, 8pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Stefan Cassomenos, Simone van der Giessen, Lilli Maijala, Amy Norrington, Kleio Quartet, Valo Quartet

Boccherini – String Quintet in E major, Op. 11 No. 5, G 275
Robin Ireland – Fantasia for two violas
Britten – String Quartet No. 1 in D major, Op. 25
Schumann – Piano Quartet in E flat major, Op. 47

Our 25th Anniversary Festival begins with some wonderful celebratory
music – Boccherini’s upbeat and energising quintet in E major was written
in 1771 and includes his famous Minuet, while Britten’s first published
String Quartet was composed in the summer of 1941 as Britten stayed
with friends in Escondido, California and first performed in Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, contemporary composer Robin Ireland celebrates the viola
at its most virtuosic in his Fantasia. The concert concludes with Schumann’s
beautiful piano quartet, with its mesmerising slow movement.

VENUE Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Friday 23 June, 12:30pm

As in previous years, we are thrilled to be working with children in five local
primary schools. Participating pupils will have the opportunity to work with
members of the Kleio Quartet and our expert workshop leader Sam Glazer
to compose their own songs. They will be performing these songs here,
accompanied by the Kleio Quartet who will also be playing some examples
of String Quartet repertoire. In many cases this will be the first time the
children will have heard a live performance of chamber music. Do come
and join us.

VENUE St Mary’s Church, Rye




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Friday 23 June, 8pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester (soloists)
Britten Sinfonia

Stravinsky – Chamber Concerto in E flat major, Op. 8.v.38 ‘Dumbarton Oaks’
Mendelssohn – Concerto in D minor for violin and strings, MWV 03
Adès – Shanty ‘Over the Sea’ (2020)
Saint-Saens – Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33

‘I played Bach regularly during the composition of the Concerto, and
was greatly attracted to the ‘Brandenburg’ Concertos. Whether or not the
first theme of my [first] movement is a conscious borrowing from the third
Brandenburg, however, I do not know.’ Igor Stravinsky

Our orchestral concert opens with Stravinsky’s Chamber Concerto,
commissioned by US Diplomat Robert Bliss and named after his elegant
home in the Georgetown district of Washington DC. Written when he was
just 13 years old Mendelssohn’s concerto in D minor for violin and strings
is less famous than his ‘other’ violin concerto, but is an exquisite and highly
inventive work from the young genius. Thomas Ades’ short ‘Shanty’,
co-commissioned by Britten Sinfonia, is written for fifteen individual
voices, sometimes together and sometimes divergent, creating a widening
seascape – and was described by the Guardian as ‘hypnotic, captivating’.
The programme concludes with Saint-Saens’ dramatic first cello concerto,
described by Rachmaninov as the greatest of all cello concertos.

VENUE St Mary’s Church, Rye


Saturday 24 June, 11 :30am

Aleksandar Madžar, Kleio Quartet, Valo Quartet

Mozart – String Quartet No. 21 in D major, K575 ‘Prussian No. 1’
Webern – 5 Satze for String Quartet, Op. 5
Schubert – Four Impromptus, D. 899 (Op.90)

Mozart’s charming D major String Quartet, written in 1789, was dedicated
to Friedrich Wilhelm 11, King of Prussia, and is a well loved pillar of the
quartet canon. Written in 1909, and comprising five very short but intense
movements, Webern’s ‘5 Satze’ see the composer breaking new ground.
By contrast, Schubert’s four impromptus (the first four of eight that he
composed) showcase the composer’s lyrical Romantic style and are
considered by many to be some of the finest examples of the genre.

VENUE Church of St Peter and St Paul’s, Peasmarsh


Saturday 24 June, 6pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Stefan Cassomenos, Tim Crawford, Simone van der Giessen, Aleksandar Madžar, Samuel West, Valo Quartet

Beethoven – String Quartet No. 10 in E flat major, Op. 7 4 ‘Harp’
Schoenberg – Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, Op. 41
Ravel – Piano Trio in A minor

This varied programme takes in Beethoven’s ‘Harp’ Quartet, named by
his publisher for the pizzicato sections in the allegro of the first movement.
Schonberg’s dramatic Ode to Napoleon Buonaparte, set to a poem
by Lord Byron, was written in 1942 as an impassioned protest against
tyranny. We conclude with Ravel’s mighty Piano Trio, which was written
in 1914 and completed quickly so that the composer could enlist.
Composed whilst Ravel was staying in French Basque territory in the
deep south west of France, the trio is influenced by Basque dance rhythms.

VENUE Church of St Peter and St Paul’s, Peasmarsh


Saturday 24 June, 9:30pm

Kleio Quartet, Valo Quartet, Samuel West

Fanny and Felix: a programme of music for strings by Felix Mendelssohn
and his sister Fanny, interspersed with readings from their letters read by
celebrated actor Samuel West.

Including movements from:
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel – String Quartet in E flat major
Felix Mendelssohn – String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13
Felix Mendelssohn – Scherzo from String Octet in E flat major, Op. 20

Musical siblings Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn grew up in Berlin in the
1820s, performing music together and advising each other on their
compositions – even when they were apart through the medium of letters.
Although Felix Mendelssohn’s music has a much higher profile and
received much greater acclaim in his lifetime, Fanny’s compositions are
equally accomplished and original. Some of her work was published
under Felix’s name during their lifetime, including the song ‘ltalien’
which was specially requested by Queen Victoria for a performance
at Buckingham Palace.

VENUE Church of St Peter and St Paul’s, Peasmarsh


Sunday 25 June, 11:30am

Anthony Marwood, Stefan Cassomenos, Valo Quartet

Chopin – A selection of mazurkas
Haydn – String Quartet in B minor Op. 64 No. 2
Adès – Märchentänze (original version for violin and piano)

Chopin’s famous mazurkas are based on a traditional dance form from
his native Poland and are among his most popular works for piano. These
upbeat works are perfectly complemented by Haydn’s tranquil Quartet
in B minor (one of his Tost quartets, written at Esterhazy), and juxtaposed
with Thomas Adès’ Märchentänze (Dances from Fairytale), which include
a depiction of an ‘exaltation’ of skylarks, as can be heard in the hills and
fi elds of England in the spring.

VENUE Church of St Peter and St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 25 June, 4:30pm

Richard Lester, Simone van der Giessen, Kleio Quartet

Rameau Six Concerts en Sextuor

Our Sunday afternoon concert is a feast of Rameau focussing on his
Concerts en Sextuor – transcriptions of his Pieces de Clavecin en Concert
for six string players. Join Richard and his colleagues as they discuss
and perform some of these wonderful works.

VENUE Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh


Sunday 25 June, 7pm

Anthony Marwood, Richard Lester, Stefan Cassomenos, Tim Crawford,
Simone van der Giessen, Lilli Maijala, Maria Włoszczowska

Janáček – Sonata for violin and piano
Hiller – String Trio in C major, Op. 207
Dvořák – String Quintet in E flat major, Op. 97

The 2023 Festival comes to a close with some stunningly virtuosic pieces
from 19th and early 20th century composers. Like Ravel’s piano trio,
Janacek’s violin sonata was written in the summer of 1914 and the
composer was very aware of the looming conflict, writing that he “could
just about hear sound of the steel clashing in my troubled head”. Ferdinand
Hiller may be less familiar to modern audiences, but he was a close friend of Mendelssohn and succeeded him as conductor of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. The final notes of 2023 are entrusted to Dvořák, whose quintet for 2 violins, 2 violas and cello was composed in Iowa in 1893, directly after his more famous ‘American’ string quartet.

VENUE Church of St Peter & St Paul, Peasmarsh




photos: Walter van Dyk

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