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

Concert Programme 2013

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

Friday, 28th June 2013
BeethovenString Quartet op. 18 no. 1
RothString Quartet no. 3
BrahmsString Quartet no. 2
Sunday, 30th June 2013
HaydnString Quartet op. 74 no. 3
ShostakovichString Quartet no. 11
BeethovenString Quartet op. 59 no. 2
Friday, 5th July 2013
SchubertString Quartet movement in C minor
VerdiString Quartet in E minor
BeethovenString Quartet op. 59 no. 3
Sunday, 7th July 2013
BeethovenString Quartet after piano sonata op. 14 no. 1
MozartString Quintet K 516
MendelssohnString Quintet no. 1

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

2013 Concert Report

This year’s Festival was an exciting four evenings of scintillating music, brought to us by the Allegri String Quartet.

The first evening started damp, but by the interval both audience and drinks were fizzing. We had just heard Alec Roth’s 3rd String Quartet, entitled Autumnalis, premiered only a few weeks before, and everyone I spoke to was thrilled. Modern music is not everyone’s cup of tea, and I am not keen on much of it myself, but this was different – lyrical, melodic , exciting and a pleasure to listen to. Alec himself came up to Llanfyllin from his home in Malvern; he gave us some background about the composition and explained the four movements of the piece. The couple who originally commissioned him to write it travelled all the way from their home in Salisbury to hear “their” music once again. The Allegri Quartet played with sparkle and expression doing full justice to Alec’s music.

All four concerts featured Beethoven; the Quartet has just released a CD of 3 quartets, (which has received rave reviews), and in September are playing all his quartets in a marathon cycle in Switzerland. They, and we, just can’t have too much Beethoven.

At the 2nd concert there was yet another challenge for those of us who like our music pre 20th century: Shostakovich’s quartet No. 11, written in 1966. Ofer Falk, first violin, gave us some background on the piece, then the Quartet played motifs and phrases for us to listen out for. To see and hear this music performed live was an interesting and memorable experience and the introduction certainly enhanced our listening.

By the second weekend of the Festival we were enjoying the heatwave – remember that? Interval drinks were a summery pleasure as people discussed the music with animation.

Concert 3 featured Schubert’s beautiful Quartettsatz, and then the rarely performed String Quartet by Verdi, celebrating his 200th anniversary. An orchestral version featured at the Proms about 10 days later, but it lacked the excitement and vibrancy of the Allegri’s performance.

A post-concert party for Festival supporters, Friends and helpers celebrated the start of the Allegri’s 60th anniversary season. A surprise cake decorated with a music theme was received enthusiastically by our musicians.

The sell-out evening was the final concert of the Festival, when guest violist Rivka Golani joined the Allegri for quintets by Mozart and Mendelssohn. The evening ended with a breathtaking virtuoso display in the Allegro vivace finale of Mendelssohn’s string quintet in A.

Margaret Clennett
Llanfyllin Festival Co-Chair