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Thursday 28th June, 18:00
Arvo Pärt’s Fratres is a piece of contemporary music of enormous popularity that exists in many versions, hence the name, Brothers. This version starts with almost inaudible arpeggios on the violin, like the distant whisper of the wind in autumn leaves. Gradually it draws closer, and the piece unfolds in a long procession with the striking of bells between each variation.
Purcell’s Cold Song is from the semi-opera King Arthur. The plot lies somewhere between Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. No social-realism here! But there’s no doubt about this ghost feeling the cold.
Carl Nielsen’s short but serious piece was composed for the funeral of the painter Oluf Hartmann and was later also played at Nielsen’s own funeral.
Then it’s time to delight in autumn’s lighter sides with Mozart’s robust and life-affirming quartet, The Hunt. From its first note we hear exuberant, clarion-like music in 6/8 time.
Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet was, along with his Clarinet Sonatas and Clarinet Trio, composed after Brahms had to all intents put down his pen. But meeting the clarinettist Richard Mühlefeld inspired him to compose these incredibly rich and nourishing works in the autumn of his life. Filled with wistfulness and nostalgia, as well as Brahms’ forever reverberating emotionality.