I understand

Britten & Elgar

Sunday 21 Oct 2018 11am

Part of Britten Weekend: The String Quartets

Doric Quartet
Alasdair Beatson piano

Britten String Quartet No.1 28’
Elgar Piano Quintet 35’

Is it fanciful to imagine a connection between these two English works, the one written in the heart of the Sussex countryside by an ageing composer, the other during a Californian summer by a 27 year old seemingly with the world at his feet? Their openings, certainly, both conjure an tentative air of mystery.

Thereafter they go resolutely their own way, Elgar’s long melodies, tumbling sequences and luxuriant harmonies make for chamber music on the grandest scale, Britten’s quartet typically full of acerbic energy, ambiguity and deft mood shifts. In that sense, they capture the essence of each composer.