Viola masquerading as bassoon.
Violinist Matt Truscott is a familiar face at Night Shift events and has, together with the other members of the quartet, put together the sets for the upcoming tour. We asked him about the music featured:
“It has long been an ambition of ours to present a Beethoven quartet at a pub Night Shift. The music of Henry Purcell set the tone a few years ago and Beethoven has a similar intimate intensity, of course among a thousand other things. His string quartet No.11 in particular is very concise, very dense and powerful and was famously described by Beethoven himself as being ‘written for a small circle of connoisseurs and never to be performed in public’.
Our pub audiences are our connoisseurs; it is a small circle, people listen very hard and respond to honest engagement. What we aim to do with the first set is to provide a bit of context for the Beethoven. First in the form of a Bach fugue from The Art of Fugue (Beethoven during this time, in 1809, under French siege in Vienna down in his brother’s basement with his head between pillows to protect his failing ears fro the noise of the bombardment, was newly interested in his own musical heritage of which Bach is the towering figure), Haydn’s last quartet, composed seven years previously, and to complete the Classical Big Three, a Mozart last movement.
Satoko Doi-Luck, who has composed wonderfully for us in the past, is also writing a short musical response to the Beethoven. In this context we hope to present his String Quartet No.11, in the second set, as the astonishingly original and startling piece that it is, borrowing from the past, thoroughly in the moment and bursting with Romanticsm.”
Catch the Night Shift tour in Bristol (17 April), Manchester (20 April), London (21 and 22 April), Brighton (23 April) and Newcastle (24 April). Full details of all shows here.