Five interesting facts:
Two violas are better than one! Mozart, Britten and Pook were all viola players (and it is alleged that the viola was Brahms’ favourite instrument)
The works by Mozart and Brahms were written late in their composing careers but those by Britten and Pook are early works.
Kenneth Sillito played in performances of Mozart’s piano quartets with Britten at the Aldeburgh Festival.
Jocelyn was at school with Wendy and at the Guildhall with Robert.
Robert and Rebecca share five children and five dogs.
Mozart – String Quintet in C, K515
1787 was an extraordinary year for Mozart. It saw the completion and the debut of his operatic masterpiece, Don Giovanni. This same brief period brought the death of his father and the only meeting Mozart ever had with Beethoven. Mid-way through the year, Mozart took a break and composed a pair of string quintets that would eventually be regarded as his greatest chamber music masterworks, K. 515 in C Major and K. 516 in G minor.
Brahms – String Quintet in G, Op. 111
In the summer of 1890, Brahms planned to retire from his composing career, intending this String Quintet to be his swan song. When he signed off on the final publisher’s proof Brahms added a note stating, “With this letter you can bid farewell to my music, because it is certainly time to leave off . . .”
Britten – Phantasy Quintet in F minor (1932)
This was one of Britten’s most successful compositions whilst a student at the Royal College of Music. Remarkably it was only one of two works that he had performed in the whole of his three years at the institution, and it won him the Cobbett Prize and 18 guineas.
Pook – Walking in the night (2016)
We’re very excited that Jocelyn has found time to create this quintet for us. It’s a thrill to be giving its first performance.
Jocelyn grew up in Bury St. Edmunds and is one of the UK’s most versatile composers, having written extensively for stage, screen, opera house and concert hall. She originally wrote these pieces for two French films : Comment J’ai Tue Mon Pere (2001) and Wild Side (2004). She has established an international reputation as a highly original composer, winning her numerous awards and nominations including a Golden Globe, an Olivier and two British Composer Awards.