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Music at  ST MARY'S   Perivale


Friday 29 March 4.00 pm (please note) 

Haydn: 'The Seven Last Words on the Cross'
for string quartet

The Bridge String Quartet

Colin Twigg (violin)
Catherine Schofield (violin)   
Michael Schofield (viola)    
Lucy Wilding (cello)

with readings by Christopher Kent

The celebrated Bridge String Quartet make a welcome return to St Mary's Perivale with regular collaborator, the actor Christopher Kent, well known to local audiences for his many acclaimed recital performances at St Mary's with the pianist Gamal Khamis.

Haydn's timeless, soul-searching string quartet The Seven Last Words on the Cross was originally commissioned by the Bishop of Cadiz in 1786 for the Good Friday Service at the Oratorio de la Santa Cueva, with the movements separated by devotional words and meditations. This special performance recreates Haydn's original plan by interspersing the movements with readings by Christopher Kent of classic and contemporary poetry, including works by Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Mary Oliver, Philip Larkin and others. The programme was first performed to acclaim in London during Easter 2019 and has been revived every year since.

1. Introduzione in D minor – Maestoso ed Adagio
Here is a Wound That Never Will Heal I Know, by Edna St. Vincent Millay
2. Sonata I ("Pater, dimitte illis, quia nesciunt, quid faciunt") in B-flat– Largo
Lollingdon Downs, by John Masefield
3. Sonata II ("Hodie mecum eris in paradiso") in C minor, Grave e cantabile
Touch, by Michael Donaghy
4. Sonata III ("Mulier, ecce filius tuus") in E major – Grave
Pain, by Ivor Gurney
5. Sonata IV ("Deus meus, Deus meus, utquid dereliquisti me") in F minor

Sonnet number 90, by William Shakespeare
6. Sonata V ("Sitio") in A major – Adagio
When Death Comes, by Mary Oliver
7. Sonata VI ("Consummatum est") in G minor– Lento
Poem number 1499, by Emily Dickinson
8. Sonata VII ("In manus tuas, Domine, commendo spiritum meum") in E-flat
Going, by Philip Larkin
9. Il terremoto (Earthquake) in C minor – Presto e con tutta la forza

The history of the Bridge Quartet has been sprinkled with “discoveries”, As chosen artists for EM Recordings, the quartet members have relished opportunities to research and perform chamber music including neglected works by Norman O'Neill, Sir Hubert Parry, Goossens, Hurlstone and Howells to name a few. Recent explorations on EMR CDs have been Ivor Gurney's twin song cycles, with tenor Charles Daniels and baritone Roderick Williams.

As Kirckmann Concert Society artists the Quartet received 3 South Bank recital opportunities and has subsequently given several Wigmore Hall capacity concerts. Other notable highlights over their history have included the City of London Festival, the English Music Festival, the “Haydnfest” in Manchester, Jacksonville festival Florida, the Festival du Quatours a Cordes de Fayence, France, Fundacion Juan March Madrid, Musica Eterna Dubrovnik and Sofia Festival, Bulgaria.

An unusual asset, if not unique, of the Bridge Quartet is having within its ranks its own composer “in residence”. The leader, Colin Twigg has written works for the CBSO and also composed specifically for the Bridge Quartet. A CD featuring his chamber music compositions was recently released by Toccata Classics with excellent reviews Future plans for the Bridge Quartet include a Mozart words-and-music collaboration entitled "Dear Father" with actor Christopher Kent and a second Arnold Cooke CD for Toccata Classics, concluding the ongoing recording project of his quartet chamber music. The quartet also looks forward to playing for Manchester Concert Society and Huddersfield Music Society in the 2024-2025 season.

Christopher Kent has appeared on stage, screen and radio in a wide range of roles from Shakespeare to contemporary drama. London theatre appearances have included Cyrano de Bergerac with Robert Lindsay at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and The Government Inspector with Timothy Spall at Greenwich Theatre. His live performances of epic story-telling and poetry, often from memory and in partnership with leading musicians, have been widely acclaimed. Recent concert work includes collaborations with the Orlando Choir, West London Sinfonia and the Bridge String Quartet. With his regular recital partner the pianist Gamal Khamis he continues to perform the acclaimed narrative recitals ‘Never Such Innocence' (described by BBC Radio 3 as “an incredibly moving performance"), Tennyson's epic poem ‘Enoch Arden', as set to music by Richard Strauss (now also released on an acclaimed CD by SOMM Recordings) and ‘An Exquisite Harmony' about the lives, loves and music of Robert and Clara Schumann and Johannes Brahms.Christopher is also one of the UK's best known voice actors, regularly heard on commercials, documentaries, film trailers and literary recordings.


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