This session we shook up the groups and introduced some new and challenging repertoire.
One of these newly formed groups, a sextet, included our new member and viola Paula. Tutor and old Purcellian May Dolan helped them battle through the dense Brahms Sextet No.1. The group thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the piece, so much so that they have already decided that with some solo practice and tutelage from the 3 remaining sessions they would like to perform a movement or 2 for the CMA concert on July 2nd.
Down the main school corridor, the Dvorak Eb quartet could be heard by one of our youngest quartets made up of brother and sister violins, long-standing CMA violinist turned viola player Sam and their new cello, Ben. Stephanie of the Jubilee Quartet focused on working through big textures by getting the group to think about their articulation and highlighting the duet passages within the 1st movement.
For the first session Charles Sewart took on the Ravel string quartet made up of purcellians and our fantastic external viola player. The group were exploring the pianissimo and pizzicato textures.
Meanwhile, the piano quartet which has stayed a regular feature in this year’s academy enjoyed looking at the Brahms Piano Quartet having managed to get the Dvorak up to a very good standard. Tereza, our other Jubilee quartet member for the day broke down the piece. They went back to basics, playing each pizzicato note with the bow and holding it so that they could really hear if these beautiful harmonies were in tune. They also particularly focused on phrasing; seeing where each phrase leads to in each melodic line.
A new quintet was also added to this session. Being thrown into the deep end, the players sight-read through the half of the first movement of Schubert String Quintet in their first session – they were very grateful that this session was an untutored practice session! Although on occasions one of them would get lost behind, by really listening to each other to get back in, they made it to the double bar. They then picked out areas where they fell apart and worked backwards through the piece. By their next tutored sessions they had made great progress and were ready to look at the piece from a more musical point of view.
Our eldest chamber group worked on Shostakovich String Quartet No.3. Pal Banda musically guided them through the 4th movement and spoke of how every aspect of playing this pieces needs to reflect dark feeling of war. A good examples of this include working on balance, at the beginning of the movement the 2nd violin, viola and cello are all in unison but in order to create this dark atmosphere, Pal suggested that the cello needs to be louder than the 2nd violin.
We’re very excited to welcome the Elias Quartet for the next session after Easter on the 23rd April!