I t’s been a while since the last classical offering in Barrow, so the prospect of two concerts coming along at once, like buses,
(both on the same day Saturday 17 October at Holy Trinity Church) was far too good an opportunity to miss.
The performers were the Tedesca Quartet, led by Nic Fallowfield, better known to audiences in the village as the conductor of the Charnwood Orchestra, which performs an annual concert in the church. The church team had clearly worked very hard indeed to allow the two concerts to go ahead and their efforts were rewarded by good attendances (albeit socially distanced) for each of them. The audiences in each concert were only too glad to see and hear live music again and were treated to some first-rate playing that resounded throughout the church, from the Covid-clean flooring to the carved wooden angels high above.
The choice of music itself was a real emotional roller-coaster.
In two late quartets by Haydn, the Tedescas brought sunshine. From Smetana’s autobiographical first quartet, came his horror at the catastrophe of his deafness. Dvorák’s Two Cypresses are love songs, written to a young woman who wasn’t much interested in him, so he married her sister instead, by all accounts happily. Arvo Pärt’s Fratres provided stillness and contemplation ideally suited to the church setting, before Beethoven’s 11th quartet, brought struggle with, maybe, just a glimmer of hope at the end of it.
What then were the audiences to take away from these wonderful performances of wonderful works? Sunshine? Horror? Stillness? Love? Struggle? Hope? Maybe all of these. Music for strange times indeed. So, thank you, Tedesca Quartet – more of this, please. Don’t be too long away.
Charnwood Orchestra has been unable to meet and play since last March, just like most other groups. However, they plan to hold a Play Day in the Church of St James the Greater in Leicester in mid-November. It is just for members of Charnwood Orchestra and there will be no audience simply because the orchestra will take up every inch of space in that large church. By the time every player is two metres away from any other player, you couldn’t fit a sparrow. Let’s hope it won’t be long before they are able to play live to an audience.