The Director of Music came in to work buzzing this morning, having been to Draper’s Hall in London last night to hear the Brodsky Quartet celebrating their fortieth anniversary in their ‘Wheel of 4-Tunes’ concert, which was broadcast live on Radio 3.
The concert, which by the sounds of it was a wonderfully engaging affair, saw members of the quartet introducing the ideas behind this novel approach to concert programming – pieces performed in the concert are selected at random by the spinning of the wheel – and talking about each of the pieces played.
As will happen when they bring the concert to Kent in the autumn, members of the audience spun the wheel to select each of the works in last night’s concert; Stravinsky’s Three Pieces, the Lutoslawski Quartet in the first half, and Tunde Jegede’s warmly evocative String Quartet no.2 (chosen in a lovely touch by Holly, daughter of viola-player, Paul Cassidy) and Mendelssohn’s op.80 in the second half (the latter chosen by the presenter of the programme, Martin Handley).
The Brodsky will be bringing the wheel, and all forty pieces on it, to the new Colyer-Fergusson Hall in November for what promises to be lively, entertaining and excitingly unpredictable event. Not even the players themselves will know what will feature in the concert; you might hear Debussy, Ravel, Verdi, Beethoven, Britten, Barber – or even one of the pieces the quartet have themselves commissioned. Hopefully they’ll even bring the umbrella with them as well (you’ll have to listen later in the concert for the significance of that…).
The concert was broadcast last night, and is available on iPlayer for a week here.
And here are the Quartet performing another work by Jegede, Exile and Return, together with the composer himself, at the Bury St Edmunds Festival.