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LSO Discovery Lunchtime Concert
Friday 19 November 2021, 12.30 to 1.15pm
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor Serenade and Humoresque from 'Fantasiestücke'
Grażyna Bacewicz String Quartet No 4
Hana Mizuta-Spencer violin
Jeff Wu violin
Agnieszka Żyniewicz viola
Frederick Winterson cello
Rachel Leach presenter
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Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875–1912)
Serenade & Humoresque from 'Fantasiestücke'
✒️ 1896 | ⏰7 minutes
Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born in Holborn, London. His mother, Alice Martin was a white English woman. His father, a medical student, was visiting from Sierra Leone and returned home without knowing of his son’s imminent arrival. Alice named her son after the famous poet and he was raised in a household of love and music. His first violin lessons were from his grandfather who noticed the boy’s musical potential. The family raised enough funds to send him for ‘proper’ lessons and this led to a place at the Royal College of Music when he was just 15.
Coleridge-Taylor’s name is now most associated with his three Hiawatha cantatas which brought him huge fame in the US, but he wrote a lot else besides, including these short ‘fantasy pieces’ for string quartet in 1896. They are early works and each one has a different style and mood. Today we will hear Serenade and Humoresque.
Note by Rachel Leach
Grażyna Bacewicz (1909–69)
String Quartet No 4
✒️ 1951 | ⏰18 minutes
1 Andante - Allegro moderato
3 Allegro giocoso
Prolific Polish composer Grażyna Bacewicz should be much better known! Born into a musical family in Łódź, Bacewicz received her first lessons on violin and piano from her father. She studied at the Warsaw Conservatoire, graduating in 1932 as violinist and composer, then travelled to France to study with the great Nadia Boulanger. For several years after she successfully juggled roles as principal violinist and composer before switching to composition full-time in the 1950s.
Many of her compositions feature violin and her output includes four symphonies, seven string quartets and a quartet for four violins. Today we will hear Bacewicz's String Quartet No 4, which is now one of her most performed pieces. The opening movement is in traditional sonata form with a slow introduction. A central Andante movement is slow and flowing with an intensity towards the end. The piece concludes with a cheery Allegro Giocoso with a recurring folksy theme and lively contrasting episodes.
Note by Rachel Leach
Formed in early 2020 at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, the Zephyr Quartet consists of Hana Mizuta-Spencer, Jeff Wu, Agnieszka Żyniewicz and Frederick Winterson. The international string quartet brings Japanese, Chinese, Polish, German and English influences together. The ensemble has been mentored by Ursula Smith and Matthew Jones, and has had masterclasses with David Dolan and Valentin Erben (Alban Berg Quartett).
Hana is currently a Junior Fellow at Guildhall, studying with Professor David Takeno, and was recently accepted onto the Pit Perfect scheme with the Glyndebourne Touring Orchestra. Jeff is currently studying for his Masters at Guildhall with Professor David Takeno and is a member of the Esperanza Ensemble. Agnieszka became a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, Gustav Mahler Academy and participated in the LSO String Experience scheme during her studies in London. Frederick studied with Louise Hopkins at Guildhall and is a prize winner of international competitions in various chamber formations (duo with piano, trio and string quartet), as well as being the artistic director of chamber music festivals and concert series in both Austria and Germany.
Next Lunchtime Concert:
Friday 26 November 12.30pm
Cheryl Frances-Hoad Invocation
Ester Mägi Cantus
Florence Price Adoration
Rachel Stott Magical Thinking
Nadia Boulanger Three Pieces
Rebecca Gilliver cello
Sophia Rahman piano
Rachel Leach presenter
About Relaxed Performances
Relaxed performances are particularly suited to anyone who would prefer a more relaxed performance style, including people with autism, sensory and communication impairments, and learning disabilities.
The concert on 26 November will have a socially-distanced audience and will be streamed live for free on the LSO's YouTube channel. It will feature an adapted BSL interpretation which will include more visual and gestural elements. There will also be closed captions provided by StageText and accessible digital programme notes available to download in advance or on the day.
We hope you will join us at LSO St Luke's. Or watch the live stream on YouTube from the comfort of your own home, where you'll be free to move and make as much sound as you like!