Press "Enter" to skip to content

No need to venture to Chelsea to find some culture and class

A fan of the odd classical piece of music but never dared attend a concert? Amber David reports on her first classical concert courtesy of QM Music Society

The Queen Mary Music Society recently brought students a free lunchtime concert, with pieces from Gerald Finzi and W.A. Mozart. The Octagon was a fitting background for the prestigious event and the standard of music from the students was outstanding. Both pieces were based on a piano concerto along with a string ensemble.

I am no classical music critic, nor can I make an accurate comparison to any other classical concerts (having never witnessed any), but I must say, it was some of the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard. I do not believe you need to listen to classical music regularly or even play an instrument to appreciate the talent demonstrated by the players.

The string ensemble was comprised of: Violin 1 – William Atkins, Violin 2 – Clare Bartholomew and Clayton Rabideau, Viola – Ashley Seong and Sam Chadd, Cello – Rebecca Kriegbaum and Banjoab Kantangkul, Bass – Katerina Breitling, who were all directed by Dr. Paul Max Edin, the Director of Music.

Steven Dodsworth played piano for Finzi’s ‘Eclogue for Piano & Strings, Op 10’. Gerald Finzi (1901 – 1956) never finished this piece or gave it a title; it is believed to have been intended as a piano concerto. After his death, his publisher gave the piece a name and published them as separate works ‘Eclogue’ and ‘Grand Fantasia and Toccata’. The piece is simple, yet rich in texture and imbued with strength and eloquence, and, even though this description sounds like a pompous conversation heard in a wine tasting bar, the music was truly moving when performed.

Matthew Powders played piano for Mozart’s ‘Piano Concerto No 13 in C Major, K.415’. After being fired in Salzburg, Mozart moved to Vienna to begin a career in the city – a story which many students can relate to. In the winter of 1782/1783 Mozart composed K. 413/414/415 which he tried to sell manuscripts of to the public on a subscription basis. However, progress was slow and the scheme was unsuccessful, but he continued to play the works on several occasions, including, notably, at concerts by the singer Therese Teyber.

In more modern times, Matthew Powders, piano player of 12 years, gives us an insight about himself as a second year English student. Rather cruelly of me, I asked him what music meant to him:

“[that] is such an enormous question that I really struggle to formulate an answer to. I have however been inspired by various pianists and have identified with some of their ideas, such as Maria João Pires’ view that one’s approach to music is an extension of who they are. Music is the only language everyone can relate to, and it is a language I feel the need to communicate. Some people will give speeches in front of large audiences, whilst for me the medium through which I can convey emotion, far more than in words, is through music.”

Don’t miss the QM Music Society Christmas Concert on Thursday 4th December at 7.30pm in the Octagon, Queens’ Building. The Choir, A Cappella and Brass Ensemble perform a programme of works to reflect the festive season, including Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, William Walton’s Film Music to Henry V, and Sibelius’ music to The Tempest. Tickets are only £2 – I challenge you not to be blown away.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.