Tippett Quartet, Emma Abbate, piano

Saturday 1 July, 7.30pm

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Tippett Quartet at Thaxted Festival
Emma Abbate at Thaxted Festival

Mendelssohn String Quartet No 1 Op 12 in Eb major
Noah Max Quartet No 2 (World Première)
Holst Phantasy Quartet on British Folk Songs Op 36
Schumann Piano Quintet in Eb major Op 44

In this exciting programme The Tippet Quartet perform a diverse repertoire, highlighting their unique versatility. They regularly appear at King’s Place, the Purcell Room, Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Bridgewater Hall, and frequently perform on BBC Radio 3. Tonight they are joined by hugely talented pianist Emma Abbate.

The programme opens with Mendelssohn’s first published quartet, which is extraordinary for its dramatic scope.

Noah Max is our Composer-in-Residence 2023-24. He writes about his Quartet No 2: 'This quartet was the first large-scale work I wrote after completing [my opera] A Child In Striped Pyjamas. Its three contrasting movements serve as different Acts in an ambiguous drama. Early sketches bore the title The Ladder of Escape, referring to a vivid and mysterious surrealist canvas painted by Joan Miró in 1940. Visual art was crucial in crafting a very specific sound-world for the piece; other inspirations include the tree studies of Piet Mondrian and outdoor sculptures by Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth.'

Holst’s beautiful and nostalgic Phantasy was composed in 1916 during the Great War, at a time when he was living in Thaxted. The Tippett Quartet is joined by Emma Abbate, described as 'an amazingly talented pianist' by Musica, for a performance of Schumann’s magnificent piano quintet, generally regarded as the greatest of his chamber-music works.

Please see previous entry for details of a Pre-Concert talk by composer Noah Max at 6.00pm in Thaxted United Reformed Church.

‘Italian pianist Emma Abbate responds superlatively to the complexity, sensitivity and power of Chopin's and Schumann's works, playing with utter commitment, complete assurance and a beautiful, spotlessly clean sound.’ St George's, Bristol

‘The Tippett Quartet’s performances are little short of astonishing.’ The Times

This concert is sponsored by friends of Thaxted Festival who wish to remain anonymous.