Musical gems at Leighton Library on Saturday 29th November 2014

The Manor House String Quartet is a shifting combination of very fine classical string players organised by and around Vaughan Jones, their principal violin. The members all have other commitments with orchestras etc, and come together to play chamber music in concerts, for weddings and other occasions They enjoy unearthing unusual repertoire. The music they played for us certainly proved what a fruitful and enjoyable activity delving into the archives can be. Mr Jones specifically mentioned the Merton music library (which is continually adding to its founder’s collection of little-played scores discovered in unlikely places). I give the URL here, as I know that many people locally are interested in music-making: http://www.ourtext.co.uk/acatalog/Merton_reprints.html

After a very few bars it was obvious this was going to be a lush evening. They began with an early string quartet by Beethoven (Op 18, no 5) and followed this with one by Beethoven’s secretary, copyist and friend, Ferdinand Ries. This was inspired programming as one could hear how Ries had brought in elements of his friend’s style while still producing something that was much more than a copy of Beethoven. It was melodic, sunny, robust – and so little heard that the quartet played from photocopies of scores hand-written by the composer. As Mr Jones pointed out, Beethoven was such a giant of his time that he pushed many perfectly tuneful composers out of the limelight. How delightful to be introduced to one such by these talented and knowledgeable musicians.

The second half was given over to Schubert’s luscious and deservedly well-known “Rosamunde” quartet (D804). Poor Schubert did not write happy music – but if you want intense, yearning, soulful and wistful he’s your go-to guy. A beautifully measured end to an extremely pleasurable evening.

Published by Judi Moore

Hi there, I hope you find something to interest you here. In December 2017 I published my fourth book – ‘Wonders will never cease’. It’s a satirical campus novel set in the fictional Ariel University in 1985. If you enjoyed Tom Sharpe’s Porterhouse novels, Willy Russell’s ‘Educating Rita’, David Lodge’s campus novels or Malcolm Bradbury’s ‘The History Man’ back in the day, you may enjoy revisiting the ivory towers of 1980s’ academe thirty years on. See what you think. “It is December, 1985. The year is winding gently towards its close until Fergus Girvan, a Classicist at Ariel University, finds his research has been stolen by the man who is also seeking to steal his daughter. But which man is, actually, the more unscrupulous of the two? And is there hope for either of them?” In the autumn of 2015 I published a volume of short fiction: 'Ice Cold Passion and other stories'. I am also the author of novella 'Little Mouse', a shortish piece of historical fiction which I published in 2014 and, a sequel to it, 'Is death really necessary?', my eco thriller set in the near future and which, confusingly, I published in 2009. All the books are available from all good online bookshops and FeedARead on paper, and as e-books on Kindle. On a semi-regular basis, and about a month after the event, I post here reviews which I do for Big Al & Pals, the premier reviewer of indie books, based in the States. My interests tend to thrillers, SF, magic realism and other quirky stuff. On this blog are also posted the reviews I did for Leighton Buzzard Music Club over some five years up to the end of 2015. LBMC present annual seasons of eight monthly chamber music concerts at the Library Theatre in Leighton Buzzard, Bucks. They select young musicians just beginning to make their name - and the concerts are usually magnificent. I was very proud to be associated with them. I review other music, books, theatre and exhibitions which I've particularly enjoyed.

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