Brighton Dome Coffee Concerts 2023/24 Season – Preview
Our world-class chamber concerts are back, now in the well-appointed surroundings of the refurbished Corn Exchange. I am assured that spacious acoustic is now much better than the old Pavilion Theatre and the seating more comfortable.
On Sunday 19 November at 11.00am the Heath Quartet will begin with two Bach Chorale Preludes, a sober but delightful way to launch a new season on a Sunday morning. Then moving from Baroque to Classical with Haydn’s opus 9, E flat Quartet, cheerful dance movements enclose an exquisite slow movement. Josef Suk’s Meditation on the St Wenceslas Chorale, is a sublime Czech hymn in deliberate contrast to the stirring Austrian Imperial anthem, incidentally composed by Haydn, that preceded its first performance in September 1914. After this Ravel’s masterly F major Quartet will make an invigorating climax to an excellent programme.
The second Coffee Concert is on Sunday 10 December when the Adelphi Quartet start with Haydn’s op.17 C minor Quartet, an elegant, substantial work, and follow it with Shostakovich’s shortest quartet, No.7 in F sharp, concluding with Beethoven’s “Holy song of thanksgiving” quartet, No. 15.
Castalian String Quartet present a more adventurous programme: Janáček’s passionate Kreutzer Sonata, followed by ‘Awake’ a new work from Mark-Anthony Turnage. His music is often challenging but it promises a very exciting 15 minutes. After that there is Bartok’s cerebral 5th String Quartet that has a most exciting Finale. This concert is on Sunday 21 January, again at 11.00am.
On Sunday 18 February the Kaleidoscope Chamber Collective will play some wonderful works from the last quarter of the 19th century, starting with Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s lovely Piano Trio in E minor from 1893, going back in time to Elgar’s ever-popular ’Salut d’amour’, composed just a little earlier in 1888. The rare item in this programme is the pastoral A major Piano Quartet ‘Im Sommer’ of 1883 by the French composer Louise Héritte-Viardot . This concert concludes with the sumptuous Piano Quartet No. 3 in C minor that Johannes Brahms composed in 1875, the same year that Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was born!
Sunday 3rd March has a programme of 20th century French music given by the Lumas Winds with Jonathan Ferrucci (piano). A graceful homage to Bach by Henri Dutilleux and Ravel’s memorial to Couperin are followed by some of Debussy’s ’Images’ and Jean Francaix’s entertaining Wind Quintet No.1. The concert is rounded off beautifully with two charming works by Francis Poulenc.
The Northern Chords Ensemble will play three piano trios on Sunday 24 March. Ravel completed his trio in the frantic autumn of 1914 “with the sureness and lucidity of a madman” so that he could go off and contribute to the war effort. Matthew Kaner’s piano trio is “evocative and playful” and the main item in this programme is Schubert’s good-natured Piano Trio in B-flat major. Benjamin Baker (violin) and Daniel Lebhardt (piano) are joined by Maciej Kułakowski who you may have heard playing Elgar’s cello concerto with the Brighton & East Sussex Youth Orchestra in this year’s Brighton Festival.
In the final Coffee Concert in this series, on Sunday 14 April, the Kleio Quartet will play three masterpieces of the quartet repertoire Bartók’s 4th, Mozart’s 14th, nicknamed the ‘Spring’ although it was composed in December, and Mendelssohn’s Op. 44 No. 4 in E minor, which is a wonderfully impassioned work, leavened by a sprightly Scherzo and a sublime slow movement. It should complete the season in style.
The Dome advertises a number of good deals for these concerts, in particular the chance of free tickets for youngsters between 8 and 25!
All the concerts are at 11.00am on Sundays in the Corn Exchange.