"...dazzlingly good chamber ensemble…
exuberantly expressive, intimate style…
gorgeously idiomatic playing’
The Times
Egremont SASRA concert

Right, that’s another SASRA Music & Arts Season over, the 59th in fact. The 60th, Diamond Jubilee, Season starts in September, and there’s a fabulous line-up already planned, see below.

And what a great concert it was on 15 March in Egremont Market Hall, with a truly memorable piece: Messaien’s ‘Quartet for The End of Time’, to finish this season. The work is based on a quotation from Revelation Chapter 10: Then I saw a mighty angel descending from heaven…….there shall be no more time, but on the day when the trumpet of the seventh angel sounds, the mystery of God will be fulfilled’.

This piece must rank as one of the twentieth century’s greatest chamber works and the performance by The Fibonacci Sequence, led by Kathron Sturrock (piano), was quite outstanding. The quartet, scored for clarinet, ‘cello, violin and piano had been written by Messaien in STALAG 8A, a World War 2 POW camp, for three fellow inmates and himself at the piano.

A friendly guard had kept him supplied with manuscript paper and pencils. And it must have taken ‘a good deal of pencil’* to write a long piece like this: 50 minutes and eight movements.

Julian Farrell performed miracles on the clarinet in ‘Abyss of The Birds’. Exquisite movements (‘Praises to Jesus’) for cello and violin were played by Benjamin Hughes and Gina Mc Cormack, with long drawn out melodies over pulsing piano chords.

The concert had begun with a sublime piano trio by Mozart. The first item in any concert can be difficult to programme. But within the first few bars Mozart’s flowing melodies and the supreme craftmanship of both composer and performers had the large audience relaxed and completely involved in the music.