King Edward's Music

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

Category: recital

The first Sexagesimal Composition — Jiali Lu

It’s the sixtieth anniversary of the orchestra shared between King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School for Girls.

This is the first post celebrating our Sexagesimal, a music-box composition by Jiali Lu.

King Edward's School, Sixtieth Anniversary of the Orchestra: Jiali Lu -- 60 years music box music (Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham)

 

 

The full score is posted here:

King Edward’s School, Sixtieth Anniversary of the Orchestra: Jiali Lu — 60 years music box music (Music at King Edward’s School, Birmingham)

 

Lunchtime Recital

 

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Thursday, 13 February 2020 at 13.10
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

Naina Reddyviola
Ami Chen‘cello
Piano Trio: Ivy Lau, piano; Bronagh Lee, violin; Ami Chen, ‘cello

works by Bruch, Leighton and Shostakovich. 

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

 

Lunchtime Recital

 

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Thursday, 6 February 2020 at 13.10
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

Michael Heneghan – trumpet
Joe Ward – voice
Daniel Li – viola
String Quartet: Samantha Burley, violin; Jennifer Liu, violin; Naina Reddy, viola; Beatrice Beardmore, ‘cello.

works by Clarke, Purcell, Vaughan Williams, Warlock, Neruda, Schumann, Dvořák, Shostakovich. 

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

 

Performers’ Platform

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Tuesday, 4 February 2020 at 1830
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

Shirom Aggarwal, saxophone
Pierce Maughan, violin
Christopher Churcher, bassoon
Sam Ecclestone-Brown, piano
Will Marrett, violin
Isabel Drugan, violin
Sara Vogt, harp
Tom Hao, violin
Rebecca Bazlov, piano
Dhiran Sodha, percussion
String Quartet: Emily Tran, violin; Jessie Zhao, violin; James Corcoran, viola; Salihah Baig, ‘cello.

 

Concert includes works by Telemann, Kreisler, Elgar, Khachaturian, Mozart, Williams, Debussy, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Korsakov, Zappa, Schubert. 

 

 

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This concert is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

George Roberts on Schubert

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham -- Schubert's Trout Quartet

 

Franz Schubert (1797-1828) was an Austrian composer born in Himmelpfortgrund. He started learning the piano from his brother, Ignaz, at the age of five. However, he announced after a few months, that he had “no need of any further instruction”. Holzer, the local parish organist, gave Schubert a grounding in piano, organ, and figured bass. He then played viola in his family string quartet, writing his first quartets for them. Schubert began studying at the Stadtkonvikt(Imperial Seminary) on a choral scholarship. It was there he developed an admiration for Beethoven, particularly his overtures. After periods teaching at his father’s school, accompanying and writing operas, more of his works, from 1823, were being published. From 1823 alone came his eighth symphony, the ‘Unfinished’ and his first large-scale song cycle, die schöne Müllerin. Die Forelle, arguably, was written in 1819, but was published posthumously in 1829.

The name of this quintet, die Forellenquintett (“Trout” Quintet), comes from the theme in the fourth movement, which is based on Schubert’s earlier Lied “Die Forelle”. The inclusion of this Lied was the suggestion of Sylvester Paumgartner, an amateur ‘cellist and the man who gave the work its patronage. There are two interesting aspects of Die Forelle, the five-movement structure and the inclusion of the double bass. Both stem from the same place, the opus 87 piano quintet by Hummel. A quintet is conventionally piano and string quartet: Hummel’s decision was to substitute the second violin for double bass. Furthermore, Hummel wrote his op. 74, a wind septet, also including a double bass. The most intriguing aspect of the scoring is that no other of Schubert’s contemporaries, included a double bass in their piano quintets or string quartets neither Beethoven (despite including a double bass in his wind septet) nor his predecessors, Haydn and Mozart. Furthermore, the Hummel op. 87 also contains five movements, including a theme and variations, for the fourth movement, as does die Forelle.

Theme

The theme starts in the key D major, a semitone higher than the original Lied, with the strings, playing a quasi-chorale melody. Several musical aspects played first here, become the emphasis of later variations, all have been corrupted from earlier in the piece, or from the Lied. For example, the string portato (b.1 in all the strings) comes first in die Forelle in b. 25 and briefly appears in the Lied in bb.62-3. The dotted rhythms are more ambiguous, as the lied uses even notes. According to M. J. E. Brown, editor of the 1974 Edition Eulenburg score (the edition from which the author is working), Schubert “made certain changes in the melody… to render the tune more instrumental”. Trills, ornaments, added dotted rhythms are all cited by the above, as ways Schubert did this. The theme is set up into two-bar phrases often with a healthy dose of repetition and without the complex semiquaver sextuplet rhythmic motif accompaniment, of the Lied.

Variation I

The piano assumes control with the theme played in octaves, decorated by ornaments. The slurring changes to being between b. 212-3, rather than the whole bar, further changes exist. The strings can be divided into two here: the viola and double bass, who play an arpeggio motif (albeit the violas triplet semiquavers and bass as staccato quavers) and the violin and ‘cello who pass a triplet semiquaver motif between eachother. This motif is a corruption of the complex semiquaver sextuplet rhythmic motif, as found in the Lied. The second half, of the variation, sees a continuation, but with the violin occasionally launching into the stratosphere, as violinists tend to do.

Variation II

This variation is where the violinist earns their wages, by continuously playing triplet semiquavers. In the violin part, two interesting things happen: portati are used in bb. 49, 51, 55. Underneath that, the remaining continue with the tune passed between the strings and piano, until the cadence. It is a much grander section this, grandure derived from louder dynamics and thicker textures. From b. 49 onwards, the viola, ‘cello and bass play together, alternating with the piano.

Variation III

In a surprising move, the double bass and ‘cello are given the theme, albeit dwarfed by the sheer virtuosity of the piano, playing its demi-semiquavers. The upbeat contains a trill utilising the chromatic neighbour-note. Further on, in the first- and second-time bars, there is an ascending chromatic scale, played by the piano. Schubert shifts where the beat of each bar falls, in b.67 for example, by displacing the strong beat of the bar, through the phrasing of the demi-semiquavers. The violin, having a rare moment out of the spotlight, and the viola conspire together creating the accompaniment, with some, at times, jovial, off-beat semiquaver chords.

Variation IV

Until this point, the variations had been rooted in D major and the theme has been prominent: both change here. We move to D minor, though the up-beat of octave A’s create harmonic ambiguity, and the theme ostensibly disappears. Instead, triplet semiquaver chords appear antiphonically in the piano and upper strings. Underneath, the ‘cello and bass play a tricky motif, tricky for the bass at least. The most interesting aspect of this, aside of the sheer virtuosity being demonstrate by the double bass, is the D-G sharp-A pattern. The G sharp is diminished fifth below the D, an interval otherwise known as the devil’s interval. The fortissimo chords are contrasted with a more lyrical, major, pianissimo section, featuring a dialogue between the piano and violin. Ultimately, despite indications of movement back towards a major key, landing in D minor. At this moment, the trills which have been such a prominent feature of this movement are repeated by the piano, b.93-100, this offbeat chordal pattern appears, which derives from the Lied.

Variation V

This variation corrupts the Lied’s original melody one step further, by introducing a double-dotted version of the melody. It is played first by the ‘cello before being imitated by the piano. The violin adds a simple counter-melody, whilst the viola and double bass play the accompaniment. Harmonically, this variation becomes interesting from b. 114 onwards. The harmonic progression is thus, Gb minor – Db major (the original key of the Lied) – Ab major – Db major (this then repeats) – Ab major – Db major – E major – A major – C# major – F# major – A major. There isn’t an obvious pattern as to how this harmony works; there are plagal and perfect cadences, amongst other stranger cadences. Instead, the following chord always has one note of the previous chord contained within it, occasionally two. That is how Schubert manages to take from Db major to A major (which then allows us back to safer ground in D major).

Allegretto

The Allegretto, or coda, introduces a new rhythmic idea, new for the piece that is. These five sextuplet semiquavers form the vast majority of the accompaniment in the original Lied. The quintet’s coda is texturally thin, with all the instruments playing together only in the last eight bars. The violin and piano exchange the rhythmic idea, the violin and ‘cello the theme and the viola and double bass do their duties accompanying. In b.17, the piano increases the unease, instability and interest of the movement when it has a chromatic feature, which gets repeated later. The cadence runs thus, V7 – I, that is A major seventh to D major. It is a rather simple end to the movement, which proffers rhythmic and harmonic interest throughout, testing the instrumentalists often.

George Roberts, Divisions

Instrumental Evening – piano and voice

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Monday 13 January 2020 at 18.00
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

An informal concert given by pianists and singers from King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School for Girls.

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

 

Lunchtime Recital

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Thursday, 9 January 2020 at 13.10
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

Beatrice Beardmore, ‘cello

Jacob Rowley, guitar

Samantha Burley, violin

works by Holst, da Falla, Barrios, and the first movement of the Mendelssohn violin concerto. 

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

 

Christmas Concerts in Pictures

Lunchtime Recital

 

Thursday, 5 December 2019 at 13.10
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

KEHS CHAMBER ORCHESTRA
Leader:  Ivy Lau

Piano Quintet
Rebecca Bazlov, piano; Bronagh Lee, violin;
Emmy Jin, viola; Ami Chen, ‘cello;
George Roberts, double bass

works by Mozart, Martinez and Schubert. 

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

 

Instrumental Evening – drums

Monday, 2 December at 1800

Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

An informal concert given by drummers of King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School for Girls.

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

 

Instrumental Evening – guitar

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Thursday, 28 November at 1800

Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

An informal concert given by guitar players of King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School for Girls.

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

 

Performers’ Platform

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Tuesday, 12 November 2019 at 1830
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

Adam Mukoon, violin
Arjun Narendran, violin
Puvun Mudhar, violin
Sanjana Sudeshkumar, voice 
Emmy Jin, violin
Yingqi Han, piano
Emily Tran, violin
Michael Luo, piano
Tara Desai, flute

 

Concert includes works by John Rutter, Chopin, Kreisler, Einaudi, Hubay, Bazzini, Mozart, Bruch and Handel.

 

 

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This concert is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

Instrumental Evening – strings

Monday, 11 November 2019 at 1800

Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

An informal concert given by string players from King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School for Girls.

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

 

Lunchtime Recital

 

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Thursday, 07 November 2019 at 13.10
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

Wind Quintet:
Jiali Liu, flute; Rhea Takhar, oboe; Ben Marrett, clarinet; Roshan Bahia, horn; Nikita Jain, bassoon

Mark Li, ‘cello

Orient String quartet:
Ivy Lau, violin; Zoe Yap, violin; Junias Wong, violin; Ami Chen, ‘cello

works by Danzi, Brahms and Dvořák.  

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls

 

Instrumental Evening – woodwind and brass

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Monday 4 November 2019 at 18.00
Ruddock Performing Arts Centre

An informal concert given by woodwind and brass players from King Edward’s School and King Edward VI High School for Girls.

Music at King Edward's School, Birmingham

This recital is presented jointly with King Edward VI High School for Girls