Oxford Chamber Music Festival – Angelic, Demonic, Prophetic
This year’s Oxford Chamber Music Festival celebrates Freigeist – free spirits and untamed hearts – in unpredictable music that refuses to play by the rules. For the full festival programme, venues and list of musicians, see OCMF.
Angelic, Demonic, Prophetic
Schnittke Violin sonata No. 1
Arensky Quartet in A minor for violin, viola and two cellos, Op. 35
Messiaen extracts from Quartet for the end of time with readings from Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot
Three extraordinary sound-worlds collide. Schnittke’s sonata (presented again by popular demand after July’s launch concert) mixes deep mystery, madcap energy, brutality and beauty – and even a touch of boogie-woogie?; the Arensky, with its rich two-cello sound and its justly-famous variations on a Tchaikovsky tune, enters the incense-laden Orthodox church with its mystical chants; while Messiaen’s Quartet, written in the hell of a Nazi prison camp, truly is the music of divine revelations.
Photograph by featured artist Julian Arp, who is also performing as a cellist in the festival.