The Villiers Quartet embarks on a new chapter for the 2020/21 season. They are having a personnel change.
Quartet founders Tamaki Higashi and Carmen Flores, whom you all know so well from your past relationships with the quartet, are continuing the Villiers forward with exciting and first-class musicians. They are looking forward to this new chapter and cannot wait to reveal the new members, with whom they are working now to prepare the upcoming season. With their new energy and outstanding musicianship, the Villiers Quartet continue their spirited journey of exploring the art of string quartet. Known for their live performances that are intellectually imaginative and deeply emotional, the Villiers also remain strong in their commitment to uncovering and sharing treasures of British repertoire.
In March 2020 the Villiers will release their seventh CD on the respected Lyrita Records label: String Quartets by William Alwyn. Alwyn was a prolific composer for British cinema in the 1940s and 50s, scoring films such as Swiss Family Robinson and The Fallen Idol. The Villiers Quartet offer Alwyn’s beautiful one-movement Quartet No. 9 – based on Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet – of which they have made the world premiere recording for Lyrita.
In collaboration with Oxford University and the British Library, the Villiers also continue their Delius Discovery project, which highlights the chamber music of Frederick Delius and offers fresh insight and interpretations of his compositions. The Villiers are proud to be a part of this cherished musical history and offer Delius in their upcoming programme.
The performance Ten Songs of Change is a Concert Poem. It is based on the Yi Jing, the ancient Chinese book of wisdom, possibly the oldest book on the planet. Like other monuments of human culture, it was a cooperative effort spanning many centuries. The oldest ideas in the book were probably handed down by the elders of nomadic tribes. These early authors observed the stars and tides, plants and animals, various cycles of natural events, as well as patterns of relationship in families and societies, the practice of business, craft of government and the grim art of warfare and the eternal human dramas
of love, ambition, conflict and honour. And instead of creating a fixed chart of the cosmos, they put together a guide to the way things change: a fluid interconnected system of relations: the 8 trigrams and 64 hexagrams. My inspiration for the music came from the emotional aspects attributed to the eight trigrams, which form the basic elements in nature. During the process of writing the music, something special happened: the energy of each trigram I was composing the music for, appeared in various areas of my life. Having such tangible experience of the trigrams enabled me to transform the experience in a very direct way into music. The order of the trigrams presented in our performance forms an entire cycle of day and night, as each trigram also represents a specific time of day. We begin and end at nighttime. (Marion von Tilzer)
The Rubens Consort is a flexible ensemble made up of world-class musicians who share friendship and a passion for chamber music. Rooted in the rich and refined tradition of the former Rubens Quartet, the leaders of the Consort interpret masterpieces for small and large ensembles from all periods in music history. The musicians of the Rubens Consort gratefully play on instruments on loan to them from the Dutch Music Instrument Foundation.
For the coming seasons they have planned two programmes:
Bach / Sitkovetsky
Five Stringquartets (opus 3, 8 and 9:1-3) in a series of two concerts, completed with Duet mit zwei obligaten Augengläsern (viola/cello)