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Ensemble Cymru return to St David’s Hall with Schubert masterpiece

November Tour

Wales’s leading chamber music group, Ensemble Cymru, make a welcome return to the Welsh capital this November when they bring a special concert to St David’s Hall which includes the rarely performed masterpiece, the Schubert Octet, alongside a brand-new commission from the pen of Welsh composer, John Metcalf.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest works of chamber music, Ensemble Cymru’s performance of Schubert’s Octet in F major this November will provide classical music fans in Cardiff with the opportunity to experience the power and the beauty of this rarely performed gem. In a new twist, the Ensemble has commissioned Lampeter-based composer, John Metcalf, to write a modern response to Schubert’s Octet, and the concert at St David’s Hall will be the first public performance of this new piece inspired by Schubert’s masterpiece.

The musicians performing at St David’s Hall (from left to right) Martin Lüdenbach (double bass); Elenid Owen (violin); Llinos Elin Owen (bassoon); Dewi Garmon Jones (French horn); Florence Cooke (violin); Oliver Wilson (viola); Abigail Hayward (cello); Peryn Clement-Evans (clarinet)

Talking ahead of the St David’s Hall concert, Ensemble Cymru’s Artistic Director, Peryn Clement-Evans said;

“About 12 months ago, John and I sat down to talk about his piece.  Our idea took as its initial inspiration the classical music convention of the Tombeau; the idea of a contemporary tribute to a great musical figure from the past such as the musical tribute, Tombeau de Couperin composed by French composer, Maurice Ravel to the 17th century master François CouperinJohn and I both wanted to present to audiences a tribute to the classical music giant, Franz Schubert as a Welsh response connecting our music in Wales, our hymns and their beautiful expressive harmonies and our folk music which relate so well to the music of this great master.  With John’s bewitching melodies and great harmonies, we can’t wait to share this new piece with Cardiff audiences.”

Talking further about the Welsh influence of the new piece, composer John Metcalf took inspiration from the Welsh folk song, Bugeilio’r Gwenith Gwyn, as he explains: “I took as my starting point the fact that this beautiful song commemorates the fate of star-crossed lovers – Ann Maddocks and Wil Hopcyn. While not following this tragic love story sequentially I have tried to reflect both its highs and lows, and these find their further expression in the deliberate use of opposites in the work, male and female, question and answer, major and minor modalities.”

Ensemble Cymru’s ethos is to showcase music of Wales alongside the greatest chamber music from the world, and the programme for the St David’s Hall concert will be a typical offering from the chamber music group which is now in its 16th year.

Ensemble Cymru’s Lunchtime Concert will take place at St David’s Hall, Cardiff on Tuesday 20th November, 1pm. Tickets are available from the box office on 029 2087 8444 or  book tickets online here. For more information about the concert, please see our events page here, or visit the Ensemble’s Facebook page.