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Music Night - Nash Ensemble - Thursday 1 July 2021

01 Jun 2021

At last, Music Night is back.

On 1 July the outstanding Nash Ensemble return to Middle Temple Hall with an excellent programme:

Serge Prokofiev (1891-1953): Overture on Hebrew Themes for piano, clarinet and string quartet Opus 34 (1919)

Max Bruch (1838-1920): Andante and Romanian Melody from 8 Pieces Opus 83 for clarinet, viola and piano

Antonin Dvorak: Piano Quintet in A major Op 81.

The Overture on Hebrew Themes is understandably one of Prokofiev’s most popular works. It was commissioned while he was living in the USA by a group of Russian Jewish musicians called the Zimro Ensemble. They gave a notebook of Jewish folksongs to Prokofiev, doubtless expecting him to incorporate them. However, the tunes he incorporated in the Overture have never been traced to any authentic sources. 

Max Bruch’s 8 Pieces for clarinet, viola and piano, a very unusual combination, were lovingly composed for his clarinettist son. We shall hear two of these Pieces, the Andante and the Russian Melody. They are typically tuneful Romantic works. Incidentally, although he composed Kol Nidre for cello and orchestra, based on the Jewish prayer for the Day of Atonement, Bruch was not Jewish: he was Protestant, and his middle name was Christian.

John Clapham, in the chapter on Smetana and Dvorak in Chamber Music (edited by Alec Robertson) says of the Piano Quintet that it “intoxicates hearers with its melody, vital rhythm, colourful scoring, and contrasts of mood.” Come and be intoxicated!

Spaces for Hall Members and Masters of the Bench are still available - Click here to book

Spaces are limited due to social distancing so book early to avoid disappointment. A waiting list for Student tickets is in place. 

Master Stanley Burnton
Master of Music