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Dan D’Souza, Bass
Joe Howson, Piano

 Robert Schumann (1810 – 56)
Romanzen und Balladen,Volume II        Op 49  (1840)

 No 1.              Die beiden Grenadiere
No 2.              Die feindlichen Brüder
No 3.              Die Nonne

Serge Rachmaninoff  (1873 – 1943)
Fourteen Romances    Op34

 No 9.             The Poet
No 11.            With Holy Banner

Robert Schumann
Romanzen und Balladen, Volume III       Op53 (1840)

 No 3.              Der arme Peter

Robert Schumann
Romanzen und Balladen, Volume IV       Op64  (1841-47)

 No 3.              Tragödie I&II

Serge Rachmaninoff
Songs without opus number

 No 77.            From the Gospel of John

Dan D’Souza
The Quaint Quartet

Lucia Veintimilla             Violin
Vanessa Chan                    Violin
Maite Colas                         Viola
Daryl Giuliano                   ‘Cello

Samuel Barber  (1910 – 81)
Dover Beach                         Op 3 (1931)

 Dover Beachis the best-known poem by Matthew Arnold – son of the great ‘Arnold of Rugby’, and mid-Victorian author, poet, and public intellectual.  He is even better-known for his characterisation of the English classes of his time – Barbarians, Philistines and the Populace – and his concern at England’s poor and narrow public education system.  Not an unreflecting Victorian optimist.  The poem was written around 1851, some suggest on his honeymoon, though published only in 1867.

Barber wrote Dover Beach when he was just 21, though he already completed six years of study under Rosario Scalero, with a heavy emphasis on counterpoint.  But the piece is not an academic exercise – it rather conveys spontaneity, despite the extensive revisions which went into it, and vivid pictorialism, responding to the moods and images of Arnold’s poem. Writing fifty years later, Barber’s verdict was ‘The difficulty with Dover Beachis that nobody is boss – not the singer, not the stringquartet.  It’s chamber music.’   Happily, musicians and audiences do not, respectfully, agree with Barber’s severe verdict.

Interval

Franz Schubert (1797 – 1828)
String Quartet in D minor, “Death and the Maiden”   D910 (1824)

  1. Allegro
  2. Andante con moto
  3. Allegro Molto
  4. Presto

This quartet dates from a particularly unhappy period of Schubert’s life. He was suffering from the debilitating symptoms of advancing syphilis. By the end of March Schubert wrote to a friend: ‘I feel myself to be the most unhappy and wretched creature in the world. Imagine one whose health has been permanently wrecked, and whom despair makes worse all the time, imagine one to whom the joys of love and friendship have nothing to offer but pain, who can no longer take pleasure in beauty, is he not the most unhappy of men?’Schubert continued: ‘I haven’t written many new songs, but I have had a go at several instrumental works, two quartets for violins, viola and cello, and an octet’.

The quartet’s second movement is a set of five variations based on the melody of one of Schubert’s most poignant songs, ‘Death and the Maiden’, in which a girl struggles against the terror of an imminent death, that ‘grisly man of bone’, who casts himself as a welcome friend. The entire piece is overshadowed by the presence of Death.

The first movement opens with a shattering, fortissimo unison in D minor, a key often associated with mortal terror; while the alternation of two themes, one masterful, the other quietly pleading, in the development section could be interpreted as representing a life and death struggle against an implacable fate. The chorale-like theme of the second movement, based on Death’s funereal material from ‘Death and the Maiden’, shares the interest out equally between the instruments in the variations which follow.  The third movement, veering wildly between major and minor, is a demonic scherzo, full of abrupt dynamic contrasts, while the finale is a rondo-form tarantella, a savage dance of death, which quotes from Schubert’s earlier death-haunted song, ‘Der Erlkönig’.

Der Tod und das Madchen

Das Madchen         

Voruber, ach voruber!

Geh, wilder Knochmann!

Ich bin noch jung, Lieber!

Und ruhre mich nicht an.

Der Tod

Gib deine Hand, do schon und zart

Gebild!

Bin Freund and komme nicht zu strafen.

Sei gutes Muts!  Ich bin nicht wild.

Sollst sanft in meinen Armen schlafen!

Death and the Maiden

The Maiden

Go on, oh go on past me!

Go, you rough scytheman!

I am still young – go, dear man,

I beg you, do not touch me.

Death

Give me your hand, you beautiful delicate creature.

I am your friend, and do not come to chastise.

Be of good cheer, I am not rough.

You shall sleep gently in my arms.

 

Dan D’Souzais delighted to return to his home town of Kingston for this recital, and indeed to All Saints Church where he was a chorister.  Dan studied at Tiffin Boys School, and after leaving Kingston completed his studies at the University of Cambridge and the Royal College of Music.  Recent highlights include playing Conte Perrucchetto in Haydn’s La Fedeltà Premiataat the Royal Opera House Mumbai, and the title role in The Enchanted Pig for Hampstead Garden Opera.

Joe Howson is a contemporary and collaborative pianist, currently studying at the Royal College of Music with Danny Driver. Collaborative highlights have included working with the British Youth Opera and Southbank Sinfonia and playing orchestral piano in the London Sinfonietta Academy.

Dan and Joebegan working together at the Royal College of Music in 2017.  At the RCM Lieder Competition, Dan took first prize and Joe won the pianist’s prize.  And with Joe’s accompaniment, Dan also took first prize at the Association of English Singers and Speakers’ Dame Patricia Routledge National English Song Competition.

Dan and Joe have appeared at the London Song Festival and were finalists at the Royal College of Music’s Joan Chissell Schumann Prize and the Lies Askonas competition.  Next month they perform at the London Rachmaninoff Festival.

Lucia Veintimilla, born in La Mancha (Spain), started playing the violin at the age of four studying with Alexei Mijlin in Asturias, completing her Bachelors and Masters degrees with Distinction at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama under Andrew Watkinson.   Lucia  performs also with The Armorel Trio, Deco Ensemble, Astedt-Veintimilla Duo, Silk Street Sinfonia and The Barokers, touring extensively to major concert halls in Europe and Asia.Lucia plays a violin built in 2014 by the renowned Spanish luthier, Roberto Jardón Rico.

Vanessa Chanbegan to play the violin when she was four. Graduating from the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts in 2016, she finished her Guildhall Artist Masters degree under Andrew Watkinson.  Vanessa has also performed with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra and Australian Chamber Orchestra, and was previously concertmaster of the Hong Kong Children’s Symphony Orchestra. Vanessa  plays a violin built by Roberto Delfanti in Cremona, 2013.

Maite Colaswas born in 1993 in Vitoria-Gasteiz, in the Basque region of Spain.  Starting her viola studies at the age of 8 in the local Conservatorio de Música Jesús Guridi, she completed her Bachelor degree in viola performance at Musikene, the Higher Education Music School of San Sebastián, then graduating as Master of Arts at the Royal Academy of Music.  She founded the Laukene Quartet with other Musikene students, also playing in the Shiro Ensemble and the Ondine Quartet. Maite’s instrument, like Veintimilla’s, is by Jardón Rico and was made in 2014. 

Daryl Giuliano, originally from Canada, began her studies at the piano before switching to the ‘cello at the age of twelve,  studying with Glenn Fischbach in the US.  In 2005, Daryl won the Armstrong Atlantic Youth Orchestra’s Concerto Competition.  As a chamber musician, she played with Chamber Cartel, a new-music ensemble based in Atlanta, Georgia.  She has developed her career as soloist and chamber musician, studying in Paris, then London, graduating as Master of Music at the Royal Academy of Music, studying under Felix Schmidt. Daryl plays a ‘cello made in Germany around 1890 – maker sadly unknown.

 

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