At the end of January we welcomed seven players from Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and their presenter, who led a workshop on four of the A level music set works. Pupils from seven local schools attended, including pupils studying A level music at St Swithun’s.
The performers began with the fourth movement Haydn’s String Quartet in E flat, op. 33 No. 2 The Joke after playing us a little of the first movement with which the students were unfamiliar. The presenter asked the quartet to demonstrate certain aspects of the piece, including the fact that nearly all of the melody is in the first violin part. The main theme of this movement returns at the end, separated by pauses, and we were able to appreciate Haydn’s sense of humour as displayed in this composition.
More performances and discussions followed. The pieces played were the third movement of the Piano Quintet in F minor by Brahms, Webern’s Quartet Op. 22 movement 1 (for the interesting combination of violin, clarinet, tenor saxophone and piano), and the Prelude and Fugue in A major, Op. 87 No. 7 by Shostakovich.
All of the students benefitted from the informative comments from the presenter, as well as being able to experience all four pieces performed live by professional musicians.