Although written for just eight instruments, both of these sophisticated works have the drama, richness and depth of a full-blown symphony. They also make for an excellently contrasting pair. From Mendelssohn’s exuberant opening bars, we’re swept through music that is impressively complex yet captivatingly, joyously melodic throughout, whilst Enescu’s is moody, breathlessly dramatic, and, in parts, simply volcanic.
Guest directed by Marianne Thorsen – a passionate chamber musician – SE will explore the specific charm of seeing a small group of musicians performing live. With fewer instruments, the fabric of the music becomes more tangible, subtle shifts in mood may have a new-found presence, and pieces you think you know well might offer surprising new colours when heard live. With fewer musicians, it’s easier to follow each individual path and witness the beautiful alchemy of eight artists creating something together.
Norwegian violinist Marianne Thorsen is an acclaimed soloist and passionate chamber musician. Former leader of the Nash Ensemble, she regularly performs with Norway’s Trondheim Soloists, one of the founding ensembles of The Bridge network and festival.
String Octet in E-flat major
Octet for Strings in C major