Our tour was originally planned to take place in December 2020 which of course had to be postponed due to the pandemic, although we managed to organise a socially distanced online concert in place of it which was a unique experience that allowed us to see each other after many months of lockdowns.
While we were lucky enough individually to get some work with orchestras around the UK, chamber music has been very rare to come by, and more importantly the 7 of us haven’t played together since that online concert!
We were therefore very impatient (and nervous!) to start rehearsals, and rehearse we did, as the three big pieces we’re offering are all difficult in very different ways!
The famous Schubert Quintet is very intricately written which although makes it a constant challenge to show all the beautiful details, the balance takes care of itself, unlike in Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence where often a lot of things are going on at the same time. In fact the first version of the piece was, in the composer’s own words “astonishingly bad in all aspects“. Schoenberg’s incredible Verklärte Nacht is somehow a mixture of both which is probably one of the reasons why it is seldom performed.
Given all the above we can’t meaningfully describe how satisfying it felt to finally play together, but with the rehearsals behind us we are now on our way from the rainy (snowy? or sunny?) Glasgow to our first concert in Fort William and we couldn’t be more excited!