Festival of Chichester regulars Ensemble Reza offer A Summer Romance in St John’s Chapel, St John’s Street, Chichester on Saturday, June 25 at 7pm, with a programme to include: Borodin – Sextet in D minor; Dvořák – String Quartet in F Major American; and Brahms – Sextet in G Major.
Cellist Pavlos Carvalho is delighted at the progress the group has made in its four years of existence: “We are a group of musicians that play all over the place but live mainly in the south, based essentially in Haywards Heath. We organised a concert in a beautiful church here, and we enjoyed it so much that we wanted to do more. It was great not having to go to London to perform or to rehearse and not having to worry about getting back from London or spending time away from our families, and it really worked well. And so we decided to make it more permanent, and we got Hannah Carter in to organise us, and we have been doing more and more, especially education work. Hannah is great at going around the schools. We did a community project with 300 children, which was great and we also created a community orchestra. We had people playing who hadn’t played for years. It was fantastic. We are going to be doing it again this year.
“We are doing about 20-30 concerts a year as Ensemble Reza. We have certainly gone up from the first year. The main group of concerts is in the south, but we have enjoyed it so much we are happy to go further afield. As for repertoire, we are doing anything. We started wanting to play all the great classics, but not just as one-offs. We want to be able to repeat the concerts and really enjoy the music. We also want to be commissioning new works.”
As for the Festival of Chichester: “We are starting with the Borodin. It’s a piece we have done several times. It’s really beautiful and expressive. Borodin was almost a self-taught composer. He was what you might call an amateur composer. Professionally he was a scientist and had a really busy life, but he was also this incredible composer.
“We are also doing Dvořák’s American. With the Borodin and the Brahms being perhaps not quite so well known, we wanted something that was perhaps more recognisable. Dvořák wrote it while he was in America, and he has these beautiful, typical bohemian motifs. But the slow movement was inspired by negro spirituals, though still very much influenced by bohemian folk music. But you have also got references to all the sounds that he was hearing in America on his travels. He went out there to work, and he was there for four years. He loved America, and he worked in New York, but he had great bouts of missing home and you can hear that nostalgia.”
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