9th July, 7.30pm
The Echéa Quartet
St John the Baptist Church
Elisabeth Lutyens, String Quartet No. 6
Bela Bartók, String Quartet No. 3
Felix Mendelssohn, String Quartet No. 5, Op. 44, No. 3
We chatted with Eliza Millett, the quartet's cellist, about the music they'll be performing...
How did you start playing together?
We met at the Royal Academy of Music in 2017 and instantly discovered a shared love of string quartet playing.
Where have you performed as a quartet and which venue has been your favourite?
We’ve played all over! From the Musikverein in Vienna to abandoned theatres in central Athens (Krama Festival 2019), our most recent favourite probably has to be at the Franz Liszt Academie in Budapest.
Tell us a bit about the programme you’ll be performing. Why are you playing these works?
The work of Elisabeth Lutyens has a very special place in the hearts of the Echéa Quartet. She has become something of a musical – nay spiritual – guide to us since discovering her sixth quartet in lockdown. The elasticity and fluidity of time in her music speaks to us on a profound level.
Bartók similarly in 16 short minutes is capable of distilling harmonic and motivic content, and we absolutely love his third quartet.
Mendelssohn’s E-flat major quartet Op. 44 No.3 is probably just one of the best pieces of music ever written - full of elan, classic Mendelssohnian flair and just so much love! We think it complements well the slightly estranged worlds of both Lutyens and Bartók.
If our audience wanted to listen to some other music related to your programme, what would you recommend?
I would recommend Dutilleux’s ‘Ainsi La Nuit’ for string quartet and György Kurtág’s ‘Zwiegespräch’ for string quartet and synthesiser. There is a great recording of the Keller Quartet playing this piece with Kurtág’s son on the synth (!).
As a more light-hearted way to get to know you, if you were a sandwich, what flavour would it be and why?
I had to ask a friend for this one… “You would be egg mayo because you are the only person under the age of 95 who would eat it.”