How long is a piece for strings? Find out when the Castalian Quartet entertain at Delph’s Millgate Arts Centre

MUSIC lovers can enjoy a post Valentine’s Day treat with an evening promoting works by some of the Romantic era’s greatest composers.German greats Robert Schumann and Johannes Brahms plus Czech born, Leos Janacek feature in a concert by the Castalian String Quartet at Millgate Arts Centre, Delph on Saturday, February 19.

The first part of their programme, hosted by Saddleworth Concerts Society (SCS), is Schumann’s second-string quartet No.2 in F major, Op.41/2.

Schumann, just 46 when he died in 1856, is positioned in the musical timeline between Ludwig van Beethoven and the equally brilliant Brahms.

Beethoven was such an influence on his compatriots that to make any impression on 19th century audiences, Schumann and Brahms had to produce something special in their own particular styles.

The result is shown in third of the three works to be performed in Delph. Brahms felt inhibited by the shadow of Beethoven during much of his career.

But his third string quartet No.3 in B flat, Op.67 shows he had broken away from this and produced something exceptional.

Brahms expert Katy Hamilton described it as: “this music is all lightness, bursting with beautiful melodies.”

The third part of the evening’s programme – String Quartet No. 1 ‘Kreutzer Sonata’ – was written by Janacek when he was 69.

Unlike the other two composers Janacek went unrecognised until he was 50, spending most of his career in Eastern Europe.

The composition was inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s novella, the Kreutzer Sonata.

The novella was in turn inspired by Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No. 9 known as the Kreutzer Sonata.

Tolstoy’s story describes how Marshal of the Nobility- Pozdnyshev- suspects his wife of having an affair with her music partner. His jealousy consumes him and drives him to murder.

It illuminates Tolstoy’s then-feverish Christian ideal; his conflicts with lust and the hypocrisies of 19th century marriage and his thinking on the role of art and music in society.

To hear this exceptional music to book online: www.millgateartscentre.org.uk

Single tickets are £15 with children and music students £4 each.

Book by calling Geoff Roberts on 01457 875917 or make a cheque payable to Saddleworth Concerts Society and send it to treasurer Bernadette Montgomery, 1 Hollin Crescent, Greenfield, OL3 7LW. Tickets will be available on the night.

SCS has been promoting high quality concerts for over 44 years.

If you want to become involved in the Society call Roger Hinchliffe on 07884 121010.

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