NEW! I Musicanti’s ‘Alexandra and the Russians’ at St Johns Smith Square, 2017-18



I Musicanti at St Johns Smith Square, 2017-18: ‘Alexandra and the Russians’

I Musicanti and their artistic director Leon Bosch return to St John’s Smith Square for ‘Alexandra and the Russians’, a second season of works from the chamber music repertoire partnered with new commissions.

While the emphasis is on grand music from the time of imperial Russia in the shape of Tchaikovsky, Glinka and Arensky (including some relatively unfamiliar works and uncommon instrumental formations), the series adds mordant contributions from later in the 20th century too. Each programme in the four-concert series also presents a new piece by featured artist Alexandra Harwood, a British composer known particularly for her music for screen and stage.

3 September, 3pm

with Sophia Lisovskaya, piano

Arensky: Piano Quintet op 51
Alexandra Harwood: The Fiddler in Hell (world premiere)
Schnittke: Hymnus II
Glinka: Sextet

Two classics of Russian chamber music for piano and strings, with their triumphal introductory piano chords, contrast with a mysterious exploration of the lowest (and the not so low) string sounds. The programme also features the first of four works written for this series by award-winning film composer Alexandra Harwood.

4 November, 7.30pm

with Leon Bosch, conductor and Peter Martens , cello

Arensky: Tchaikovsky Variations
Tchaikovsky, arr Stephenson: Rococo Variations
Alexandra Harwood: Sinfonia Concertante
Shostakovich, arr Stasevich: Sinfonietta after the String Quartet no 8

I Musicanti becomes a string orchestra to perform re-workings of three Russian originals: Arensky’s own version of a Tchaikovsky miniature, a re-orchestration of a Tchaikovsky classic and Shostakovich’s eighth quartet in a version for strings and timpani. The programme also features a second work written for this series by Alexandra Harwood.

21 January, 3pm

Arensky: String Quartet no 2, op 35
Alexandra Harwood: new work
Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence

Arensky wrote his quartet, with its solitary violin and pair of cellos, in memory of Tchaikovsky, quoting one of his themes as well as Russian folksong and funeral music. A memento of a different kind, partly written in Tuscany, ends a concert which also features new work by Alexandra Harwood.

3 June, 3pm

Prokofiev: Quintet op 39
Smirnov: Dialogues in the Dark
Alexandra Harwood: new work
Glinka: Septet

Unusual instrumental combinations distinguish the final programme of this series: Prokofiev’s ballet-inspired quintet (without cello) and Glinka’s septet (without viola) both also feature the oboe among their wind instrument members. Alongside a duo for violin and double bass, the programme includes a new work by award-winning film composer Alexandra Harwood.

Print Friendly


Leave a Reply

Recent Reviews


Season Previews

  • NEW! Opera and More in Buenos Aires in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Gloucester Choral Society’s Hubert Parry’s Centenary Celebrations in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! Ex Cathedra at St John’s Smith Square’s 2017 Christmas Festival __________________________________
  • NEW! Spend a Penny for Grange Park Opera’s Lavatorium Rotundum __________________________________
  • NEW! Spitalfields Music Festival 2017 in December __________________________________
  • NEW! Bampton Classical Opera in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! The 2018 Lucerne Summer Festival __________________________________
  • NEW! World Premiere of The Nutcracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu in December at Milton Court __________________________________
  • NEW! Leeds Lieder’s Forthcoming Schubert Song Series in Leeds and Sheffield __________________________________
  • UPDATED! English National Ballet’s 2017 – 2018 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! Contemporary Music from Manchester’s Psappha in 2017-18 __________________________________
  • NEW! I Musicanti’s ‘Alexandra and the Russians’ at St Johns Smith Square, 2017-18 __________________________________
  • NEW! Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov’s Return to London in May 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! St John’s Smith Square announces its 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • NEW! The Pierre Boulez Saal’s 2017/18 Season in Berlin __________________________________
  • UPDATED! The Glyndebourne Opera Cup and Glyndebourne in 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s 2017/18 Season __________________________________
  • Subscribe to Review Summary Newsletter

    Reviews by Reviewer

    News and Featured Articles

  • R.I.P. IN MEMORIAM – DMITRI HVOROSTOVSKY (1962-2017) __________________________________
  • NEW! Ann Murray’s Masterclass at the V&A Part of Opera: Passion, Power and Politics __________________________________
  • NEW! Carly Paoli is ‘Singing My Dreams’ at the Cadogan Hall in February 2018 __________________________________
  • NEW! A Composer Speaks Up for the Environment: An Interview with Margaret Brouwer __________________________________
  • NEW! Twelve Years of Celebrating Malcolm Arnold in Northampton __________________________________
  • NEW! What is the Critic’s Job? A Review of A. O. Scott’s Recent Book __________________________________
  • NEW! English Music Festival in Yorkshire Lifts the Lid Off an English Treasury __________________________________
  • NEW! A FULLY STAGED PILGRIM’S PROGRESS IN ORLEANS, MA __________________________________
  • NEW! JIŘÍ BĔLOHLÁVEK (1946-2017) AND THE CZECH CONDUCTING LEGACY __________________________________
  • NEW! JUSTIN DOYLE DISCUSSES MONTEVERDI WITH MARK BERRY __________________________________
  • NEW! Katie Lowe Wins the 2017 Elizabeth Connell Prize __________________________________
  • NEW! ITINÉRAIRE BAROQUE 2017: TON KOOPMAN TALKS TO COLIN CLARKE __________________________________
  • NEW! The Royal Opera House in Mumbai is Restored to its Former Glory __________________________________
  • NEW! iSING! – International Young Artists Festival in Suzhou, China __________________________________
  • Archives by Week

    Archives by Month

    Search S&H