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Sunday 19 July 2015

19 July, 2015 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm








Quartettsatz in C Minor D703

Partita for Piano Quartet

String Quartet No.5 in D Major Op.64 ‘The Lark’


Concert sponsored in memory of the late Roland D Hunt, a Friend of the Philharmonic.

Publicity/programmes sponsored by Mr & Mrs Pelling, Friends of the Philharmonic.


Quartettsatz in C Minor D703

Schubert wrote this single first movement as his twelfth quartet in December 1820 but he never managed to complete it. Some observers have maintained that Schubert left completing this quartet as his composing wasn’t moving forward in the way he wanted, but others maintain that the movement is so good that Schubert felt he couldn’t write subsequent movements of this brilliance. In quality and innovation it certainly heralds the later great string quartets and now stands alone as a stunning quartet movement. The score was later owned by Brahms who made sure it had a post-humous performance in 1870.


Partita for Piano Quartet (2000 – 2005)

Composer’s note: “My Partita was written at intervals over a period of about five and a half years. The first movement, Miniature Overture (Scale Model) was commissioned by the Schubert Ensemble as part of their Chamber Music 2000 project. My brief was to “write something fast”. Having established that this meant something in a quick tempo for players of limited experience rather than “We need it tomorrow”, I set to work, using scales in easy keys and positions (for string players) as a basis. When my close friend and colleague Paul Carr heard the Schubert Ensemble’s recording of the movement, released in 2003 by NMC recordings, he suggested that I should add some more movements. I agreed but as my time was then fully taken up with other compositional commitments, adding to the existing movements proved to be a long process! I wrote each successive movement annually, usually in July, sometimes in August in time to be presented to Paul as a birthday present for the years 2003, 2004 and 2005.

The title of the second movement ’42’ refers both to the age Paul had attained in 2003 and to Douglas Adams, in whose Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, 42 is found to be the answer to “Life, the Universe and Everything”!

‘Shcherzo’ is not a typo but an attempt to transliterate how a very dear mutual friend pronounces the word “Scherzo”! I also wanted to write a movement that includes all the repeated passages expected in a classical “scherzo and trio”, except that in ‘Shcherzo’, each repeat is varied in some way but not so much that the resemblance with the music preceding it is not still apparent.

The last movement is based on a short cello solo from the chamber orchestra version of Paul Carr’s Occasional Postcards (1994), which I had played on many occasions, including the work’s first commercial recording. It also includes references to the previous three movements.

© Peter Copley 2009

1:         Miniature Overture (Scale Model)-Allegro vivace comodo

2:         ’42’-Adagio, quasi andante 

3:         ‘Shcherzo’-Allegro risoluto-molto ben ritmico

4:         Improvisations on a theme by Paul Carr-Andante-Allegretto-Molto adagio e sostenuto


String Quartet in D Major Op.64 No.5 “The Lark”

Between 1789 and 1790 Haydn wrote 12 quartets for Johann Tost who was Principal 2nd Violin of the Esterhazy Orchestra. Although Johann left the Orchestra shortly after to take up the more lucrative career of a cloth merchant, he was clearly a player of exceptional ability and the soaring melody for the 1st Violin not only shows Haydn’s confidence in him but also gives the quartet its nickname – The Lark. The quartet writing understandably has a greater leaning towards the 1st Violin in all the movements, with the other three players being very earth-bound.

1:         Allegro moderato

2:         Adagio cantabile

3:         Minuet & Trio (Allegretto)

4:         Vivace



Peter Copley was born in Hove. After studying at the Royal Academy of Music and with the late Hans Keller, a Polish Government Scholarship took him to the Akademia Muzyczna in Krakòw. This proved to be the beginning of an enduring connection with Eastern Europe, from where he has received many commissions and performances.

His many works include Farnham Fantasia for Strings, performed in both the Royal Festival and Royal Albert Halls and the Concerto for Trumpet, Strings & Percussion which received its acclaimed first performance by John Wallace and the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Barry Wordsworth in the orchestra’s 75th Birthday Weekend.

1999 commissions included Miniature Overture for the Schubert Ensemble, and Unfrozen Architecture for Southern Winds. In 2001, Peter wrote A City Awakes, a large-scale work commissioned by the Brighton & Hove Philharmonic Society in celebration of Brighton & Hove’s elevation to city status. This was first performed by the Brighton Philharmonic Orchestra in October 2002.

More recent compositions include The Midnight Skaters for voice and orchestra, commissioned by the Brighton Youth Orchestra and first performed at the 2010 Brighton Festival with Sir John Tomlinson, Concert Fantasy for Mandolin commissioned by Alison Stephens for the 2010 Dartington International Summer School.

In 2012, Peter celebrated his half century with the first performances of his String Quartet No.2 (2011), composed for the Stanford Quartet and Three Motets, commissioned by St Bartholomews Church, Brighton. In May 2013, Expiry TBC, a multi-media work funded by the Arts Council, written in collaboration with writer Mark Hewitt including music for electronically enhanced cello, was given its first performances at the Brighton Festival Fringe.

Recent works include a piano concerto for Margaret Fingerhut, jointly commissioned by the Musicians of All Saints, Trinity Laban and The Brighton Youth Orchestra String Ensemble with funding from the Arts Council. The first performances were given by Margaret at St Luke’s Church, Brighton in November 2014 and subsequently at Blackheath Concert Halls in January 2015.

Future projects include a work for chorus, children’s choir and orchestra on the subject of Chanctonbury Ring and a ‘scena’ for John Tomlinson for voice, choir and orchestra based on an incident in the Spanish Civil War.



Rachel Fryer has been widely praised for her depth of musical understanding, sensitive interpretations and virtuosity. Active both as soloist and accompanist, she has performed throughout Britain at venues including Croydon’s Fairfield Hall and St. John Smith’s Square and for music societies including the Beethoven Piano Society. Beyond the UK’s borders, Rachel has toured with the QE2 several times including on their Millennium Cruise, for which she helped organise the musical programmes. Her recordings have been broadcast on Classic FM and on European radio and television.

Rachel is a strong supporter of contemporary music and has worked with, and premiered pieces by, many composers including Richard Causton and Barry Mills. In December 2005 Rachel gave the first performance of Light in the Dark, written specially for her by Samuel Becker and funded by the PRS Foundation.

Early in her playing career, Rachel was inspired by working with Live Music Now! which was founded by Sir Yehudi Menuhin to bring the joy of live music to people who cannot otherwise access it. She is still passionate about keeping music accessible and at the heart of the community, and is doing just that as Concert Director for Music & Wine at St. Luke’s, a concert series in Queen’s Park, Brighton.

Rachel’s educational background is very diverse, having studied as far afield as Kharkov, Ukraine, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and The Royal College of Music, where she was awarded a Masters Degree in Advanced Performance and many prizes. She has received guidance from renowned pianists including John Lill, Barry Douglas, Joanna MacGregor, Steven Kovacevich and Bernard Roberts.

Rachel is Visiting Lecturer in Piano Studies and Accompanist at the East Sussex Academy of Music in Lewes and coordinates and runs projects and workshops with local secondary and primary schools.

Rachel also performs chamber music with many musicians including the Hilser trio (flute, cello, piano), the Islingword trio (clarinet, cello, piano), Rebekah Allan (violin), Christopher Allan (cello) and with many singers.


19 July, 2015
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Brighton Unitarian Church
New Road
Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1UF United Kingdom
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