Weʼre raising £1,850 to help the Bridge Quartet transform a forgotten manuscript into a vibrant voice with their Ivor Gurney "Premieres Project"
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From manuscript to recording Bringing to life a mature composition by war poet and prolific composer IVOR GURNEY
“Everything on this page is useless” scribbled Gerald Finzi hurriedly whilst compiling a catalogue of Gurney’s late chamber music manuscripts in 1937. There are feasibly as many as 50 chamber works written by Gurney in his maturity (1919-26) Many of these date from the last few years and are missing presumably destroyed. Of these there are some 15 string quartets. The circumstances of Gurney’s death in an asylum, certified insane, arguably contributed to Finzi’s view.
Miraculously the mature D minor Quartet survives, minus the score, in string parts transcribed by Gurney’s violinist friend Marion Scott. Composed between 1924-5, it dates from a period of feverish productivity during his first two years in the City of London Mental Hospital, Dartford.
The first movement bears bowing marks, evidence which corroborates reports of it having been played through to the composer in the asylum. The second movement, the Adagio, featured in the Bridge Quartet’s recent critically acclaimed “Heracleitus” CD recording (EMR036). It was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 Breakfast Time “From the Western Front.”
Following this enthusiastic reception, Michael Schofield (violist in the Bridge Quartet) has now transcribed the remaining three movements over the course of many months. This complete quartet now offers a unique insight into Gurney’s late chamber works and a fascinating glimpse into the kaleidoscopic style of a unique voice among British composers.
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- 3 months ago
Michael Schofield3 months ago
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Apr 8, 2018
Having enjoyed the Gurney sonata for violin and piano, the piano preludes and then the adagio from this quartet, it would be good to hear more. It is a pity that so much has been lost!
Apr 2, 2018
Looking forward to hearing it again!
Feb 20, 2018
Hi Michael & Bridge Quartet! I'm very sorry that I couldn't make it to the launch, I hope it went well. Good luck with your project!!
Feb 14, 2018
Dear Michael, apologies for not being able to come to the fundraiser - I have a very hectic month conducting abroad. What a wonderful project!
Feb 14, 2018
I am very glad we came on Sunday. They are two very worthwhile pieces and it was good to engage the brain.Also, very nice to see you and the rest of the quartet.
Feb 14, 2018
Loved the recital on Sunday and hope to hear more of the recovered music. Best of luck with it!!
Feb 12, 2018
We were delighted to be at the concert last evening and we wish you well with the Ivor Gurney 'Premieres project'. Please keep us posted !
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About the fundraiser
The history of Bridge Quartet for over 25 years has been sprinkled with many critically acclaimed discoveries. Their current project, a fully fledged quartet by a poetic giant among English composers, Ivor Gurney, is both hugely exciting and also a major undertaking for us.
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