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Coffee Concert: The Adderbury Ensemble playing Vaughan-Williams and Mozart

Holywell Music Room, 3rd February 2008


Every Sunday morning at the Holywell Music Room some of Britain’s finest musicians come to display their talents. Yet whilst the concert venue is often full, very few students are present. Perhaps few students are interested in classical music? But this is hard to believe with hundreds across the university involved with various choirs, orchestras and other ensembles.


Then, maybe students cannot afford to go and see concerts? However, the £8 entry fee (including coffee at the King’s Arms following the concert) is a small one in comparison to the amount spent on nights out to clubs.


Last Sunday, the Adderbury Ensemble performed at the Holywell Music Room coffee concert. The group was formed in 1986, and after initially performing solely in the north Oxfordshire village of Adderbury, now performs throughout Europe. It also helped to set up the Oxford coffee concert series, and will record two CDs in 2008.


The concert opened with Vaughan-Williams’ ‘Phantasy’ quintet, a work for strings that is much less well-known than several of his other works written just after the end of the First World War. His love of the viola is clear from the opening theme of the first movement, and, judging by the audience’s excited chatter at the end the piece, the rendition was very well received.


The second and final piece of the concert was Mozart’s String Quintet in G minor, k. 516. Despite being well played, its tragic and grave nature made it unremarkable after the Vaughan-Williams.


Next Sunday’s coffee concert at the Holywell Music Room is at 11.15am, where the Cremona string quartet will be playing quartets by Beethoven and Bartok (tickets available from Tickets Oxford 01865 305305).


by Robin Thompson

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