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Berkeley Ensemble                      24th Feb 2020 Luton Sixth Form College  Map

Regular visitors to our concerts here in Luton, members of the highly sought after Berkeley Ensemble join us in our survey of the Beethoven piano sonatas. Richard Sisson has made a new arrangement of the Op 26 Funeral March sonata. Written two years before the composer’s epic Eroica symphony, the funeral processions that feature in both works are surely a reflection on Beethoven’s sense of mortality and his ideals of the potentially heroic nature of mankind.

This metaphysical sonata is perhaps a telling companion for Olivier Messiaen’s haunting Quartet for the End of Time. Premièred in 1941, it was written whilst Messiaen was a prisoner of war in Germany. This heartfelt masterpiece is one of the greatest works of chamber music from the 20th Century. The new arrangement of the Beethoven uses the same instrumentation of violin, clarinet, cello and piano.

The programme will also include works by A level composition students from Luton Sixth Form College.

‘And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever... the mystery of God should be finished.’  Book of Revelation

‘…the high quality of the performances by the Berkeley Ensemble, a malleable group which plays as if it were truly inside the music.’

Sunday Telegraph



Ludwig van Beethoven – Sonata in A flat Op 26 Funeral March

A level Student Pieces

Olivier Messiaen – Quartet for the End of Time

Gemma Wareham (cello)

John Slack (clarinet)

Sophie Mather (violin)

Richard Sisson (piano)