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Youth with spotlight on anniversary; Classical.


TWO of the best young string quartets in Britain will be out to prove that four plus four equals great when they join forces in Warwickshire this weekend.

The Navarra and Sacconi quartets will be teaming up at Warwick's Bridge House Theatre on Sunday for the latest in the Music in the Round concert series.

They will combine for Mendelssohn's sparkling String Octet, written when the composer was just 16.

The spotlight is on Mendelssohn this year - he was born 200 years ago on February 3 and the anniversary is a welcome opportunity to highlight his huge range of music.

His octet on Sunday will be flanked by two Brahms sextets.

Richard Phillips, of concert promoter Leamington Music, says: "This is a knock-out programme and presents a wonderful opportunity to wallow in brilliant writing for strings.

"These two quartets, which I have got to know over the years, are up there at the top with other young British quartets at a remarkable time when this particular type of ensemble is really flourishing."

Both quartets have performed in their own right in Warwickshire in the past year, impressing audiences at the Royal Pump Rooms in Leamington. Tickets for Sunday's 3pm concert are available from 01926 776438.

THERE are two chances to catch world-renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber in action.

He will be the soloist for Elgar's haunting Cello Concerto when the Russian State Philharmonic Orchestra takes to Northampton's Derngate stage on Tuesday. The concert also features Tchaikovsky's Francesca da Rimini and Symphony No 6.

He will team up with the Russians again next Friday as soloist for Tchaikovsky's Rococo Variations at Birmingham Symphony Hall. It is part of an all-Russian programme which includes Shostakovich's Piano Concerto No 2 with Tatyana Polianskaya as soloist. The conductor for both concerts will be Valery Poliansky. Derngate box office 01604 624811. Symphony Hall box office 0121 780 3333.

Musicians from the Warwickshire-based Orchestra of the Swan will be playing back-to-back Bach this month.

They will be giving a concert with music by JS Bach at its heart in Stratford Civic Hall on February 17.

And the following afternoon, they will be repeating the programme at Birmingham Town Hall.

The concerts feature two of Bach's Brandenburg concertos - his suite in B minor and a Concerto Grosso by Handel.

Violinist Dave le Page, flautist Diane Clark and Christine Whiffen on harpsichord, will take the demanding solo roles in Brandenburg Concertos Nos 4 and 5.

Tickets for the Stratford concert on 01789 207100. Birmingham box office 0121 780 3333.


FOUR IS TOPS... The Sacconi Quartet (above) join forces with the Navarra Quartet at Warwick's Bridge House Theatre on Sunday
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 6, 2009
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