Chamber Ensemble shares passion for the classics

The Chamber Ensemble gave an enjoyable and well-received performance from its Bach, Mozart and Friends programme, last Saturday.

The 90-minute performance by the group was the second musical offering in this year’s Cayman Arts Festival. Staged at the First Baptist Church chapel, the varied programme offered listeners a balanced selection of popular pieces, as well as introducing the audience to some lesser established works.

Differing slightly from the published programme, the ensemble played: Purcell’s Trumpet Sonata, which showcased the chamber qualities of the early trumpet to good effect, Mozart’s Flute Quartet in D Adagio and Rondo, Piano Quintet K 452, the 1st Movement Largo-Allegro Molto, the 2nd Movement Larghetto, the 3rd Movement Rondo: Allegro and Weber’s Clarinet Concerto no. 1 op 73 1st movement.

Following the intermission the UK based musicians played: Brahms’ Horn Trio 1 and 3 Movements and Ibert’s Deux interludes 2 violins and piano.

Billed as one of Britain’s favourite chamber orchestras, the group delighted the already appreciative audience by playing a lesser known classical piece to close the performance – Bohuslav Martinu’s La Revue de Cuisine Third Movement.

Described by the Garden Opera Director, Peter Bridges as having an unpromising beginning but improving greatly later on, he later explained why the piece was chosen. ‘Martinu’s Charleston is great rumbustious fun by the 20th century Czech composer who enjoyed poking fun at the established order.’

He advised the Caymanian Compass that the programme had been put together to showcase the beauty of each piece with some, such as Mozart’s Piano Quintet, being arranged to accommodate the group’s musicianship.

‘[It was] originally written for Horn, Clarinet, Oboe, Bassoon and piano. To fit our group we have arranged it so that the bassoon part is given to the cello, the horn part to the flugel/trumpet and the oboe part to the violin. The piano and clarinet parts are as the original.

‘This is one of Mozart’s most sublime works and mirrors many operas that we have often played… It is the first piece of chamber music that I learnt at the age of 14 and is still one of my very favourites.’

Formed from the musicians playing in the Garden Opera Company; the group is made up of experienced chamber musicians who play in ensembles such as the Bridge string quartet and Alma trio.

Members have performed at all the major chamber music venues in the UK, including the Wigmore Hall.

The group’s last overseas engagement was in Mombasa, Kenya in 2006.