Solem Quartet in Painted Light

Location: St Mary's Church, Luton LU1 3JF
Solem Quartet

This programme has been drawn from the repertoire which the Solem Quartet have recently recorded on their latest CD Painted Light. That project broadly explored the idea of ‘colour’ in music. The quartet is perhaps inviting the listener to consider whether for example the intense ‘colours’ of music written at the time of the French Impressionist art movement might well be correlated to that aesthetic. This music by the Boulanger sisters and Debussy make a very convincing case…

As in the Maja Ratkje piece from earlier in the season, Edmund Finnis’s String Quartet Devotions is inspired by Beethoven. In his late Op 132 quartet the third movement was written while the ailing viennese composer was convalescing at Baden after a serious illness in 1824-25. He wrote the slow movement entitled Heiliger Dankgesang eines Genesenen an die Gottheit, in der lydischen Tonart as a hymn of thanks to God for his recovery, praising his reawakened life. Edmund Finnis has used this profoundly uplifting movement as the inspiration for Devotions.

As we consider throughout the year’s season The Relationship between Literature, Art & Music, it is fascinating to get a glimpse of how often composers find their inspiration in other works of art. Notwithstanding such glorious synergies, we are as a result then reminded how music still achieves these things in an incontrovertibly unique way. Although its genesis may often be rooted in the world that surrounds it, yet its individuality and power is so very singular.

    Richard Sisson (Chair of Luton Music)


Painted Light
Nadia Boulanger – Three Pieces for cello and piano, arranged for string quartet (arr. Amy Tress)
Edmund Finnis – String Quartet No.3 Devotions


Lili Boulanger – Deux morceaux, arranged for string quartet (arr. William Newell)
Claude Debussy – Quartet in G minor Op 10


Ellie Fagg – violin
William Newell – violin
Stephen Upshaw – viola
Stephanie Tress – cello


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