x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 16 January 2018

Classical music quintet brings a little romance to the UAE

The Schubert Ensemble of London is set to romance UAE audiences.

The Schubert Ensemble will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. Courtesy Schubert Ensemble
The Schubert Ensemble will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year. Courtesy Schubert Ensemble

Classical music from the Romantic era has remained perennially popular because of its exploration of the deeper levels of human emotion.

Tomorrow, the internationally acclaimed Schubert Ensemble of London will perform at a concert at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates, presented by the Dubai Concert Committee.

With an average of 50 concerts each year around the world and 30 CDs released to date, the Schubert Ensemble - a quintet of piano and strings - has built and maintained a reputation for having a unique repertoire.

The group, which celebrates its 30th anniversary next year, will perform Robert Schumann's Piano Quartet, Schubert's Trout Quintet and Martin Butler's American Rounds for piano quintet.

"Most of the time, when watching a film, the background music is classical with an influence of composers from the European Romantic tradition," says Douglas Paterson, the ensemble's viola player.

"We chose Shumann's Piano Quartet because it is one of the most famous and beautiful pieces in chamber music."

Shubert's Trout Quintet was chosen for its "joyful" elements, while Butler's American Rounds was written especially for the group.

"This piece incorporates American folk themes. It is lively, energetic and quirky and has a personal message which deals with the nostalgia of folk music played long ago," he says.

During their two-day stay in the UAE, the Schubert Ensemble will also be holding educational workshops at Dubai College.

"People derive different things from music as there are many levels to enjoying and experiencing music," says Paterson. "Our concert offers an insight into the chosen pieces and we hope the audience appreciates their stature."

It is also quite an achievement, he says, to survive in chamber music during the current economic climate. "It takes lots of work and thought to stay creative. Being able to still tour the world with good friends and play music is a great way to spend one's life," he says. "We are individuals expressing our voices and that is how we have developed over the years."

To celebrate their 30th anniversary next year, the group will begin by recording Romanian music, followed by concerts in Britain, across the US and in Bucharest, Romania, before ending in London towards the end of the year.

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