The delightful St John’s Methodist Church in Hereford provided a very attractive venue for this concert. In this dual celebration evening, Grippers was fortunate to celebrate its 10th year with the Hereford MIND team who were celebrating the opening of Hereford’s purpose built 14-bedroom mental health recovery facility, Miller Court.
With nicely resonant acoustic, spacious dais and good lighting in the Church, the Quartet was able to enjoy a receptive audience. The concert started with the strong rhythmic Boyce Sinfonia from the Baroque period and continued with Engelbert Humperdinck’s only complete string quartet. Spanning the Romantic and early 20th century periods, and known best for his charming opera Hansel and Gretel, Humperdinck’s string writing is mostly tuneful and comfortable to play, though sometimes a little testing harmonically and rhythmically. Borodin’s famous Nocturne, with yearning lyrical melodies contrasted. Last was Haydn’s Op. 50, no.2 quartet. In firm Classical style, developed by Haydn himself, innovative syncopation and part-writing typified the composer’s masterful intellect.
The interval gave members of both charities time to mingle over cups of coffee and tea and to examine details of building works on Miller Court and photos and reports from the Grippers archives up to the present day.