Monday, June 18 2018

Published on July 13 2017. Culture
Music at the Monastery
Archaeus Quartet

Music at the Monastery

Alex MacArthur’s showroom in Rye is the incredible 14th-century building known locally as the Monastery. Standing on Conduit Hill in the centre of town, the building formed part of a re-established Augustinian Friary. In more recent times it saw service as a storehouse, a hospital, dance hall, theatre and now will lend itself as the dramatic backdrop for a concert given by the Archaeus Quartet.

Formed in 1990 and now based in Robertsbridge, East Sussex, the Archaeus Quartet has, since its inception, performed extensively throughout Europe and the UK, including Wigmore Hall and the Purcell Room, in London, and festivals at King’s Lynn, Greenwich and Warwick. As well as a broad traditional repertoire – they are engaged in performing the complete cycle of Beethoven quartets in Eastbourne, Brighton and Robertsbridge 2016-18 – the quartet has a strong commitment to the performance of rarely heard, but high-quality works of the 20th century.

Their impressive, award-winning discography, reflects this interest with recordings of quartets by Minna Keal, York Bowen, Cyril Scott and Ethel Smyth. Despite their busy schedule of future recordings, including the complete quartets of Leonard Salzedo whose music many may be familiar with as the original opening title to the Open University programmes on television, the quartet is delighted to be embarking on this unusual venture at the Monastery.

Alex MacArthur, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the antiques/interiors business with an international reputation among collectors, interiors designers and antiques dealers alike, has very kindly offered to host the concert in association with Rye Arts Festival.

The concert, which takes place on Friday July 21 at the Monastery, Conduit Hill, at 7.30pm, includes Haydn’s “Sunrise” quartet Op. 74 no. 4, the first string quartet by Leonard Salzedo and Beethoven’s third Rasumovsky quartet in C. The rarely-heard Salzedo was written when the composer was 21 and a student at The Royal College of Music. This was the prize winning work for the highly coveted Cobbett Prize in 1942.

Tickets at £17 are available online from ryeartsfestival, or on the door.

Sarah Clark Photography

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