Sunday Evening Music Among Friends (Autumn 2019)

The Colour House Theatre

Sunday Evening Music Among Friends (Autumn 2019)

In the ideally intimate medieval Colour House Theatre at Merton Abbey Mills, “Sunday Evening Music Among Friends“, now in its 24th year, is a series of informal monthly concerts covering a wide variety of chamber music.

The concerts are normally held on the last Sunday of each month, and are published in three seasons, omitting July and August: January-March, April-June and September-December. Each one begins at 7:30pm and lasts about ninety minutes including the interval, during which you can enjoy a free drink next door in the historic Wheelhouse.

Please arrive a little beforehand to take your place, as the seats aren’t numbered. We plan the programmes carefully but reserve the right to vary them if necessary.

Tickets are £14 (concessions £10); a season ticket for these four concerts is £40 (concessions £30). Payment is accepted by cash or cheque; we regret we can’t accept credit cards.

To order a season ticket you can send a cheque (payable to “John Hawks”) to:

Sunday Evening Music Among Friends,
8A Spenser Rd,
SE24 0NR

Book by email:

Book by phone: 07949 593 431

Merton Abbey Mills (SW19 2RD) is opposite Sainsbury’s/M&S on the A24 Merantun Way. It’s just over a mile from Wimbledon centre (buses 57 & 200), five minutes walk from Merton Bus Garage and ten from Collier’s Wood tube. There’s a small free car park behind the theatre, a larger public one next door (2 hours free), a fine riverside pub, and Ban Yai, an excellent Thai restaurant open on most Sunday evenings (orders before 9pm).


Sunday 29th September, 7:30pm

Neil Crossland (piano)
Daquin: Le Coucou
Haydn: Sonata in A flat major Hob.XVI.43
Schubert: Six Moments Musicaux D.780
Neil Crossland: Transcriptions of ‘Queen’
Piano Sonata No.3 “The Awakening”

The annual visits of this phenomenal artist are always eagerly awaited, especially after his recent epic series of the complete Beethoven Piano Sonatas. After the ever popular “Cuckoo” he plays one of Haydn’s charming and typically sprightly sonatas, followed by a hauntingly beautiful collection of pieces published in the year Schubert died. As remarkable a composer as performer, Neil then gives us some of his own arrangements of popular music, and then his third sonata, a work in a richly romantic and excitingly virtuosic style.

Sunday 27th October, 7:30pm

The Marmara Piano Trio:
Mona Kodama (violin), Thomas Gregory (cello),
Mine Dogantan-Dack (piano)

Schubert: Piano Trio No.2 in E Flat D.929
Tchaikovsky: Piano Trio in A minor Op.50

After their magnificent performance last year of Beethoven’s “Archduke” and Brahms’s Opus 8, our guests now treat us to two more of the greatest piano trios. Schubert’s second was written the year before his death aged just 31, its slow movement having one of the most inspired tunes. That other great tunesmith, Tchaikovsky, is of course most renowned for his symphonies, concertos and ballet music, but his chamber music has real stature, and this superb work won’t disappoint you.

Sunday 24th November, 7:30pm

Music for wind ensemble by the Bromley Symphony Wind Soloists

We welcome back this talented group who have filled the Colour house with glorious wind sound every year now for nearly a decade. All colleagues of series favourite, oboist Caroline Marwood, they explore the varied repertoire of chamber music for wind, especially the three great serenades by Mozart, one of which they will play in this concert. Also in the programme will be Brahms’s familiar Variations on the St Antoni Chorale (a.k.a. Variations on a Theme of Haydn) in a brilliant arrangement for wind band.

Sunday 15th December, 7:30pm

Simon Ballard (piano)
with The Colour House Ensemble
Mozart: Piano Concerto No.12 in A K414
Fesca: Septet No.1 in G minor; for oboe, horn, violin, viola, cello, bass and piano

In our Christmas concerts the main item has traditionally been a large-scale festive piece from the early nineteenth century. In 2015 we programmed the first of the two Septets by Alexander Fesca, a German contemporary of Mendelssohn and Schumann who tragically died young before his great promise could be fulfilled. It was received so enthusiastically then that we can’t resist revisiting it as this year’s Christmas special. Before it we hear the exquisite K414, one of three piano concertos which Mozart authorised could be played in a chamber version. As ever we welcome Simon, an outstanding Mozartian, who unusually will play Mozart’s alternative finale for this work, published separately as the Rondo K386.

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