The first period instrument quartet to be selected as BBC New Generation Artists, the Consone Quartet are fast making a name for themselves with their honest and expressive interpretations of Classical and Romantic repertoire. Formed at the Royal College of Music in London, they launched their career in 2015, shortly after which they were awarded prizes at the York Early Music International Young Artists Competition and the Royal Over-Seas League Competition.
In 2022 the group became a recipient of the prestigious Borletti-Buitoni Trust fellowship. The quartet has performed throughout the UK and Europe as well as appearing on concert stages in South and North America. They began the 2023–24 season with appearances at Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s Inselmusik, Perth Concert Hall, St Martin-in-the-Fields London and St George’s Bristol. They recently celebrated a new partnership with Linn Records, with the release of the first volume of their full Mendelssohn cycle.
Each concert covers a different theme:
‘Teacher and Student’. As a boy, Carl Czerny was brought to meet Beethoven – having impressed him with his prodigious talent as a pianist, he became Beethoven’s pupil and later a part of his inner circle in Vienna. This concert explores the link between the two.
‘Vienna’. This programme celebrates the Austrian city’s rich musical heritage, with three masterful quartets by Schubert, Haydn, and Bruckner – each work showcasing its composer’s unique style, from Schubert’s elegant lyricism to Haydn’s witty charm and Bruckner’s powerful emotional depth.
‘Friendship’. Schumann and Mendelssohn were close friends and held each other in mutual admiration. The third concert is a tribute to their well-documented and enduring friendship, and delves into the deep emotional bonds that inspire great music making.
‘Mozart and his Doppelganger’. Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga (1806–1826) was an extraordinarily talented Spanish violinist and composer. With a style closely reminiscent to Mozart’s, and arguably as prodigious as his Austrian counterpart, he has often been dubbed as ‘the Spanish Mozart’ – though his music should be appreciated in its own right. Like Mozart, Arriaga died at a tragically young age, though at just 19 compared to Mozart’s 35 years.
Concerts begin with talks by Dr Katy Hamilton. A writer and broadcaster, she has provided talks for Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms and the Oxford Lieder Festival, and she is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio 3.
Start and end times: see Practicalities.
Friday 3rd November, 5.30pm: ‘Teacher and Student’
Beethoven, String Quartet in F, Op.59 No.1 Razumovsky
Czerny, String Quartet in A minor
Saturday 4th November, 10.30am: ‘Vienna’
Schubert, String Quartet in B flat, D68 (in two movements)
Haydn, String Quartet in E flat, Op.64 No.6
Bruckner, String Quartet in C minor
Saturday 4th November, 5.30pm: ‘Friendship’
Schumann, Selection from Bilder aus Osten, arr. F. Hermann
Mendelssohn, String Quartet in E Minor, Op.44 No.2
Schumann, String Quartet No.3 in A
Sunday 5th November, 10.30am: ‘Mozart and his Doppelganger’
Juan Arriaga, String Quartet No.2 in A
Mozart, String Quartet in G, K.387 Spring
Dr Katy Hamilton
Writer and broadcaster, she has provided talks for, amongst others, Wigmore Hall, BBC Proms and the Oxford Lieder Festival. A frequent contributor to BBC Radio 3, Katy’s specialism is the music of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and she is the editor of Brahms in the Home and Concert Hall (2014) and Brahms in Context (2019). Katy has taught at the Royal College of Music, City Lit, and the Universities of Nottingham and Middlesex.
Prices, per person
Two sharing: standard double £920; Garden Room £1,120.
Single occupancy: single bedded room £920; double for sole use £1,030.
Four concerts, talks on the music, accommodation for two nights, breakfasts, two afternoon teas, two dinners, interval drinks, programme, tips for hotel staff.
Tickets to individual concerts
£25 mornings, £30 evenings. Interval drinks and a programme are also included. Please contact us by telephone or e-mail to book these.
Start and finish times
The event begins on Friday 3rd November with afternoon tea available from 3.00–5.00pm (check in is from 3.00pm). The final concert ends at c. 12.30pm on Sunday 5th November.
The Castle is renowned for its excellent service, for comforts traditional and modern, and for its superb catering. It has been owned and run by the Chapman family for over 60 years. Chamber music events have been held here since 1977, and Martin Randall Travel took over the running of them in 2003.
The hotel’s bedrooms are individually and charmingly decorated. Doubles and twins are mainly of a good size, and the largest – the Garden Rooms – overlook the garden. There is no single-occupancy supplement for the rooms with single beds. The majority of rooms have a bath with a shower fitment.
The hotel has a lift, though some bedrooms are then accessed via stairs. The Music Room is on a mezzanine level, up a flight of stairs from the lobby (and is not lift-accessible).
Taunton lies on the doorstep of Exmoor and the Quantocks, areas with some of the loveliest countryside in England.
'Some hotels are still showing the stresses of the past two years but the Castle was as well managed as ever and their high standards maintained in all areas.'
'This was the first musical weekend that I had attended at the Castle hotel in Taunton. As a chamber music devotee I thoroughly enjoyed the programme... I was also appreciative of the comforts offered by the hotel. Good also to meet the other guests. All in all a much needed post lockdown tonic!'
'The musicians were terrific. Well-chosen programme.'