What a beautiful weekend we just had! For those who are not in Scotland at the moment, we are in the middle of a mini ‘heatwave’…not always so great for reeds but perfect for a wee Scottish Genovia Quartet adventure! We gave two recitals at the weekend, one in St Conan’s Kirk (by Loch Awe) and one in Dower House, Corstorphine (Edinburgh’s West End).
At the moment our Miss Rodriguez is busy studying hard in Spain (she is collecting Master’s degrees it seems)! So we were delighted to have Anthea Wood as our guest – she is a fantastic Glasgow-based bassoonist who adores chamber music just as much as we do! So a huge thank you to Anthea for the great musicianship and enthusiasm you brought to our group over the past few days.
Our trip to Loch Awe was….AWEsome (had to be said)! Even the 2.5 hour train journey from Glasgow was a picturesque adventure through hills, forests and rivers. Although we love being based in Glasgow, it’s always great to get out of the city and see different parts of our beautiful country – there is always new inspiration to be found! One of the perks of the job for sure.
We arrived to St Conan’s Kirk which is nestled quietly by the banks of Loch Awe. Upon entering the Kirk you are hit with truly spectacular architecture from all angles. This church is a real hidden gem – we recommend a visit if you are in the Argyll area! They offer tours, concerts and even a lovely wee tearoom (essential!). https://www.stconanskirk.org.uk/
We performed some of our favourite pieces - including music by Verdi, Berlioz, and Grieg’s Peer Gynt featuring Rhiannon on the contrabassoon! Along with some folky and jazzy numbers of course. Audience member Liz had this to say:
“This delightful quartet certainly delivered on their promise to take us on a whirlwind musical tour!
Playing a variety of pieces which ranged from true classical to jazz, from old favourites to new contemporary arrangements, they demonstrated how amazingly versatile the bassoon can be. Of course this could only be possible in the hands of truly talented musicians. We are so pleased to have again had such a really high quality musical performance in St Conan’s, brought to us once more by Classical Musicians Scotland.
The concert was followed by a very delicious Easter Afternoon Tea featuring a variety of sandwiches, hot cross buns, Easter biscuits, lemon simnel cake, Easter rocky road and chocolate egg cupcakes.
A feast for all senses!”
Thank you Liz! Everyone made us feel so welcome. After stuffing our faces with cake (of course) we headed back to Glasgow to rest for the evening.
On Sunday it was another beautiful sunny day as we headed to Edinburgh, ready for our performance in Dower House as part of the Corstorphine Trust. It was great to represent our alma-mater the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the last of a series of performances from the students and alumni.
We were welcomed and given coffee (very important for bassoonists!) before heading out to catch a few rays of sunshine before the recital. Everyone made us feel so welcome once again and it seems that a few people had never seen a live bassoon before! It is always a pleasure for us to share our joy and love of music and bassoon with new audiences, playing a mixture of well-known tunes and more unusual repertoire. In Genovia Quartet we want our concerts to be enjoyed equally by highly-trained musicians and first-time concert goers alike. We hope we brought this joy and fun at the weekend – we certainly had a wonderful time!
Thank you to Classical Musicians Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for organising these events, to our fantastic hosts and to Anthea for joining us! See you all in June back in the bold Glasgow…