Thursday 21 Feb 2019, 6pmRoyal Festival Hall, London

Venue Box Office: 020 3879 9555

Adrián Varela violin

Jan Regulski violin

Gijs Kramers viola

Eric Villeminey cello

Bach Choral Aus Meines Herzens Grunde, BWV 269

Bach Choral Es ist das Heil uns kommen her, BWV 86

Stravinsky Concertino for String Quartet

Bach Contrapunctus 1 from The Art of Fugue

Bach Contrapunctus 14a from The Art of Fugue

Piazzolla Suite Punta del Este

Violinist Adrián Varela leads a string quartet in chorales and fugues by JS Bach, and works by two later composers whose music builds on Bach’s legacy: Stravinsky’s Concertino and his own arrangement of Piazzolla’s Suite Punta del Este.

Two tender chorales by Bach open the performance. Originally composed to be sung by four-part choir, these pieces lend themselves well to the ‘voices’ of a string quartet. In contrast, Stravinsky’s rhythmically charged Concertino for String Quartet packs a kaleidoscope of colours into just eight minutes of music, with the first violin prominently featured in this ‘little concerto’. 

In the intricate four-part fugues from Bach’s masterpiece The Art of Fugue, hear the instruments weave across each other, as each of the four melodic lines is brought out in turn.

To close the performance, violinist Adrián Varela presents his own arrangement of one of Astor Piazzolla’s richest orchestral works. Named after a Uruguayan holiday resort where Piazzolla spent many fondly-remembered summers, the Suite Punta del Este combines Piazzolla’s tango heritage with his love of Baroque and Classical forms.



  • Tickets: This concert is FREE and unticketed - just walk in
  • Running time: 50 minutes, no interval
  • Concert programme: Free programmes are available upon entry
  • Drinks: You can take drinks from the bar into this evening's performance
  • After the concert: In the evening programme at 7.30pm, Philippe Herreweghe, one of the great exponents of Baroque and Classical music, joins the full Orchestra for a programme of Bach and Mozart, culminating in the majestic Jupiter Symphony.  

This concert is part of the Philharmonia Chamber Players series