Phantasy and Romance

Chamber 3


With major event restrictions still to be lifted to a point where we can perform for you in the concert hall, we regret that this MSO performance will not proceed.

We are committed to ensuring the longevity and sustainability of the MSO, and we thank you for your patience, understanding and support during this time. We will, however, keep the music going! We invite all music-lovers to enjoy free online concerts via our YouTube channel.

2020 has been one of the most difficult years in the MSO’s history. What’s more, the financial effects of COVID-19 will be felt even more in 2021. If you hold a ticket to this performance, instead of requesting a refund, we ask you to consider donating the value of your ticket to enable us to live stream more free events and continue the mission of the MSO, to enrich lives through music. Please email our Box Office prior to the performance date at if you would prefer to do this and we thank you in advance if you choose to donate during this uncertain period. MSO gift cards (valid for 3 years) are also available.

Refunds will automatically be processed to the credit card used to make the purchase on the scheduled concert date. Please note, refunds may take 10 business days to arrive in your account.

Further information can be found on the Cancelled and Rescheduled Concerts page


Kathryn Taylor violin
Gabrielle Halloran viola
Miranda Brockman cello
Michael Pisani oboe
Brock Imison bassoon
Kenji Fujimura piano


Britten Phantasy Quartet
Poulenc Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano
Brahms Piano Quartet No. 3

About the performance

Intimacy and revelation.

This stunning concert of Britten, Brahms and Poulenc provides a window into the souls of these remarkable artists.

Benjamin Britten’s Phantasy Quartet, composed when he was only 19, had a rather lukewarm reception when the BBC broadcast it back in 1933, even though it won him the prestigious Cobbett Prize the year before. The Times thought it, “did not build to a satisfying whole”. But perhaps this misses the point. Seen in the context of the English composer’s entire oeuvre, the work contains many elements that would go on to define his singular genius.

Brahms was a particular influence on Britten, who claimed that, “at the ages of 13 and 16 I knew every note of Beethoven and Brahms”. The Piano Quartet No. 3 was written when Brahms was living with Clara Schumann, helping her run the household while her husband, Brahms’ mentor Robert Schumann was in an asylum. It is ostensibly dedicated to Goethe, and his character Werther, though it’s possible to detect Johannes’ feelings for Clara amid the work’s swirling Romanticism.

Rounding out this intimate concert is French composer Francis Poulenc’s extraordinary Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano. It’s an unusual combination of instruments, however they sound perfectly matched. Effortlessly melodic and witty, it is a perfect demonstration of the composer’s distinct style.

These three beautiful works give an intriguing insight into their composers’ internal reflections, and together make a rich and revealing morning of music.

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