Homepage September 2012

Posted on October 15th, 2012 by

Writer Malene Sheppard Skaerved, and composer Nigel Clarke discussing our developing project on the redout of the Western Heights, Dover. 13 10 2012

The fun of being a violinist-being up close, hour after hour to an instrument (The ‘Joachim’Strad 1698) that looks like this-still from the V and A film which is in preparation.

Just in…Outtakes from Beethoven, Sonatas Op 12, with Aaron Shorr. 

Beethoven-3 Sonatas Op 12 Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin (Stradivari 1734 ‘Habeneck’) & Aaron Shorr (Piano) 

Raw outtakes, recorded in St John’s Smith Square, London

E flat major, Op. 12, No. 3

Allegro con spiritoAdagio con molt’espressioneRondo: Allegro molto To hear more, got to Op12 

The master listens-John McCabe listening to Aaron Shorr, Linda Merrick, and Neil Heyde rehearsing his sonata. 11am 5th September RCS Glasgow

New recordings soon to be released-outtakes

Andreas Romberg-B Flat Major Sonata ‘Schottische’

Peter & Aaron Shorr in action 2011

Aaron Shorr-Piano, Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin (Stradivari 1734 ‘Habeneck’) Recorded St John’s Smith Square

Andreas Romberg, who could have been found playing chamber music with Antoine Reicha, Bernhard Romberg and Beethoven in Bonn in 1790

John McCabe with the Kreutzers, Linda Merrick and Aaron Shorr at the RCS Glasgow

Friday October 5th, we will be playing John’s fantastic trios and Clarinet quintet here at 1pm. Just arrived-and rehearsal in train.

Neil, Aaron and Linda rehearse John McCabe’s radiant ‘Sonata’ 1915 4th October

This just in!

Beethoven-Symphony No 3 ‘Eroica’ (authorised version for Piano Quartet)-OUTTAKES…3rd Movement-Scherzo4th Movement-Finale: Allegro molto

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Dov Scheindlin, Neil Heyde, Aaron Shorr (Recorded in St Johns Smith Square)

Watch out for the up coming Metier Release.

Sadie Harrison-Same Strand (September 2012)

Workshop recording: Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin (Stradivari 1698) London 30-09-2012

The composer notes: ‘A sleepless night…and a little piece to show for it…after your gentle ‘Same Strand’. All is self-explanatory.'(30th September 2012)

This piece responds to an old drawing of mine, made on an iron-cold late december morning, by the Sound, with Sweden all but invisible in the freezing mist. I was not by myself, but something happened-a moment of recognition, that this rocky, wrack-clogged beach, the heave of the water, was in some way, home. It took me years to show anyone the drawing, and Sadie has seized on the emotion, the particular malincolia that seized me, and given it voice. I recognise, painfully even, the lyricsim that she has heard. This is what composers can do-hear the truths which we neglect or ignore.

After Peter Sheppard Skaerved ‘Same Strand’:

‘same strand’. Humlebaek, Sjaelland-Peter Sheppard Skaerved

This just in: We are about to start editing an unreleased recording of the authorised chamber version of the ‘Eroica’.  Have a listen to the Funeral March-single take.

Beethoven-Symphony No. 3 Marcia Funebre (arr. possibly by Franz Clement)

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Dov Scheindlin-Neil Heyde-Aaron Shorr  (Recorded St John’s Smith Sq April 2003

Sadie Harrison-Coffee with Aphra Behn: Westminster Abbey Cloisters ( 22 September 2012)

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin

Workshop recording 23rd September 2012 London

Sadie Harrison has written a word about the latest exquisite miniature in her series, based on my drawings. Yesterday (September 22nd, she wrote):

Here is the next piece in the set which I am calling ‘Gallery’./It’s a reworking of a 14th century ‘Gloria in excelsis’ from the Worcester School. It seemed a fitting companion to your Coffee with Aphra Behn – a reflection on her gravestone text and the surroundings./I know that the double/triple stoppings are not always playable exactly as I have written them and that the score is an ‘ideal’. The most important quality is one of restrained exaltation, where nothing is hurried but there is a sense of progression, also a certain gravitas. You will understand. Practically, this means that the gracenotes should always speak as harmony notes with as much sustain as possible between all notes – a choir really if you can manage it!(Sadie Harrison-E mail 22nd September 2012)


A great day’s recording (19th September)- the studio, with my great friends, Neil, Mihailo, Morgan and Jonathan, is the place where we can be totally free musically!

Elliott Schwartz-String Quartet No 2 (Outtakes)

St John the Baptist Church, Aldbury 19th September

Kreutzer Quartet (Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Mihailo Trandafilovski-Morgan Goff-Neil Heyde)Engineer-Jonathan Haskell (Astounding Sounds)

Just finished recording Elliott Schwartz’s radiant 2nd Quartet. A wonderful day. Here is the score on the 14th Century tiles of Aldbury church. A happy counterpoint.


Elliott Schwartz – ‘Water Music (Posted 20th September 2012)

Completed edit: The Kreutzers (Peter Sheppard Skærved, Neil Heyde, Mihailo Trandafilovski & Morgan Goff) with friends: Rachel Meerloo, Val Wellbanks, Diana Mathews, Aisha Orazbayeva, Midori Komachi, , Alice Barron, Steven Crichlow, Annabelle Berthomé Reynolds/ Engineer-Jonathan Haskell (Astounding Sounds)

For the past few years, I have been in conversation with the design visionary, Ross Lovegrove. This has a resulted so far, in a series of drawings, passed back and forth-which are something to do with our meandering dialogues about form and imagination. This is a larger one of mine (done in ballpoint)-about a metre across

Denmark 16th-17th September

On stage at Schaeffergaardenn, playing Haflidi Hallgrimsson in front of a Havsteen Mikkelsen Icelandic landscape. 16th Septenber 2012 Midday

Practice: 11pm Schaeffergaarden, Jaegersborg. 15th September-for concert celebrating Sven Hastein-Mikkelsen-on the desk Sibelius, Lars Bagger, Sadie Harrison, Ole Bull, Nielsen, Abrahamsen, and the Havstein Mikkelsen’s work

For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground/And tell sad stories of the death of kings…Playing Biber for the Fontrevault Kings. Cast Courts, Victoria and Albert Museum, 14th September 2012



The National Anthem arr. David Matthews

‘Cymbeline’s Castle’ 10th September 2012
…Mulmutius made our laws,/Who as the first of Britain which did put/HIs brows within a golden crown, call’d/
Himself a king (Shakespeare)

Walking in the Chilterns today, clambering up ‘Cymbeline’s Castle’, and then coming home to Red Arrows & way too many helicopters, I determined to do my one Olympic thing this year, which is to post David Matthews’s version of The National Anthem (which of course, is not a National Anthem-but that’s another story). David made this version, with an eye to Stravinsky’s version of La Marseillaise, in 2007. I premiered it at a crazy event that Nigel Clarke, Mihailo Trandafilovski and I did for the Queen’s birthday in Skopje-with the Macedonian Army Band, the Skopje Mandolin Orchestra, lots of wonderful young string players, fireworks (yes), trumpeters from the Territorial Army, Fish and Chips,  Terry Riley’s ‘In C’…it was a slightly nutty evening. So here is David’s ‘God save the Queen…’

arr. David Matthews-The National Anthem Workshop recording 10th September 2012. Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin

David Matthews – ‘After Adrienne’  7-9th September 2012 Workshop Recording-Peter Sheppard Skaerved 11th September Wapping

The composer writes:

‘Here is yet another piece from me: it was Jaroslav Š?astný’s 60th birthday in July and I’ve written him a belated birthday present. It’s based on a phrase from an orchestral piece called ‘Adrienne’ which I particularly like.’ (David Matthews 9th September 2012)



The end of the new work-two days old!


The Flight of Swallows. Bavaria July 2009

Sadie Harrison-‘The Flight of Swallows’ (September 2012)Peter Sheppard Skaerved-violin (Workshop recording, 8th September 2012)

Sadie Harrison constantly astonishes me with the beauty of her imagination. Yesterday, (7th September 2012), my wife and returned from a day walking in the Chilterns, along the ‘Ridgeway’, the ancient roadway along the escarpments that bisect the south of England. A day of neolithic earthworks, ‘Grims Ditch’, birds of prey and Clover filled meadows. Upon arriving home, I found that Sadie had (with perfect timing) written a piece responding to my Swallow-flight painting from Munich. So here it is,  just an ‘at the desk’ reading, of her new piece.

Hans Werner Henze-Für Manfred (1989)Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin (Workshop Recording 3rd September 2012) Wapping

I have recorded and performed all of Henze’s major works for violin,  but this morning(September 3rd) realised, over my coffee, that I really wanted to spend some time with this single page work that he wrote in 1989.

My worked score of Für Manfred. 2012

Like Beethoven, Henze has always been able to achieve astounding lyricism, beauty and sincerity in the largest and smallest forms. Indeed, this work functions like a Beethoven bagatelle-the central dramatic section, marked ‘feierlich, deklamatorisch’ is displaced from the reality of the ‘frame’, quite literally on the page, with a ‘side-stepped’ stave, which I have never seen in Henze’s solo works, but which is very familiar from Crumb.

Link to 3rd Concerto


Peter with Henze. September 1989 (two weeks after this work was written)

Delight at the Library of Congress. Photo-Richard Bram

A conversation-Sylvia Plath – ‘Edge’ & Hans-Jürgen von Bose- ‘Edge’

Sylvia Plath

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin (workshop recording 2/9/2012)

I first met the composer Hans-Jürgen von Bose in Munich, back stage at the Radio Studios, in 1999.  We immediately got talking about Sylvia Plath, spurred by his piece, ‘Edge’, responding to her poem.  I thought it was about time they were heard together.

Hans Jurgen van Bose

August 15th 2012: One day after weaving Paganini, Judith Bingham, and Locatelli together at Wiltons Music Hall, a pilgrimage in Amsterdam. The house where Pietro Locatelli, worked, practised and collected books on alchemy…(photo-Marius Skaerved)

With Paganini (an 1830’s bust made for the mass market in Paris) at Wiltons 14th August. Photo Marius Skaerved

In conversation on stage with the wonderful Judith Bingham at Wilton’s Music Hall 14th August 2012

Packing into the upstairs room at Wiltons for Paganini and Bingham 14th August. Photo-Marius Skaerved


On the 14th September, I will be joined by the virtuoso horn player, Carly Lake, for a concert/event inspired by the Cast Courts at the V & A. By way of introduction, I must confess to a lifelong obsession with classical sculpture, much of which I came to love, the old-fashioned way, drawing and looking at plaster casts. Here is one that lives with me every day, the ‘foot of Hermes’from the sculptture discovered in the Heraeum at Olympia, just below where Pausanius saw it 1700 years ago. This cast was made in Den Kongelige Afstøbningssamling in Copenhagen.

Daily inspiration: ‘Praxiteles brought the gods nearer to men, by making them more human’ Ernest Gardner (1910)

Celebrating a new arrival. Today (13th August 2012) we rehearsed (Beethoven String Trios) for the first time with the G B Vuillaume 1840 cello which Neil Heyde is bringing into the Kreutzer Quartet. The combination of great string instruments from three centuries (1699 Stradivari, 1714 Daniel Parker, and the 1840 Vuillaume) was astonishing.

Neil Heyde with the 1840 Vuillaume Cello. 13th August

Gottfried Finger-E major Prelude (from ‘Select Preludes and Vollenteries’ Walsh 1705) -introduction and a little help from Sir Isaac Newton

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin (Workshop Recording New York City 8th August 2012)

Dedicatory engraving for Gottfried Finger

David Matthews-Prelude for Jenifer Wakelyn

Following on from his lovely prelude for Judith Bingham, David has now written one for his wife, Jenifer Wakelyn, which will eventually join up with the 15th Fugue . I have spent the afternoon here in New York City working on the new work, and here is a workshop recording, of this lovely piece.

David Matthews-‘Prelude’ for dearest Jenifer on our 7th Wedding AnniversaryPeter Sheppard Skaerved-Violin (Workshop Recording, ‘El Dorado’, Central Park West, NYC 5th August 2012)

My copy of David’s prelude, already beaten and over marked

Bartok-String Quartet No. 3.

Kreutzer Quartet – Peter Sheppard Skaerved, Mihailo Trandafilovski, Morgan Goff, Neil Heyde 

Recording courtesy of Colin Still (Optic Nerve)

This piece remains at the the centre of what we do as a quartet. The standard that it offers, of a unity of emotional impact, dramatic structure, and integrity of construction makes it, quite frankly, irresistible. This performance was recorded in the the church of St John, Waterloo, and is a good step on our journey with this piece.

Bartok with Zoltan Szekely

Improvising in the ‘Grand Shaft’ Dover 25th July

Improvisation in the Grand Shaft 

Playing Paul Osterfield’s Caprices (with Chopstick) 24th July Sidney Sussex Photo Marius Skaerved

Rehearsing Paganini, Bingham, Matthews, Osterfield, 24th July Sidney Sussex Chapel, Cambridge. Photo Marius Skaerved

Jeremy Thurlow, after the success of his ‘Ouija’ at Wiltons (23rd July) with fellow composers Paul Pellay and Mihailo Trandafilovski, with his son, Marko

Something very new….

David Matthews-‘Prelude’ for Judith [Bingham] on her 60th Birthday 

Peter Sheppard Skaerved-Stradivari 1698 ‘Joachim’  (Workshop recording 22nd July 2012)

The ‘marked up’ score of David Matthew’s ‘Prelude’ for Judith Bingham

This week Paganini, d’Aranyi….

Niccolo Paganini-Attributed to Daniel Maclise. Interestingly, this is the only close up painting of Paganini playing that I know. Look at the fascinating depiction of the bow hand, related to the guitar hand position, and the careful depiction of the artfully broken e a and d strings.

Monday 23rd July -730 pm SoundBox at Wiltons Music Hall

Ouija – Bartok, d’Aranyi, Table-Tapping-In conversation with Guest Composer Jeremy Thurlow