©Phaedra Ensemble

This is an archived event

Phaedra Ensemble

Gavin Bryars and others

(Wed 11 Oct 2023 8.00pm  Little Missenden Church)

Phillip Granell violin Richard Jones viola Sergio Serra cello Dan Shoa flute Rosie Middleton voice

Tōru Takemitsu Air for solo flute

Edmund Finnis Brother/Sister

Cassandra Miller Thanksong

Charlotte Bray Beyond

Anthony R Green Collide-oscope II

Gavin Bryars Wittgenstein Fragments

(Follow links above for online performances of most pieces in this programme. A complete performance of Charlotte Bray's Beyond played by Philipp Bohnen is available on Nimbus: NI6371)

Programme Notes (also available free at concert)

Gavin Bryars ©Oliver Keens

Gavin BryarsWittgenstein Fragments sets fragmentary texts in the manner of the philosopher’s major work, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, interspersing Wittgenstein with lines by the Irish writer Vincent Woods, Bryars’ collaborator on the project. It was first performed last year in Dundalk and this will be the work’s UK premiere.

“The music of Gavin Bryars falls under no category. It is mongrel, full of sensuality and wit and is deeply moving. He allows you to witness new wonders in the sounds around you by approaching them from a completely new angle. With a third ear maybe...” Michael Ondaatje

Also with voice, Cassandra Miller’s Thanksong is based on the Heilige Dankgesang from Beethoven’s op132 String Quartet. The vocalist performs independently of the four string players but holds the whole piece together with her pacing and breath.

Edmund FinnisBrother/Sister combines two separate works (for violin/viola and violin/cello duos) and is exquisitely constructed music of great fragility, beauty and warmth; Charlotte Bray tests the violin’s dark lower register in Beyond (available played by Philipp Bohnen on album Nimbus: NI6371); while Anthony R Green’s Collide-oscope II explores the sound world of the string trio – plucking, knocking, feathering, as well as conventional bowing, all combining to form a vaguely unsettling whole.

Founded in 2014 by violinist Phillip Granell, Phaedra has evolved from its inception as a string quartet to a larger collective of like-minded performers, drawn from London’s diverse musical landscape. They have broadcast and performed live on BBC Radio 3 and Resonance.fm.

2023 sees the culmination of their collaboration with the extraordinary vocalist/composer Meredith Monk, with the forthcoming release of their debut album which features the first recording of her only string quartet Stringsongs plus two works for larger ensemble.


Mezzo-soprano Rosie Middleton specialises in new music. She has been artist-in-residence at Snape Maltings and The Banff Centre, where she collaborated with composers on voice(less) – a series for voice and electronics exploring voice loss and communication. Rosie’s 20th and 21st century core repertoire includes Pierrot Lunaire (Southbank Centre – reviewed as ‘staggeringly good’ – New Statesman), Boulez Le marteau sans maître, Berio Sequenza III and Saariaho From the Grammar of Dreams


This concert is dedicated to the memory of Michael Cox

Online booking is managed by TicketSource. This event may be booked from the Tickets link on this page but, when booking for multiple events, it may be more convenient to use our Little Missenden Festival page on TicketSource.


Wed 11 Oct 2023 8.00pm

Little Missenden Church

Online booking is managed by TicketSource. This event may be booked from the Tickets link on this page but, when booking for multiple events, it may be more convenient to use our Little Missenden Festival page on TicketSource.

Gavin Bryars - Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet - by Phaedra Ensemble