String Sextet (“The Bridges of Königsberg”)


August 13, 2023


Holywell Music Room, Wadham College, Holywell St, Oxford OX1 3SB

A new work commissioned by Penny Wright and Andrew Neubauer for the Consone Quartet, plus cellist Guy Fishman and viola Renée Hemsing.

While the subtitle refers to a well-known mathematical puzzle, it also gives a link to a chamber opera that I have wanted to do for almost 40 years, The Last Days of Immanuel Kant, based on the text by Thomas de Quincy. I may or may not ever get the chance to write this opera but I have already composed satellite works that are linked to it: The Old Tower of Löbenicht (for ensemble) as well as And So Ended Kant’s Travelling in this World (for five-part choir). Königsberg, now Kaliningrad, was where Kant lived for his entire life, and where he established unerringly repetitive daily routines.

The Consone Quartet is a wonderful young period instrument quartet, which was selected for the BBC New Generation Artists scheme, specialising in clear and honest interpretations of classical and romantic repertoire. Guy Fishman and Renée Hemsing are two of the finest American baroque music specialists, based in Boston, USA.


Bryars: String Sextet (“The Bridges of Königsberg”)

Brahms: String Sextet no 2 in G major, op 36

Gavin Bryars