A masterclass in sound and texture to close season - The Leamington Observer

A masterclass in sound and texture to close season

Leamington Editorial 16th Mar, 2024   0

Carducci Quartet

Pump Rooms, Leamington


LEAMINGTON Music’s Winter Season drew to a close with another fine example – if one were needed – of why this programme continues to attract and impress in equal measure.

The Carducci Quartet, frequent visitors to the Pump Rooms down the years, brought three pieces demonstrating a broad swathe of complexion but an unchanging level of playing quality.

Haydn’s Op 20 quartet ‘Sun’ opened the programme and a hugely emotion-charged reading of Mendelssohn’s F Minor Quartet – a memorable and utterly captivating way to send us into warmer times – was a more-than-fitting finale.

It’s a brooding, unsettled piece testing the full extent of any quartet’s range on tempo, drama and dynamics. This performance had it all and more.

But perhaps it was the perfectly judged and ultimately stunning performance of Ravel’s Quartet in F sandwiched in the middle which showed this marvellous group at it’s best.

Like many of the paintings of the Impressionist era there’s a simplicity, a naivety to this music. But it’s a very misleading simplicity. What looks easy and uncomplicated up front is, when you step back, a very profound and rewarding picture.

While the individual brushstrokes may be little more than rough daubs, the way they combine and the totality they make is completely beautiful.

It takes playing perfectly matched in timing and tone, but perhaps more importantly in intent to achieve the clarity this music requires and the Carducci Quartet produced that in spades.

There is a feast of pizzicato on offer as well as passages as languid and liquid as a hot summer’s day in deepest France. And it is the depth of almost tangible colour employed, and the speed with which one mood becomes another that makes this a splendidly visual piece.

Perhaps it’s in the richness of the sound, or the sharpness of the spiky passages, or even the lilting emotion of the melody, but this is clearly music the quartet adore playing and we’re fortunate to be able to share that love.

Visit leamingtonmusic.org for detail of future concerts throughout the year.






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