REVIEW - New Year offers pleasingly familiar quality of music - The Leamington Observer

REVIEW - New Year offers pleasingly familiar quality of music

Leamington Editorial 30th Jan, 2024   0

London Haydn Quartet

Pump Rooms

The International String Quartet series resumed in Leamington with a decent fanfare for the new year and a reminder that the quality that is the hallmark of this series is reassuringly unchanged for 2024.

The London Haydn Quartet brought three works to a pleasingly full venue. The coming year offers plenty of musical highlights from this series and beyond and clearly the support is there.




The two quartets which opened the evening have a fair deal in common, the B Minor Quartet of Hyacinthe Jadin and Haydn’s Quartet in F Op 74. Both set out at a sedate pace before offering a lighter touch in minuet form and a lively conclusion graced by rollicking pace and false endings.

Jadin’s work is little performed and largely unknown. In the capable hands of this fine period instrument quartet this contemporary of the perennially celebrated Haydn clearly has a lot to offer. The slower movements which form the start unfold beautifully. Perhaps the complexity which usually allows a quartet to demonstrate it mastery as an ensemble is slightly lessened here – several passages are almost first violin solos with textural support – but Jadin is clearly yet another name deserving on greater presence at the high table.


Haydn’s contribution is built largely around an extended second movement which combines a steady rocking-motion with a stately, sumptuous progress. The quartet’s softer, looser period sound was heard to it’s best advantage in this section.

Mendelssohn’s E Flat Quartet offered the players a chance to perform on a more expansive scale and they certainly seemed to relish the opportunity. A more romantic register and plenty of characteristically rhythmic passages allowed the quartet to display their fullest sound. The lush vibrato in the beautifully-paced Andante was blown aside by a full-on spirited race to the finish line.

Plenty of world-class quartets and ensembles are heading for this series and the town and its music lovers have everything to look forward to in the coming year.

Details of further music events can be found at leamingtonmusic.org.

Matthew Salisbury

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