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Intensity and musicality from quartet

PUBLISHED: 16:41 14 May 2001 | UPDATED: 15:05 22 October 2010

Martinu Quartet @ John Innes Centre, Norwich

Martinu Quartet @ John Innes Centre, Norwich

By FRANK CLIFF

Named after the Czech composer, who does not get the recognition he deserves, the Martinu Quartet began Saturday's recital with his last quartet, No 7. This work provides an excellent introduction to Martinu's music for it is among his most accessible.

The performers brought an exuberance to the rhythms of the work's two outer movements, and a rich intensity to the slow movement.

It was an excellent curtain-raiser to an even more intense performance of Schubert's “Death and the Maiden”. No hint of Viennese indulgence in this reading; all was sacrificed to dramatic effect.

The quartet were at their best in a performance of Dvorak's A major piano quintet, in which they were joined by Christopher Langdon, a young pianist who matched their musicality with sensitivity and control. An excellent chamber musician and a talent to note.


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