FRANK CLIFF Norfolk and Norwich Festival event at the Assembly House, Norwich
Still in their final year at the Royal Academy, the Artea Quartet made an impressive festival debut at their lunchtime recital with works by Beethoven and Britten.
They blend well, their ensemble and inclination are excellent, and their performance of Beethoven's last Opus 18 in B flat was most assured.
The quick movements had a freshness and vitality aided by some brusque tempi – perhaps a trifle too brisk in the scherzo for the syncopated rhythms to make their impact – and the sound generally was well balanced, especially so in the beautiful Malincolia section of the final movement.
You may also want to watch:
If they were impressive in the Beethoven, they were equally, if not more so, in what proved to be Britten's final work – his third quartet.
Its five contrasting movements present a challenge both technically and artistically to any quartet and the Artea responded to the challenge brilliantly.
- 1 Son's plea for help as mum, 87, goes missing from care home
- 2 Covid Delta variant cases double in Norfolk
- 3 Hundreds of volunteers search for missing 87-year-old Margaret Smith
- 4 'I can't carry it' - Shock as plant starts growing eight inches a day
- 5 Family's distress as Covid rules force double-jabbed mother into isolation
- 6 WATCH: 'Selfish' drug-driver ploughs into police detective's vehicle
- 7 Woman airlifted to hospital following equestrian accident in Beccles
- 8 This charming village pub is worth travelling to from across Norfolk
- 9 Man defrauded more than £1.3m from Norfolk firm to fund gambling addiction
- 10 Glamping site approval despite highway safety concerns
What impressed most was not the fireworks of the fast ostinato, or the wild burlesque, fine as these were, but their realisation of the sparse and searching textures of the score, especially of the elegaic last movement.
Here is an ensemble who can stay calm under fire and of whom one hopes to hear more.f