Britten Sinfonia Ensemble, Norwich
MICHAEL DRAKE Although the full orchestra is part of the local scenery, this was the first time their soloists had played for the Norfolk and Norwich Music Club and a full auditorium reflected the artists' popularity.
Although the full orchestra is part of the local scenery, this was the first time their soloists had played for the Norfolk and Norwich Music Club and a full auditorium at the John Innes Centre on Saturday evening reflected the artists' popularity.
The quintet making up the ensemble exuded a sombre warmth in John Woolrich's elegantly arranged and performed five chorals of JS Bach, and the mood continued into the contemporary composer's piano quintet, a shadowed lesson.
Percussive piano interjections and discords many times came together in unison – not hopeful but finishing with optimism. One could 'see where he was coming from' but the listening jury may still be considering.
Mozart's Piano Quartet No 1 (K478) changed the mood in a work which was soulful but never mournful, with Sophia Rahman revelling in the dialogue between piano and violin (Pauline Lowbury), viola (Claire Finnimore) and cellist (Caroline Dearnley), the finale particularly being a musical joy – even allowing for the consistent hindrance to pure projection caused by the open film screen.
It did not detract so much in the last two movements of Schubert's Trout Piano Quintet, with Stephen Williams (double bass) completing the Ensemble, which were arguably the most satisfying part to the evening – the Ensemble always working as a cohesive unit with the precision expected of them.
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