Regent String Quartet

MICHAEL DRAKE Assembly House, Norwich

MICHAEL DRAKE

>Assembly House, Norwich

In the first of the festival's Lunchtime Concerts, these young ladies, still students at the Royal Academy, immediately showed a remarkable musical maturity in Haydn's Quartet in D Op 64 with a clear, soaring first-violin part (from which it gets its nickname “the Lark”).

But soon all instruments were singing in a joyful opening movement followed by a strikingly warm and integrated tone in a thoughtful slow movement – though “noises off” did not help – before a finale of bouncing vitality and precision skilfully held in check.

Essentially, later in 1895 Dvorak composed his Quartet No 13 in G Op 106 and much more rural than Haydn's, it conjured visions of the countryside often removed from the home key, with meandering upper strings and firm cello tread.

In contrast, the languid opening of the slow movement was both powerful and sensual but with piercing definition before the Quartet's dancing delicacy returned to the folk-tune base with perfect compatibility and imaginative colouring.

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Having already won many prizes and worked with world- class quartets, the Regent is poised to join them.

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