Review: Mendelssohn Chamber Music, Octagon Chapel, Norwich
- Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015
Joined by Agata Daraskaite and Henry Tong (violins), Rosalind Ventris (viola) and Steffan Morris (cello), Northern Chords concluded its informative and enjoyable series of performances of Mendelssohn's chamber music with his Octet, one of his first major compositions. It is marvellous testimony to his precocious and carefully nurtured talent that he could write a work of such length, complexity and assurance for a friend's birthday when himself only in his mid-teens.
This performance with its rich instrumental colour was full of drama, and the players' vigour, obvious commitment and evident enjoyment, with smiles all round, drew an enthusiastic response from the audience.
The recital also included Mendelssohn's Second String Quintet, with the extra viola contributing to a rather darker tone, and his Sixth String Quartet. From the composer's later years, it is generally held to be in some measure a reflection of his grief after the recent death of his gifted sister Fanny.
Though following patterns that had become familiar and with characteristic directions for emphatic interpretation, the work gave an impression of greater maturity as it conveyed stronger emotions and deeper seriousness of outlook.
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The concert was part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival's Mendelssohn Project.
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