Takacs Quartet

FRANK CLIFF John Innes Centre, Norwich


John Innes Centre, Norwich

Saturday's recital by the quartet, who have recently been joined by violist Geraldine Walther, only served to reinforce the view that this is one of the world's finest ensembles.

Acclaimed for its interpretation of the Bartok quartets, the Takacs began with a penetrating reading of number six, in total command of its changing moods: superb in the harsh rhythmic music of the two central movements, while capturing the melancholy of the work, established with the haunting theme introduced by the viola.

There could scarcely have been a greater contrast with what came next, yet there is melancholy in Mozart's K421 in D minor which the Takacs' elegant playing often hinted at, not least the drama they brought to the coda of the last movement.

But it was the final work, Beethoven's A minor quarter, opus 132, which made the greatest impression and this largely because of the Takacs' superb playing of the central slow movement, Beethoven's song of thanksgiving after a serious illness. By this alone their playing would merit world-class status.

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