The Cappa Quartet

The Assembly House, Norwich (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

The Assembly House, Norwich (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

The festival owes a great debt of gratitude to the Royal Academy of Music for providing it with such musical talent as has been seen at the Assembly House this week.

The Cappa Quartet - Giovanni Guzzo, Anthony Subberton (violins), Adam Newman (viola) and Brian O'Kane (cello) - continued this tireless trend.

Opening the concert with Shostakovich's String Quartet No 10, their precise and articulate playing of the beginning may have appeared slightly too delicate had it not so successfully accentuated the dramatic 'furioso' with the feverish intensity the second movement requires. The rustic vigour of this gave way to the gentle serenity that made the rest of the piece so affecting. The viola possessed such a rich tone which bobbed to the fore when required and then sunk back to join with the wholly blended ensemble.

These instrumentalists more than achieved the exquisite control of dynamics that Debussy's String Quartet requires. The passing melodies of the third movement were seamless and throughout the piece the music overflowed with an energetic vigour, the quartet's strong character - remarkable for such a young group - dominating unceasingly. Sounding consistently as if they were but one instrument, the quartet presented a truly cohesive blend - a true ensemble.

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