Vanbrugh String Quartet

CHRISTOPHER SMITH The rich harvest of chamber music from the years between the wars was explored in this assured recital in which a more demanding abstract style was contrasted with heart-rending late romanticism.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH

The rich harvest of chamber music from the years between the wars was explored in this assured recital in which a more demanding abstract style was contrasted with heart-rending late romanticism.

A large audience at the John Innes Centre, at Norwich Research Park, heard the Vanbrugh String Quartet, led by Gregory Ellis, with tonally rich contributions from Simon Aspell, playing a large modern viola, and Christopher Marwood, who exploited the cello's capabilities.

The string players were joined by oboist Nicholas Daniel, with a seemingly endless supply of breath.

Prokofiev's First Quartet, crisp and clean lined, seemed to make its appeal mainly to the intellect.

Not so Barber's.

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The turmoil of the outer movements made a framework for the famous central Adagio, with a poised elegy for all grief.

In the two works for oboe the more abstract style of Britten's Phantasy Quartet sett off the Celtic moodiness of Bax's Quintet.

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