Review: Brodowski String Quartet at Spring Arts Centre, Havant

Victor Ariat

Smooth sailing for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

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Promoter and presenter Terry Barfoot does not believe in mollycoddling audiences.

Although his programme consisted of works by mainstream composers, all three were represented at their most challenging.

Not that the Brodowski Quartet, here led by Oscar Perks in the absence of David Brodowski himself, seemed seriously challenged at any point.

Schubert’s masterly Quartettsatz was assured in restlessness and repose alike, but it was in Haydn’s extraordinary Quartet in C major, Op 54 No 2, that the players’ capacity for mercurial expression and concentrated intensity was most fully revealed.

In particular, the skill with which they made the natural connection between the apparently contrasting adagio and minuet, in both melody and mood, was vividly impressive, and the finale’s own contrasts were achieved with no less authority.

Mendelssohn’s Quartet in A minor, Op 13, is another surprisingly intense work, except in the briefly skittering scherzo, but then it is an 18-year-old’s homage to Beethoven.

Again the players achieved rich emotional depth.