REVIEW: The Cassia String Quartet at the Spring Arts Centre, Havant

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Simon Emmett

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The chamber music mini-series at The Spring continues to prove popular and once again there was almost a capacity crowd.

The Marmen Quartet had been planned, but with their cellist injured the Cassia stepped in at short notice.

... with their cellist injured the Cassia stepped in at short notice

The programme was attractive, starting with an early Schubert quartet played with great sensitivity. Schubert might have been only 16, but he already had many quartets behind him and this is an accomplished work with a fine slow movement and energetic finale.

Although his first numbered quartet, Beethoven’s Op18 No 1 is full of purpose, and the Cassia gave an exciting account. The beginning sounded more introductory than it should, but they soon got into their stride, with well-judged tempos and a great sense of drama.

After the interval it was Dvorák, and we were treated to one of the favourites of the quartet repertoire, his ‘American’. All four instruments are given an equal chance to shine and the Cassia players relished the opportunity, bringing the concert to a rousing conclusion.