Wednesday, October 15, 2008
THE DOVETAIL QUARTET
KEGS Arts Society
In the first of a series of performance events, the London-based Dovetail String Quartet played music written by students at the Grammar School.
The first group of movements – almost a mini quartet – began with a lively set of variations, rich in thematic material and with more than a hint of melancholy. The second piece, Lamenting Ascension, had its own sadness, and a mood of Celtic yearning. And lastly, Sforzo Buono, a sunny, cantabile, fugal Finale.
In contrast, the quartet movement from Exploration proved an edgy, demanding work, highly commended in this year's BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composers' Competition.
Two piano pieces were featured, Seelische Qual, and an extrovert improvisatory pair of Intermezzi.
A unique opportunity for these composers to hear how the notes sound under the fingers of professional players. Composition software just can't compete, though the Sibelius pieces were interesting, especially the gentle clarinet and piano jazz of Midnight Groove, and a convincing four and a half minutes of Minimalism.
This fascinating evening of music ended with an eloquent performance of Dvorak's picture-postcard of Bohemia in exile, the American Quartet. The sweet nostalgia of the Lento, with its expressive violin melody echoed by the cello, was particularly effective, as was the energetic, heartfelt vivace Finale.
The Dovetail Quartet are Clare Taylor, Clare Wheeler, violins, Emily Richards, viola, and Edward Furse, cello.
The composers were Rosie Harvey, Samule Booth, Tom Vincent, Sasha Millwood, Maxwell Spence, Oliver El Holiby, Amar Vasani and Henry Robertshaw.
on Wednesday, October 15, 2008