BILL NEWMAN's pick of
June and July concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
The Vertavo String Quartet -- four highly talented ladies, are always very welcome visitors to the Wigmore Hall [12 June 2010 -- Bartók's Quartet No 3, Nielsen's Quartet in G minor and Beethoven's Quartet in C sharp minor Op 131]. Like the Emerson Quartet from America, they occasionally swap round first and second violinists which alters the timbre -- as in the shortest of Bartók's six quartets with its febrile and fleeting style of writing. This, and the Nielsen -- the first of this composer's four Quartets, are familiar territory to the Scandinavian group who have recorded them for the Simax record label, and they provided listeners with an outstanding rendering of the latter that highlighted the folk idiom, so much a part of the verve, nuance, melodic content and expertise of musicians from that part of the world. During it, and the Beethoven that followed, the two 'regulars' had assumed their normal places and weight of sonorities became the order of the day. However, I was slightly worried that the masterly changes of state in Opus 131 that vere between introspection, first heard in the long stretches of the opening movement's growing development, failed to contrast sufficiently with the sudden dramas and sublimities of the remainder...
Copyright © 1 August 2010