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The quartet's expressive powers came to the fore in the suave romanticism of secular settings of the second half, including fascinating seldom-heard music by familiar names. Arensky's beautifully smooth, subdued Night and two Cui settings of Romanov, The Waves and Noon, contrasted with a witty part-song, Serenade of Four Cavaliers, with both text and music by Borodin. An original Romance, with words by Pushkin, sung by the bass Dmitriev was notable for its lithe textures and always rich harmony. These were interspersed with brighter, exuberant songs which clearly fired the audience's enthusiasm, a rollicking drinking song by Napravnik, chief conductor of the Maryinsky Theatre at the turn of the twentieth century, and two jaunty Imperial Army songs, Blessing to the Tsar, and the folkish In the year of 1893 about the Cossacks crossing the Vistula, whose swooping 'Hey Hey' choruses were here relished with humour. Their bonhomie extended to the charming encore, an ingenious jazz arrangement -- a la Kings Singers -- of Baa Baa Black Sheep which the Konevets delivered in excellent, swinging, English, with panache. This was just the type of unusual programming that makes the Springboard concerts so unique -- set alongside solo duo and trio recitals in the subsequent weeks.

Copyright © 22 November 2002 Malcolm Miller, London, UK


For information about the CDs produced by The Konevets Quartet, please contact David Rees Management,

Future Concerts of the Eighth Series of Music at the Wallace Collection:

11am-12noon at the Wallace Collection, Hertford House, Manchester Square, London WC1, UK. Tickets 15 pounds, including coffee and croissant and a chance to view the magnificent museum.

24 November 2002 - Nicolas Koeckert, violin (Prize winner, 2002 Tchaikovsky Competition, Moscow), Milana Cheryavska, piano - Beethoven, Ravel, Saint-Saens

1 December 2002 - Filippo Gamba, piano (1st Prize, at the Geza Anda International Piano Competition, Zurich, 2000) - Schumann, Brahms, Beethoven

8 December - Stockholm Arts Trio - Shostakovich, Beethoven

For details of the Friends of Springboards Concerts Trust, including priority booking, contact The Friends' Co-ordinator, 4 Caithness Road, London W14 0JB, UK.


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