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Lush Sonorities

KELLY FERJUTZ writes about
her penultimate day at the 2007
West Cork Chamber Music Festival


<< Read from Day one

Day nine -- Saturday 7 July 2007

The best laid plans ... It was bound to happen, that some mischance, however slight, should occur, altering the smooth-running plans of the Festival. It was a missing voice that happened on Saturday morning. Better it had been mine than that of baritone Christian Gerhaher, who, with pianist Gerold Huber, had programmed Schubert Lieder for the Coffee Concert this morning.

Mr Gerhaher made a valiant effort, but alas, it was not to be, and after eliminating one very difficult work, he then had to abbreviate another one before signaling his inability to proceed. The small preview that we did have -- The Harper based on a poem by Klopstock, and three set to poems of Rückert -- demonstrated that it would have been a marvelous experience, after his Mahler songs on Thursday evening.

The evening concert brought back the Quatuor Terpsycordes for the Haydn Quartet in E flat, Op 33 No 2 The Joke. It's well known that Haydn had a great sense of humor, and he put it to good use in this work, which bubbles throughout with high spirits and little 'inside' jokes.

The elegant playing of the Terpsycordes transmits to an elegance of sound even when they're giving us humorous Haydn. Tricky rhythms and extreme dynamics were emphasized by the animated performance, which made it all sound ever so much easier than it really was.

The RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet was joined by violist Hartmut Rohde for a rich-sounding performance of Stanford's String Quintet No 1 in F major Op 85. This very melodious work needs to be heard more often, especially when played so very well by these gentlemen. If you've not previously heard it, the addition of another viola to a string quartet makes for a gorgeous, very lush sounding ensemble. Surely there must be enough unattached violists out there to allow this piece to be programmed more frequently. If nothing else, the third movement should stand by itself. It begins with one instrument, then adds another and yet another, until finally all five are playing. A muted reprise leads to a very fast ending. It was most enjoyable.

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Copyright © 9 July 2007 Kelly Ferjutz, Bantry, Ireland


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