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Emotional Extremes

Tchaikovsky, Janácek and Schubert
from the Iuventus Quartet,
appreciated by MIKE WHEELER


Derby Chamber Music is in the process of forging a long-term relationship with locally-born cellist Katherine Jenkinson. On this occasion (Multi-Faith Centre, Derby University, Derby, UK, 16 November 2007) she appeared as a member of the Iuventus Quartet, an ensemble that has clearly forged a striking sense of expressive and technical unanimity in the four years since it was formed.

Tchaikovsky's First String Quartet was marked particularly by an eloquent reading of the well-known andante cantabile second movement and a real lift to the dance rhythms in the scherzo.

It was a nice touch for the leader to preface a performance of Janácek's First Quartet by reading an extract from the Tolstoy short story that prompted it. The work itself got one of the fieriest, most impassioned readings I can remember, the players not afraid of going to emotional extremes.

They were joined by second cellist Nicholas Holland for an engrossing account of Schubert's Quintet. Again, this was emotionally volatile stuff -- life-affirming energy and concentrated introspection in the scherzo, turmoil in the central section of the slow movement, inwardness in the middle of the finale. At the same time they kept a satisfyingly firm grip on the music's classically-shaped structure.

Copyright © 20 November 2007 Mike Wheeler, Derby UK



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