Piatti Quartet

Jamie Campbell, Michael Trainor (violins)

Ruth Gibson (viola) Jessie Ann Richardson ('cello)

Iffley Church Hall, Sunday October 23rd 2016

Piatti Quartet

The 20th anniversary of Iffley Music Society was brilliantly celebrated with a concert by the Piatti Quartet. This rapidly-rising young quartet delivered a magnificent performance, in spite of recent injuries leading on this occasion to half their number being replaced by guest musicians.

From the moment the concert began, with Brahms 3rd quartet op 67 in B flat (replacing the advertised Borodin 2nd quartet) the audience was spellbound. The confident and vibrant rendering of this complex and enigmatic work was impressive; meticulous timing in the syncopated sections and in the recurring march and dance rhythms, with sharply contrasted changes in mood, allowed the intricate structure of the whole to emerge.

This was followed by a vigorous presentation of Benjamin Britten's 3 Divertimenti. The Quartet's evident enjoyment of these witty fragments resulted in an exciting performance entirely at one with the style of Britten's youthful composition.

Expectations raised for the final work, Beethoven's op 130 with the Grosse Fuge op 133, were in no way disappointed. It was a compelling performance of this great music, showing complete mastery of the wide range of mood and material over the six movements. Lively and energetic passages framed the moving pianissimo of the Cavatina and the gentle rhythm of the Tedesca. The Fuge finale was a triumph; exhilarating fast passages contrasted with the plaintiveness of the almost ghostly central section, until the final exuberance released the tension. The Quartet well deserved the standing ovation that ended a truly memorable concert.

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