Doric String Quar­tet a cut above the rest

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS - Re­view: Garry Fraser

There are some per­form­ers you could hear time and time again. In the en­sem­ble sec­tion, the Doric String Quar­tet fit that bill per­fectly. Their con­cert in the Mar­ryat Hall was their third visit to Dundee, but if Dundee Cham­ber Mu­sic were to en­list them ad in­fini­tum, no one could have any com­plaints.

World class is a term bandied about too of­ten in my opin­ion, but the Doric de­serve that.

They are a cut above the rest, and as the rest boast amaz­ing cre­den­tials it shows just how good they are, show­ing all that is the hall­mark of a great en­sem­ble. How­ever, the Doric take th­ese fac­tors of unity of thought, pur­pose and in­ter­pre­ta­tion to a new height.

Their choice of pro­gramme was also per­fec­tion. Brit­ten’s first quar­tet and one from Men­delssohn’s mid­dle pe­riod, book-ended an early Haydn.

The high­lights? Ev­ery lit­tle mil­lisec­ond, although there were mo­ments that stood out.

Strangely enough, th­ese came in each of the fi­nal move­ments of the quar­tets.

Brit­ten chose a fren­zied, en­er­getic ap­proach for his, the di­rec­tion molto vi­vace car­ried out to the let­ter.

Haydn’s de­ci­sion to end with a fugue was an­other joy to be­hold be­fore the pick of the crop that was Men­delssohn’s fi­nale. It was played sotto voce, in a won­der­fully sub­dued style that be­lied the con fuoco mark­ing. There was no fire, just sim­ply some mar­vel­lous cham­ber mu­sic de­liv­ery.

The whole evening was a com­plete treat, served un­der the aus­pices of Dundee Cham­ber Mu­sic. They have an­other one in store in Novem­ber, when two quar­tets will unite for a per­for­mance of Men­delssohn’s Octet, one of mu­sic’s mar­vels.

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