Kolesnikov/ Her­mès Quar­tet

The Guardian - G2 - - Live Reviews - An­drew Cle­ments

★★★★☆ Wig­more Hall, Lon­don

In the late 18th and early 19th cen­turies, pi­ano con­cer­tos were reg­u­larly pub­lished in cham­ber ar­range­ments. Mozart made ver­sions for pi­ano and string quar­tet of three of his con­cer­tos (K413, 414 and 415), and those still turn up reg­u­larly in con­certs. The quar­tet ar­range­ments of Chopin’s two pi­ano con­cer­tos are heard less of­ten, but the cut-down ver­sion of his se­cond con­certo, in F mi­nor Op 21, formed the first half of Pavel Kolesnikov’s con­cert with the Her­mès Quar­tet.

Whether Chopin him­self had a hand in mak­ing the ar­range­ment seems un­clear. But his or­ches­tra­tion is never par­tic­u­larly sub­tle or com­plex, so re­duc­ing it loses rel­a­tively lit­tle, though the ab­sence of sheer weight of tone does cre­ate some prob­lems of bal­ance. For all the light-fin­gered fleet­ness of the per­for­mance those prob­lems were never com­pletely solved, and the cen­tral sec­tion of the slow move­ment lost some of its ve­he­mence. But the shim­mer and sparkle of Kolesnikov’s play­ing were a con­sid­er­able com­pen­sa­tion, es­pe­cially in the fil­i­gree dec­o­ra­tion of the slow move­ment.

Kolesnikov and the Her­mès fol­lowed the Chopin with an­other con­cer­tante work, but one al­ways con­ceived for cham­ber forces. Ernest Chaus­son’s Con­cert for vi­o­lin, pi­ano and string quar­tet is an un­wieldy piece, in which the pi­ano is used as of­ten to add ex­tra heft to the quar­tet tex­tures as it is as a soloist. It’s the vi­o­lin­ist who takes the lead­ing role, and Elina Buk­sha’s no-non­sense ap­proach was ex­actly what was needed. Even her ro­bust­ness couldn’t let much light into the over­wrought slow move­ment, but in the pas­sages in which Chaus­son re­ally re­veals his af­fil­i­a­tions to César Franck there was ex­actly the right kind of buoy­ancy.

Light-fin­gered fleet­ness ... Pavel Kolesnikov

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.