Mu­sic in the Round

Yorkshire Post - Culture & The Guide - - MUSIC - UP­PER CHAPEL, SHEFIELD STEVE DRAPER

“This is the first time we’ve played in Sh­effield,” Si­mon Blendis, the lead violinist, said. What? A cham­ber mu­sic ensem­ble founded in 1993 hadn’t fea­tured in any of the pro­grammes of Mu­sic in the Round’s world class con­certs and fes­ti­vals go­ing all the way back to the early 1980s? Time to put that right then.

The Schu­bert Ensem­ble be­gan with an il­lus­trated talk on Dohnányi’s sec­ond pi­ano quin­tet, and El­gar’s only one. This was par­tic­u­larly use­ful in the case of the lit­tle known Dohnányi where the guid­ance through some of the the­matic com­plex­ity as­sisted the lis­ten­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. And of course their lively in­ter­pre­ta­tion of this pas­sion­ate mu­sic ob­vi­ously helped.

Both quin­tets were writ­ten in the shadow of the First World War – the Dohnányi at the be­gin­ning, and the El­gar at the end of it; both be­gin with omi­nous, fore­bod­ing themes; both bring th­ese back with a more op­ti­mistic res­o­lu­tion in the fi­nal move­ment, and, like most pi­ano quin­tets, both use the power of the pi­ano in this process.

For­tu­nately, Wil­liam Howard was up to the task, with plenty of power but also del­i­cacy when re­quired. The string sound was force­ful then el­e­gant by turns, and, de­spite the peaks of emo­tional in­ten­sity, never lost its im­pres­sively tight con­trol.

Un­for­tu­nately, this might be the ensem­ble’s first and last visit to Sh­effield, as they also an­nounced at the start of the con­cert that they will be fin­ish­ing their work to­gether next year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.