Saturday, March 01, 2008

Bollington Chamber Music

Off to Bollington to see the Elias String Quartet in a concert of Haydn, Bartok and Mendelssohn.
Started with the Haydn Emperor - showed wonderful sense of ensemble and the the Bartok 4(the principal draw as far as I was concerned) wonderfully carried off. String quartets have a reputation of being very abstract and cerebral but the feeling I took away - from all the works was the physicality of the medium. The Bartok 4 is now 100 years old - this year - and is still a challenge! I felt the difficulty of the pizzicato movement - with bows, you - as a player - get a physical clue as to when the other players are about to hit their strings, with pizzicato it is far harder, and the wonderful rumpus of the last movement - you could almost see the Hungarian village band! (then there was the achingly beautifully played solos in the central movement). I've only heard one Bartok Quartet live before - the 6th played by an amateur(!) ensemble at Cambridge.
The Mendelssohn they've recorded. I felt the first two movements rather dull but enjoyed the last two with a fugal subject dropping from the sky. With the last movement I felt the Violin Concerto was hovering there in the wings.
The bar at the Bollington Arts centre has a price list for wines - one column for 'house wines' the other is labelled 'posher wines'!
We went to a Chamber Concert many years ago in Bollington (the Sorrel Quartet I think) I hope it won't be as long before we go again!

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