Sunday, October 25, 2009

Navarra Quartet concert in Bollington

We went to the Bollington Arts Centre last night for a concert by the Navarra Quartet. Unfortunately, due to illness, they were unable to programme the Beethoven Op 18 No 6 and instead played the Haydn Op 33 No 6. Following that there was the challenge of the Thomas Ades Arcadiana, a work I'd not heard before, a piece in seven movements with lots of echoes of other composers. Hard listening for a first time, parts which were of rapt beauty and others which came over as somewhat weird! I'm going to try it via the Calder Quartet recording (that's an EMusic link) before I come to a conclusion. This site - Third Angle - has music from some of the movements. The second part consisted of another work with seven interconnected movements (the Ades has seven - not the 6 claimed in the Third Angle link) the Beethoven Op 131 C# minor late quartet. I think I heard this live back in the 1980's when a quartet whose name I've forgotten(!) did a complete Beethoven quartet cycle in Leeds. After the Ades what came over for me was the sheer weirdness of this work too, the scherzo with its disconnected phrases - on cd you don't realise how split up between the instruments are the phrases. Music hanging over the abyss . They (the Navarra) are performing early next year at the Manchester Chamber Concerts Society

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