Monday, 11th February 2013
Our usual concert review writer was unable to attend the concert given by the Benyounes Quartet on the 11th of February but what a lovely surprise we got when we asked the audience to help us out by leaving their comments on their personal view of the evening.
Nigel Dower wrote:
“A satisfying concert overall.
Quite remarkable that this was Beethoven’s first quartet. The intensity and complexity of it was quite striking. I particularly enjoyed the rendering of the slow movement.
Their performance of the Haydn makes me think “why isn’t Haydn even higher up in the musical Pantheon?”
As for the Janàček, this was a convincing entry into his musical thought-world. What a remarkable complex mixture of jagged energy and beautiful harmony and melody. I particularly enjoyed the last two movements, perhaps because the fury has partly burnt itself out in the first two movements and we enter a more balanced blend of the forces later on”.
Thank you Nigel
This second review was kindly provided by Peter Norman. Thank you Peter
“A beautifully balanced ensemble tone unified not only by the skill of the players but also by what appears to be a nicely matched set of instruments.
A bold and confident opening to the concert starting with Beethoven’s Op 18 No 1 before Haydn. Most, if not all established string quartets of greater stature would start with Haydn. However, in this instance the Haydn Op 54 No 1 proved livelier and brighter work than Beethoven’s.
The Benyounes displayed individual solo passages perfectly executed with attractive phrasing; and lively, dancing staccato passages. The quartet exhibited a beautiful Haydenesque style characterised by that all-important sense of Viennese lilt.
The two first half works indicated that Beethoven as the young student of string quartet, still had some advancement to make in order to overtake his older, master tutor, in the art of string quartet writing.
Webern’s Langsamer Satz enabled the ensemble to exhibit their warm, rich, romantic tone and gave a foretaste of Schoenberg’s Verkläste Nacht”