Classical Review: Roxburgh Quartet
ROXBURGH QUARTET ** ST MARK'S UNITARIAN CHURCH, EDINBURGH
STRING quartets are among the most demanding of ensemble repertoire, presenting huge challenges for even the best of musicians. The Roxburgh Quartet are fairly new kids on the block although individually violinists Uli Fenner, Sharleen Clapperton, violist Feargus Hetherington and cellist Helen Duncan are all experienced performers in their own right. However, playing together as one living and breathing entity requires a completely different approach and mindset.
In Shostakovich's deeply unsettling Quartet No 8 Op 110 in C minor, the Roxburgh Quartet's performance lacked equilibrium and emotional intensity. Rhythmic instability and an inability to fully get to grips with the sinister subtext of Shostakovich's largely autobiographical work consistently undermined the power of this harrowing music.
Unstable tempi also failed to firmly anchor Beethoven's Quartet Op 18 No 4 in C minor where the pursuit of individual expression tended to dilute the group dynamic. Some of the phrasing lacked definition, many of the transitions felt awkward and intonation was often a problem in the higher registers.
Mendlessohn took inspiration from Beethoven's late quartets for his String Quartet Op 13 in A minor. Greater gusto and a willingness to push the boundaries would help to bring out the youthful exuberance and playful gestures that lie at its core. With more time, and the confidence to start taking more risks, the Roxburgh Quartet could develop into a fine ensemble.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 7 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 3 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: West