Lack of spontaneity mars recital

Finzi Quartet, Jubilee Hall, February 13THE Finzi Quartet, formed when its members were at the Royal Northern College of Music, has been established for several years.

Finzi Quartet, Jubilee Hall, February 13

THE Finzi Quartet, formed when its members were at the Royal Northern College of Music, has been established for several years. Its first visit to Aldeburgh was three years ago, a fairly long span of time in the competitive world of quartet playing, and for this visit they packed an ambitious programme into their allotted hour.

They began with Schubert's one movement fragment, the Quartetsatz, a perfect opening to a recital. They performed it fluently though the extremes of dynamic they employed meant their pianissimos were if anything a little too quiet, and nowhere was there much sweetness of tone.

As their names suggest, the Finzi are keen to promote English music, and their second choice was Thomas Ades first quartet in “Arcadia”, a short work in seven continuous movements. I heard this piece for the first time several years ago and was instantly captivated by its originality and magical textures Ades conjures from the medium. Technically it posed no problems for the Finzi, though it hardly flowed seamlessly and lacked any quality of spontaneity.

In the second of Beethoven's Rasumovsky quartets they captured the spirit of the music with admirable choice of tempi though regrettably some poor intonation marred their performance.

FRANK CLIFF

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