Return of a true master
Aldeburgh Festival, Quatuor Diotima, Aldeburgh Church, June 18. In their afternoon recital, Quatuor Diotima proved themselves to be true masters. A few blemishes in violin intonationmarred the opening of Haydn's Opus 20 No.
Aldeburgh Festival, Quatuor Diotima, Aldeburgh Church, June 18.
In their afternoon recital, Quatuor Diotima proved themselves to be true masters. A few blemishes in violin intonation
marred the opening of Haydn's Opus 20 No. 1 quartet, but elsewhere all was joy and delight in what proved a very
stylish performance. However, the highlight of the afternoon was their impassioned account of Janacek's second
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string quartet "Intimate Letters", faultless in execution, it sounded as if this music were in their very bones.
In between came something more challenging.
- 1 Victoria Hall murder: Suffolk strangler Steve Wright reportedly arrested
- 2 'It was as if Covid didn't exist' - Latitude-goers report positive tests
- 3 Town bosses on 'Chequebook FC' nickname, Premier League timeframe and more
- 4 Hunt for Victoria Hall's killer takes another twist
- 5 Boy, 5, in critical condition after incident at department store
- 6 'From the outside it looks silly' - Chaplin on why he dropped down for Town
- 7 Boy, 13, pulled from moat at Framlingham Castle
- 8 Cardinal Park taped off as man suffers stab wounds
- 9 Man airlifted to hospital from beach given 'vital first aid' by lifeguards
One of the composers who features prominently at this year's Festival is Elliott Carter, now 101 years old, and with
his creative fires undimmed. Among other works, he has no less than five premieres, two of which have been specially
commissioned for this Festival. Quatuor Diotima's recital contained two of his works; the fifth string quartet of 1955
and the oboe quartet of 2001.
The fifth quartet is in twelve short continuous movements: six ensemble movements interspersed with interludes
where individual players try out fragments from the ensembles. Complicated perhaps, and demanding stunning
virtuoso playing, which the Diotima certainly provided. It made exciting, if formidable, listening.
Nicholas Daniel was the soloist in the oboe quartet. Here Carter says he has attempted "every possible combination
of the four instruments". The results may not be very flattering for the oboe, but then, the whole thing is maybe just
a joke, and the great man was there in person to enjoy it.