Review: Badke Quartet, Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh,Friday March 4th/ 11th.
For almost a decade, which is a long time in the tough world of chamber music, the Badke Quartet have established a reputation as one of Britain’s finest quartets.
Sadly, the first violin, Heather Badke, has, for family reasons, decided to leave, and her place has been taken by Lana Trotovesk, an experienced chamber musician, though from the different world of the piano trio.
The first of the Quartet’s two Aldeburgh recitals, was, I believe, only their second public performance in this new format,and, perhaps understandably, their were moments in Haydn’s Opus 33 No.1 B Minor Quartet when the playing seemed a little edgy.However, this was not the case in the second work, Mendelssohn’s final F Minor Quartet,where the accuracy and intensity of their playing came close to the heart of this passionate music, written after the death of Mendelssohn’s beloved sister.
The Quartet appeared much more at ease in their second recital, begining with a performance of the final Mozart quartet, No. 23 in F, K590. Tempi were well judged, balance, especially in the outer movements where each of the instruments has much to do, was good and overall they produced elegant polished playing.
Something one has to remember about these recitals is that, to a degree,they represent work in progress, each the product of intensive coaching. This second recital was to have included the Britten 3rd Quartet, but this had to be abandoned as not being quite ready for performance. In its place we heard Dvorak’s F Major “American
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Quartet, and no one could surely object to that, certainlly not with a performance as good as the one we heard. The Badke’s playing was perfectly matched, intonation and ensemble were excellent,and the dazzling finale set the seal on this most enjoyable music making.
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