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Quartet set high standard for society’s 98th season

“NOW is not the time to sit back” remarked Christopher Henschel in a recent interview commenting on the Henschel Quartet’s mind-set. Now, in its third decade, this world renowned group steered us through a 200-year musical journey in under two hours. Musical styles ranged from the Classical (Haydn Op.64 no.2) through to the early modernism of Schulhoff (Quartet no.1). The passion of Romanticism was heard in the main work of the night, Schubert’s Quartet in G, no.15, D887. Haydn’s delicate melodies were played with song-like phrasing and were never overshadowed by accompanying parts, especially in the second movement. The third (minuet) movement was played with a lilt, and not too quickly, contrasting well with the racier finale. What a treat to hear the rarely performed Schulhoff Quartet. There was a percussive drive to the faster movements, and some exquisite quiet playing was achieved, especially at the end which faded, very slowly, to nothing as we all held our breath! Magical. Modern and ground-breaking string techniques permeated the texture throughout. This revolutionary music may not be to everyone’s taste but I challenge anyone to disagree with the opinion that this full-bodied performance of his quartet was first class. Schubert’s G major Quartet was a tour de force! The visible energy and rapport between the players infused the opening and closing movements with a vibrancy that can only be appreciated while watching live performances. Listening by itself does not give one the same ´feel` for the music. … The Henschel Quartet provided an outstanding opening concert.

Huddersfield Examiner October 7 2015 by Suzanne Smelt

 

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