Tim Homfray attends the performance of Haydn and Beethoven at London’s Wigmore Hall on 23 January 2023
The Doric Quartet opened Haydn’s op.50 no.5 Quartet in F major as if it were a question, with violins followed by curious ‘wrong’ notes in the lower instruments, before resolving into a satisfying perfect cadence. It offered a veritable musical mini-drama, all within the first eight bars. A mix of wrong-footing wit and tonal richness ran through the movement, with some fleet passagework from leader Alex Redington. The slow movement was a seamless meditation, a single lyrical arc. Some teasing touches of rubato added theatre to the Menuetto. Redington produced some soupy portamentos at the beginning of the finale, steadily taken but with a nice energy. Its humour was heightened with touches of rubato, including a couple of bars of heavy unison ritenuto, all given with twinkles in the eyes.
Violist Brett Dean joined the players for Beethoven’s C major Quintet op.29. The musicians gave a spacious account of the opening Allegro, and were closely observant of the many pianos and pianissimos, the more to bring out the drama of the abrupt fortes in the development. They took an equally broad view of the second-movement Adagio molto espressivo, with a surface serenity and subtle, expressive phrasing. After the spirited rustic dance of the Scherzo, the Presto finale was theatrical and suitably colourful, not least in the deliberately incongruous Andante section in the middle of it, an effect Beethoven liked so much he repeated it in the coda.
In The Best of Technique youâ€™ll discover the top playing tips of the worldâ€™s leading string players and teachers. Itâ€™s packed full of exercises for students, plus examples from the standard repertoire to show you how to integrate the technique into your playing.
The Stradâ€™s Masterclass series brings together the finest string players with some of the greatest string works ever written. Always one of our most popular sections, Masterclass has been an invaluable aid to aspiring soloists, chamber musicians and string teachers since the 1990s.
This yearâ€™s calendar celebrates the top instruments played by members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony, Australian String Quartet and some of the countryâ€™s greatest soloists.