Carducci String Quartet

19:30 on Tuesday, 10th January 2012

Matthew Denton – violin
Michelle Fleming – violin
Eoin Schmidt-Martin – viola
Emma Denton – cello

Programme

Haydn – String Quartet Op 76 No 4 [Sunrise]
Moeran – Quartet No 2 in E flat
Glass – String Quartet No 2 [Company]
Mendelssohn – String Quartet in F minor Op 80

The Carducci Quartet is recognised as one of today’s most exciting young string quartets. Based in the UK, they are regulars at London’s Wigmore Hall and other leading venues at home and abroad. They have received wide critical acclaim for their recordings and we are delighted to welcome them to Skipton.

The Carducci Quartet, "one of to-day's most exciting young string quartets", brought exceptional musicianship to Skipton Music's January concert. This Anglo-Irish ensemble of two gifted married couples, Matthew Denton and Michelle Fleming (violins), Eoin Schmidt-Martin (viola) and Emma Denton (cello), regularly appear at the Wigmore Hall and annually give over 90 concerts world-wide! Their admirably constructed programme of music ranging over 200 years enthralled the Town Hall audience.

Haydn's Opus 76 quartets are pinnacles of their genre. No.4 in B flat's mysteriously beautiful opening - hence its name "Sunrise"- was elegantly treated. Remarkable too was the exciting Minuet, whilst the final Allegro, driven to a coda with all bowing at breathtaking speed, had the leader virtually dancing in his seat!

Posthumously discovered, the date of Moeran's Quartet No.2 in E flat remains uncertain. Its first movement reflects his interest in English folk music, allegro passages subsiding into peaceful closure. The second suggests his Irish background with jigs and dances interspersed. A plaintive viola melody, echoed by the violin, preceded a lively ending.

Quartet No.2, by Philip Glass, born in 1937 Baltimore, developed from music composed for a staged monologue of Beckett's novella "Company". The quartet was delightfully at home interpreting four short movements with melancholy, pulsing rhythm and delicate diminuendos.

Mendelssohn considered his F minor Quartet as a requiem for his sister Fanny. The powerful opening suggests anger and mourning. The second movement, after its unusual waltz for lower strings, has a demanding pizzicato finale, expertly accomplished on this occasion. The Adagio offers some solace, but the final Allegro, again driven to the end, provides no respite for the performers. Ironically Mendelssohn died two months after Fanny.

Congratulations to Skipton Music and the Carducci Quartet for starting 2012 with such a memorable concert!

Douglas Riddiough