Doric Quartet review: Fab four’s flawless performance
Musica Viva: Doric String Quartet
Melbourne Recital Centre, June 11
Concertgoers to the Melbourne Recital Centre have been spoilt rotten this year by a number of top notch string quartet recitals. But if the bar for quartet excellence was already set stratospherically high, the UK’s Doric Quartet has surely launched it into orbit.
Their approach is a daring paradox; playing that is at once reverent to the music’s historical essence yet radical in its interpretive vision. This proved a stunningly successful gambit in Haydn’s second Op 33 quartet, "The Joke".
It’s always a thrill to see musicians of this calibre pull out all the stops, but it was the judicious restraint and expressive flexibility of this account that brought it so vividly to life. A masterclass in ego-free virtuosity, the Doric revealed a wonderful sense of wit and whimsy, with the work's "gotcha" false ending as close to wink-made-music as I’ve ever heard.
The best chamber ensembles share a unanimous intent, but the level of unity within the Doric seemed nothing short of telepathic during their performance of Schubert’s mammoth Quartet No 15 in G major.
This emotionally complex rendering implicitly understood the tension between the epic and intimate, channelled through this work's restless reinventions and major-minor tug-of-war.
It may have been only the second public outing of Brett Dean’s extraordinary new quartet, Hidden Agendas, but the Doric tamed its ferocious technical demands with seeming ease.
Inspired by the tumultuous political zeitgeist of recent years, Dean’s relentlessly intricate textures could easily have curdled into a grab-bag of special effects. But in such capable hands, every musical and narrative detail spoke with total clarity.
Source: Read Full Article