THE final Richmondshire subscription concert of the season welcomed the Gildas Quartet, an exciting young ensemble from Manchester/London.
Their interesting and enticing programme began with Haydn’s String Quartet in F Major Op 77 No 2. Perfect in its simplicity and unexpected key changes, there was no doubting the ensemble’s warmth for the subject matter. Written in Haydn’s declining years, it was played with the humour and enthusiasm with which it was intended.
Dedicated to Hans Keller in 1975, the next piece was String Quartet No 3 Opus 94 by Benjamin Britton, featuring a haunting and slightly disturbing violin solo performed by Christopher Jones. Again this was performed with obvious affection and warmth. The packed audience was appreciative and the acoustics proved perfect. Finally, a mammoth of a piece, the substantial String Quartet in E Minor Op.83 by Edward Elgar.
Written against the backdrop of the First World War, it is a majestic piece and one which commands a certain amount of gravitas.
This it was given in spades, and treated with the respect and reverence it deserves. The piece flowed well, full of emotions and again great warmth. Probably the highlight of a successful evening, the quartet really came together at this point, smiling, moving, breathing and relaxing as one. The Gildas Quartet has a certain raw sincerity which is infectious and addictive. I look forward enormously to their next performance in the area.