This performance by the newly-formed string quartet was the first of a four-concert tour, and it was immediately apparent that they would live up to their name as a group of wandering minstrels who entertained arrestingly.

They gave us fine mid-winter musical fare through feisty playing and an invigorating programme of the markedly different styles found in chamber music.

They started with the string quartet in G Major of Haydn, typical of the agreeable music he wrote to be performed in the houses of nobility, and showed their fine understanding of how chamber music should be played.

Their tonal refinement, the inspiring leadership of first violin Arna Morton, and assured playing by the second violin, viola and cello revealed that this was an ensemble of considerable accomplishments.

The grim moods of Shostakovich's String Quartet No 11 were in stark contrast to those of Haydn.


It was written to express the loss of a colleague and is full of dissonances but the skilfully produced sounds by individual instruments painted a powerful and haunting picture of the composer's sorrow.

In contrast to the other works on the programme, it shows how moods can be.

The Troubadour's' 'Rosamunde' Quartet by Schubert yielded the captivating music typical of that composer: it was complete with lyrical, wistful and human feelings.