The Behn Quartet, an accomplished string quartet, performed a programme of imaginative and luminous works, making a strong and riveting impact on its audience.
As an ensemble, the quartet blended splendidly and had a fine grasp of the styles needed for each of the three diverse works.
The quartet showed that appealing chamber music can come from sounds with strong character and emotional depth and not just from mere tunefulness.
Debussy's impressionistic String Quartet in G Minor marked a move away from the harmonies of romantic music.
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The Behn Quartet skilfully "painted in sound" to emphasise its vibrant and gritty texture rather than any French finesse.
With Three Transcriptions, Jack Body, the New Zealand composer noted for his interest in world music, had adapted for string quartet some music for a Chinese jaw's harp, a Madagascan zither and Bulgarian village bands.
In the hands of the Behn Quartet this unlikely mixture was a delight; constantly vivid and full of spirit.
Shostakovich's String Quartet No.3 was written just after World War II and depicts the suffering and attitudes arising from it.
The Behn Quartet, facing up to the challenge to make engaging music with such daunting themes, gave it an appropriately gripping performance through incisive attack.
What: Behn Quartet
Where: St Luke's Church