You Review: Fauré Quartett

Reader Lewis Wolstanholme praises the German quartet's performance of works by Mahler, Beethoven and Musorgksy at the Wigmore Hall

You Review: Fauré Quartett


By featuring the Fauré Quartett and pianist Grigory Gruzman, Wigmore Hall once again delivered a prestigious concert. They opened tonight’s performance with Mahler’s A Minor Piano Quartet, which was a good choice. This single movement, left over from Mahler’s student days, contains plenty of passion hinting at his developments to come; something the quartet definitely understood. The performance was enriched by delightful conversations between the instruments, followed by the warmest of viola solos delivered with as much colour as it commanded.

The symphonic qualities of this work blended nicely with the rest of the program, which moved quickly onwards with Beethoven’s Op.16 Piano Quartet. This work, unlike Mahler’s, has elements of past styles rather than the ones Beethoven worked towards. The quartet rightly gave this a very elegant flavor, evoking images of the classical concerto – this clarity is exactly what it needed. If anything it was sometimes forgotten during somewhat over-pedalled scalic runs by the pianist.

The next work was an arrangement of Musorgsky’s Picture’s at an Exhibition, arranged by Guzman and the quartet itself. Beforehand, I was skeptical about them bringing out the grandeur of this work like other arrangements, such as Ravel’s, do but by the final chord the audience were in complete awe. With the use of a multitude of extended techniques this work was brought vividly to life, with amazing creativity employed the arranger.

It was no surprise after this exquisite finale that a great wash of applause encouraged the quartet to give two encores.


Lewis Wolstanholme, London





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