The Elias String Quartet, Saturday 21 May by Mike Fossey
They opened with Beethoven's 10th Quartet and from the slow introduction to the breathtaking finale they lived the music and captured the audience. The 3rd Bartok quartet which followed was introduced by Sara Bitlloch the leader who gave some helpful insights to the way in which Bartok had collected folk music as a source and how he used the material in the work. We were transported to a quite different musical landscape but one which was intriguingly opened up by the players as they explored the full range of their instruments' colours and dynamics.
After a break which both audience and players needed to catch their breath they played the quartet which the 18 year old Mendelssohn wrote shortly after the death of his hero, Beethoven. Whilst Mendelssohn imbued his 2nd quartet with the spirit of his hero, he never quite quotes him. It was fascinating to hear the young players sensitively interpreting and identifying with the young composer's homage to Beethoven which underpins the piece.
The quartet are just embarking on a complete cycle of Beethoven's 17 quartets over a three to four year period playing them in a series of six concerts which it is planned will come to Rosehill. For those interested to see how they prepare for this huge undertaking there is a website (www.thebeethovenproject.com) which allows audiences to witness the discussions and rehearsals which will take place as the works are prepared and learnt.
The performances will start in 2012, so after watching the preparation make sure you book for the first concert.