King’s Lynn Festival review: Alauda Quartet’s coffee concert

Alauda Quartet

Alauda Quartet

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The first of this year’s coffee concerts on Monday, at Lynn Town Hall, set the standard for the week with an extremely talented string quartet. The voice of each instrument was distinct yet there was a perfect blend between them.

The first of this year’s coffee concerts on Monday set the standard for the week with an extremely talented string quartet. The voice of each instrument was distinct yet there was a perfect blend between them.

Opening with Haydn’s Quartet in G major it was evident from the beginning that we would be enthralled by the performance and we were not disappointed. With the lower instruments often taking the lead the tunes were handed from one to the other seamlessly. Pizzicato accompaniment to the first violin in the third movement was emphatic yet sympathetic allowing the tune to take precedence.

Changes on dynamics and tempi were well controlled throughout the piece making good use of the acoustic in the hall.

Concluding with Smetana’s Quartet in E minor the same energy and vivacity continued. Again the lower instruments often took the lead with the music being representative of different aspects of the composer’s life. Each movement conveyed his love of life and happiness until the final catastrophe of his deafness. These moods were clearly demonstrated in the performance from the young players where even the largo section was in no way doleful.

The sandwich filling sat a little uneasily being a stark contrast to the other two works. A new piece by the young composer Georgia Denham, who was present at the performance, began somewhat naively with simple repeated notes. However it developed into a much more complex work and became more enjoyable. The abrupt end led me to believe that it could possibly be extended in the future into a major work.