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King’s Lynn Festival: Gildas Quartet

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REVIEW: Gildas Quartet, Town Hall

Christopher Jones, Gemma Sharples, Violins, Kay Stephen, viola, and Anna Menzies, cello – these talented young musicians make up the Gildas Quartet and are fast establishing themselves as one of the most exciting and energetic string quartets on the current UK and European musical scene.

The ensemble is well known for its diverse and exciting programmes and repertoire and this was reflected in its recent King’s Lynn Festival Coffee Concert which included a stunningly original piece: ‘Flytande’ by 16-year-old composer Ben Pease-Barton. The composer told me his piece is based on Swedish and Norwegian traditional music, combining different sound worlds and styles. At one point the musicians stamped their feet in time to the catchy rhythms. A young composer to listen out for in the future!

The Quartet gave excellent interpretations of the other works on the programme: Haydn’s 2nd Op. 76 Quartet in D minor (Quinten) containing a highly original minuet movement, sometimes nicknamed ‘Witches Minuet’ (a particular favourite of mine), and Beethoven’s adventurous 2nd ‘Rasumovsky Quartet in Eminor, Op.59.

The Quartet’s tone and attack were all that could be wished for and it was great to hear three of the musicians performing at a later ‘pop- up’ event at All Saint’s Church.

Andy Tyler

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