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Review: Marmen String Quartet, King's Lyn Minster

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The King’s Lynn Festival certainly continues to rank highly in terms of quality and prestige with me, further evidence of this being the recital given by the youthful Marmen String Quartet at Monday’s Lunchtime Concert, Lynn’s Minster being the local venue.

Johannes Marmen, violin, Ricky Gore, violin, Bryony Gibson-Cornish, viola and Sinead O’Halloran, cello, are the Quartet’s young and enthusiastic members.

The Quartet, formed in 2013, at London’s Royal College of Music, has already won several prizes, and performs to great acclaim widely in the UK and abroad.

Marmen Quartet. Photo: MARCO BORGGREVE (49626903)
Marmen Quartet. Photo: MARCO BORGGREVE (49626903)

It performs regularly across Sweden and this summer makes its Proms debut at the Cadogan Hall, with music by Haydn and Robert Simpson.

Here in Lynn the Quartet gave a fine rendering of Haydn’s famous ‘Lark’ Quartet, quirky, lyrical, but also great fun, and mastered, seemingly without effort, Schubert’s exciting Quartettsatz.

I have loved Beethoven’s ‘Razumovsky’ Quartets for many years, but I’ve not heard them recently, so, as the last work in the programme I was glad to be reminded of the inventiveness of Beethoven’s middle-period works, the Quartet in C Major, Op59 No3 , having been chosen.

Within the piece are many moods and deeply felt emotions, the contrasts conveyed with sensitivity and a natural style by the quartet.

I look forward to hearing the quartet in concert as time goes on, and I’ll certainly make a start with their BBC Prom, 1pm on Monday, August 16, broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

An excited one-word cry from an enthused Lynn Festival audience member summed up the concert very well: "Wow!"

Andy Tyler.

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