Experienced polished string quartet showed their class

Da Vinci String Quartet playing at St George's Lunchtime Concert on March 16
Da Vinci String Quartet playing at St George's Lunchtime Concert on March 16

There is no substitute for class, whether it is sport, the stage, dancing, music, or all aspects of life.

This was evident in the latest lunchtime concert at St George’s United Reformed Church when the Da Vinci String Quartet excelled in their performance or two challenging classical works.

This accomplished quartet is comprised of two married couples, Iona Brown (violin) and Michael Gerrard (viola), with Jane Nossek (violin) and Gabriel Waite (cello).

All four are long-standing, prominent members of the Royal Northern Sinfonia, with many years of musical experience between them.

The concert was devoted to only two compositions, Mozart’s String Quartet in D Major (The Hoffmeister) and Dvorak’s String Quarter in G Major.

Mozart wrote his quarter in 1786 in Vienna when at the height of his musical powers. The work is named after Hoffmeister, who was one of the composer’s friends, and it was possibly written for him.

The Quartet is a mature and majestic piece, with four contrasting movements, the first with a greatly flowing melody, with each instrument taking turns with the main theme.

The adagia was laced with gorgeous rich, deep chords and had a languid flow with lots of light shade.

The Quartet ended with a lightly tripping allegro, with some tricky running passages, which were handed superbly.

This was playing at the very highest level, with excellent tonal quality, perfect co-ordination and crisp distinct notation, producing a professional and polished rendering of a difficult composition.

Dvorak’s String Quartet, the second work, is a total contrast to Mozart.

This was written only a year after the composer returned home from America and many sections reflect his experiences in the New World.

There were several changes of tempo in the allegro, with lots of connecting passages, which were handled with great care and attention.

A dark and melancholy adagio was followed by a lively, fast moving vivace, which brought the proceedings to a thrilling and fitting finale.

The concert was a triumph for teamwork of the highest class.

The packed hall showed its appreciation with loud and sustained applause.