Reviews

ABCT Tour

“…from the first bars of the opening allegro moderato, their close understanding and impeccable ensemble work was exemplary. [Mozart Quartet in D minor]

“No more eloquent ambassadors for this exciting 20th century work could be imagined… [Bartok Quartet #2]

“…revealed novel textures, daring rhythms and varied instrumental colours, and the quartet’s passionate and eloquent playing captured the work perfectly. [Debussy Quartet in G minor]

“…the excellent rapport the quartet has with their audience.

“To sum up, the finest concert by a visiting string quartet for many years…” [Mid Argyll Arts Association]

Fejes String Quartet, RSAMD, Glasgow

“THERE was a very satisfying sense of symmetry in the programme presented yesterday in the RSAMD by the Fejes String Quartet.

“Temperamentally and psychologically, the two works on the programme, Haydn’s Tost Quartet and Shostakovich’s Eighth Quartet, occupied polar extremes. The Haydn was all outgoing, ebullient and optimistic, whereas the Shostakovich inhabited infinitely darker regions where the moods were sombre, vicious, sardonic and ultimately of heartbreaking poignancy.

“Yet there was a hidden link for those with ears to hear, as Shostakovich used to say about his own music. This was the rat-tat-tat rhythm that appeared in both pieces, almost impertinently witty in the Haydn, and ominous, terrifying and abrasive in the performance of the Shostakovich.

“These were bracing performances of the two quartets. The Haydn brimmed with vigour and zest, while the Shostakovich pulsated with intensity. And the upfront, in-your-face acoustic suited the style of Fejes’s quartet, which is very much a go-for-it, risk-taking outfit – as was clear from their hair-raising account, possibly the fastest I’ve heard, of the violent second movement of the Shostakovich.

“And, in a concert that I perceived very much as a continuum, the same energy that later manically powered the Shostakovich catapulted the Haydn – which came out of the bottle like a champagne cork – into effervescent action.” MICHAEL TUMELTY, Music Critic

West End Festival: Mendelssohn’s Octet, Oran Mor

“The young Alba Quartet, all recent graduates, combined with the seasoned professionals of the Fejes Quartet in a mind-blowing performance of the Octet…any music critic who could resist giving five stars for the West End Festival’s promotion of Mendelssohn’s Octet on Monday night has water in his veins and stone in his heart.” MICHAEL TUMELTY, Music Critic