Beethoven’s OP 18 No.5 in A Major
OP 130 with Fugue in B Flat Major
I was pleased to attend the Belcea Quartet – a ‘world class’ ensemble recently. This was part of the Rodewald Chamber Music Concert Series and considered a vital part of the cultural landscapeof Liverpool under the patronage of the Philharmonic. This world leading chamber ensemble and recitalist graced the stage of St Georges Hall Concert Room and carried on a historical musical tradition in the “Golden Room”; a room for which the Belcea Quartet fitfully deserved.
This is one of Europe’s, if not the world’s leading quartets of the new generation, possessing an impressive discography ; having become established at the Royal College of Music in 1994 and still going ‘concert’ strong. With performance dates booked throughout Europe and the U.S, their Beethoven programme is perhaps the most intensive and exhausting. I listened to a performance of masterful strings, exquisite, unflawed play, interrupted by violent outbursts and punctuated by emotional silences. This was the pop culture of the day – Beethoven’s day.
The audience listened with such gratitude and attentiveness, stunned by the music which illuminated the beautiful concert hall. They applauded with attitude at the end of each piece and I was overawled. As a musician myself with Bach as my hero, I found the Belcea string quartet playing one of the most musically challenging pieces for any ensemble. It’s full of mighty symphonic dramas stretching to quiet, deep emotional moments, touched. Applaud was well deserved and appreciated by the gifted and talented members of the quarted that night.
I certainly enjoyed the musical journey.