City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Edinburgh Quartet play Mozart and Prokofiev Review


By Barnaby Miln - Posted on 18 October 2011

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Show Details
Company: 
Concerts at The University
Production: 
Mozart, String Quartet in G minor K387; Prokofiev, String Quartet No 2 in F minor Op. 92.
Performers: 
Edinburgh Quartet - Tristan Gurney (violin), Philip Burrin (violin), Jessica Beeston (viola), Mark Bailey (cello)
Running time: 
55mins

The Tuesday lunchtime concerts at the Reid Concert Hall, beside the McEwan Hall, are popular not just because they are free but because of the range of high quality artists, some professional some still students, who perform on Tuesdays. But none fills the venerable Reid more than the Edinburgh Quartet, now in their fifty first year and with a new viola player, Jessica Beeston.

Mozart wrote the Quartet in G, K387, between 1782 and 1785 as the first in a set of six. Almost immediately there is a conversation between the two violins and viola. It is the second violin which brings on the second theme. In the slow movement it is the first violin to the fore whilst the cello announces the second theme of the Finale.

I spend much of my time listening and watching symphony orchestras of almost a hundred players. So for me it is enormously refreshing to be watching just four talented string players produce such lovely music. And what is so rewarding from the Edinburgh Quartet is watching their interaction with one another. They really do seem to get on as a team, and clearly enjoy every bow movement almost as a tease, or tempter, to one another.

In 1941 Prokofiev found himself evacuated to the foothills of the Caucasian mountains along with other Soviet artists, poets and musicians. This is where early in 1942 he wrote his second string quartet. It resounds with his native Russian folk culture and with songs and dances in each of the three movements. There was plenty of pizzicato and even some col legno - where the stick of the bow hits the strings.

Event: Tuesday 18 October 20911 at 1.10pm