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Quatuor Danel with Alexander Melnikov

Cosmo Rodewald Concert Hall, Martin Harris Centre

2 October 2015

Quatuor Danel

The opening concert of the new season and a memorable one at that.

Alexander Melnikov joined the Quatuor Danel for a Piano Quintet by Mieczyslaw Weinberg, which turned out to be an engrossing, intense work, placing great technical demands on all of the players, and not just the pianist. It seemed to take away part of your life, such was the attention it demanded of the listener. For the whole of its duration you were only nominally in the world.

Before that there was Mozart’s Adagio and Fugue, brief and baroque and beautiful, and then the centrepiece, Beethoven’s great, great Quartet in C sharp minor. What to say about this masterpiece? Well, the composer’s playfulness, the way he teases with the listener’s expectations, never fails to make one happy. Sometimes, indeed, you’re even provoked to reflect on the nature of happiness: how it’s dependent on a level of uncertainty, a loosening but not a loss of control. There’s repetition but it’s never quite as you expect. Then again, the variations are never outlandish. And certain passages, those where the melody takes full flight, may evoke memories of sunlight streaking through the treetops in the Vienna woods.

Full details of future concerts by the Quatuor Danel, including a fair few where they perform once again with Alexander Melnikov, can be found here.