Nicholas Yonge Society

Chamber Music in Lewes

22nd November 2013

Mozart Quartet in G major K387
Britten Quartet No. 1 in D major
Purcell (arr Britten) Chacony
Bridge Quartet No. 2 in G minor

Maggini Quartet in performance

This is the first time these musicians have played in Lewes, although because of their excellent musical reputation the Society has wanted to book them for many years. They started with a calm and authoritative performance of Mozart’s String Quartet in G.Major. After that, in keeping with the fact that the concert was taking place on Benjamin Britten’s birthday, we had that composer’s String Quartet No. 1 in D major, written in 1941 when he was 27. Successfully managing a difficult problem of intonation given that from the first the violins are required to play for some time on their highest notes, the music that followed resounded with echoes of Britten’s later works. At times nostalgic, at other moments bouncing along like the pet dogs the composer so loved, this was music to treasure. 

Purcell’s noble Chacony in G Minor, arranged by Britten for string quartet, started the second half of the concert. We concluded with Frank Bridge’s String Quartet in G Minor, written in 1915, a mighty work from a composer who was Britten’s major musical inspiration for all his life. The Quartet made a strong case for this strong and occasionally tumultuous piece too, finally leaving the platform to much well-deserved applause.

Reviewer: Nicholas Tucker
Photographer: David James