Exhilarating, exuberant, virtuosic: the Pacifica Quartet has won hearts around the world for its passionate performances. Treading that miraculous line between naked emotion and scrupulous musicianship, a concert with the Pacificas becomes an engrossing sensory experience for the audience.
Such intensity throws a brilliant light onto the pure, architectural beauty of a cherished Haydn quartet. Mendelssohn’s magnificent first string quartet shows its teenage composer’s obsession with Beethoven – whose final quartet is the centrepoint of Program 2. The heart-on-sleeve, melodic riches of these two early Romantic geniuses are natural territory for these performers.
Although it’s only a little over a decade old, the second quartet by master Australian composer Nigel Westlake fits perfectly in this context, offering players and listeners an enticing palette of lyricism and rhythm.
Shostakovich holds a special place in the life of the Pacifica Quartet. Their recordings of all of his quartet works have few rivals; and their visionary performances of his complete quartet cycle at Wigmore Hall were unanimously hailed as outstanding. Shostakovich’s Quartet no 3 reflects the dark days of the USSR, veering between tragedy and satire in music that leaves no listener unmoved.
You can enjoy program 2 at the weekend concert on Saturday 12 of June, 7pm.
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