String Quartet No.6 in G, Op.101
String Quartet in B flat, Op.18/6
String Quartet No.8 in C minor, Op.110
[Alexander Pavlovsky & Sergei Bresler (violins), Amihai Grosz (viola) & Kyril Zlotnikov (cello)]
Reviewed by: William Yeoman
Reviewed: 16 March, 2006
Venue: Perth Concert Hall, Western Australia
The Beethoven was imbued with such energy and abandon that you were left thinking the previous work was just a playing-in of the instruments (not that it ever, at any point, sounded like that!). Here, the Jerusalem showed Beethoven as Janus, the classicist and revolutionary all in one, by demonstrating how real freedom can only come from discipline. Like the music, the performance was marked by tight control of all elements and punctuated by exciting gestures and moments of real pathos (the final ‘La Malincolia’ being one such). Again, the sense of communication among the musicians was admirable – lots of eye contact and facial expressions.
Following the interval came Shostakovich’s Quartet No.8, a work which the Jerusalem has being playing together since its student days. And it showed. So integrated and beautifully eloquent was this performance that I couldn’t believe twenty minutes had passed. Everything I’ve said about the playing of the two previous works was true here – but what was now even more obvious was the ability of each musician to characterise his own part while integrating it seamlessly into the whole. Such was the intensity of this performance that the audience, like the Jerusalems, were visibly affected both during and after. A fitting tribute to Shostakovich in his 100th birthday year.