Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper


Well balanced programme from Benyounes  Quartet

Benyounes Quartet, West Hill Community Festival  Hastings, Friday 20 September 2019: HOT music critic Brian Hick attended the inaugural concert in the West Hill Community Festival, given by the Benyounes Quartet.

The acoustic in Emmanuel Church is ideal for strings and made the perfect venue for this opening concert in the West Hill Community Festival. While none of the works could be said to be familiar to a wide audience, they proved to make up a very well balanced programme and one which highlighted the introspection of the composers in the deeply felt slow movement in all three cases.

The Benyounes Quartet opened with Haydn’s Quartet Op76 No1. This late work looks longingly towards Schubert in its overt romanticism and brings a sombre tone to the final movement before ending on a more positive note.

Mendelssohn’s Op12 No1 Quartet opens with an intense but flowing cantabile before the profound beauty of the slow movement. There are hints of sturm und drang in the later movements which the quartet found with great subtlety.

After the interval we heard Debussy’s G minor Quartet. This is an equally troubled work, but the quartet – who have recently recorded it – were able to bring out the nuances in its development, again being particularly moving in the slow third movement.

As if to compensate for the intense emotional turmoil of much of the music, the encore – an Idyll by Frank Bridge – proved charming and relaxing.

The church was packed for this free concert, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund, while the festival continued across the weekend with a large range of events centred on the church and the West Hill.


Posted 18:39 Monday, Sep 23, 2019 In: Music & Sound

Also in: Music & Sound

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