Two String Quartets
Beethoven, Gorton & Schoenberg
Marking the completion of a David Gorton recording project, the recently reconstituted Kreutzer Quartet showcased his chamber music before a very small audience at Conway Hall.
Gorton's concerns have been with malleability of musical time, extended techniques and tuning systems, with a penchant for virtuosity and extreme gestures. Melting Forms for piano trio (with Roderick Chadwick) explored individual and collective routes in solos and duos and was interesting for its changing perspectives. His completely inscrutable Trajectories was given from the four corners of the auditorium by a "de-tuned" quartet - a subtlety which escaped my ears and those of several listeners with whom I checked. It comprised lengthy patches of slowly changing tones, punctuated by one welcome minute of loud agitation before returning to the original mode.*
David Gorton Portrait CD
* Melting Forms is made up of a number of solos and duos, some of which occur simultaneously. It allows the performers a certain malleability in the expressive interpretation of the musical material. While the overall transformation from frenzy to calm remains the same, the manner in which this is articulated and presented may vary from performance to performance, with the players given a variety of choice in the way their material can be played. Each player may thus choose their own individual route through the piece, as well as determining their own relationships with one another. Melting Forms was first performed by the Lawson Trio at Jacksons Lane Theatre, Highgate, on the 26th February 2006.
Picture: David Gorton with the Kreutzer Quartet at Tate St Ives
Beethoven, Haydn & Janacek
For really modern sounding music we had a forthright account of Beethoven's Grosse Fugue, and for light relief Schoenberg's Die Einsame Brigade, a 1916 spoof with animal noises vocalised by the players. A stimulating evening from ever-exploring musicians.
The Brodskys played safe at Blackheath, and were rewarded with a near full house and an atmosphere of contentment in the large Concert Hall.
Peter Grahame Woolf
There will be further opportunities to hear the Brodskys current repertoire, probably to better advantage, when they are In Residence at LSO St Luke's February/March for a series of BBC lunchtime concerts.