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(PLG Young Artists in The Monday Platform Series)

Haydn Op 20 No 4 1772
David Matthews No 10 2001
Osvaldo Golijov Yiddishbbuk 1992

18 December 2006 Wigmore Hall

The Carduccis are well launched on a promising career. They are now two married pairs, living in the same house, which promises well for maintaining the same personnel in the quartet! If teaching is what matters, they cite the Amadeus, Takacs, Chilingirian and Vanbrugh quartets amongst many leading quartets that have helped them on their way, with a clutch of prizes to endorse them.

At Wigmore Hall, Haydn cast his usual spell, benefiting from there being so many great quartets to choose from that audiences rarely suffer from surfeit. David Matthews' 11 mins No 10 was amiable music, taking its programmatic cue from Anglo-Australian birdsong (the Australian cuckoo calls in a rising major third; its British cousin the familiar falling third!). It was premiered in 2001 by the Kreutzer Quartet, who might be tempted to programme it again, having a new violist who spent his formative years in Australia?

Golijov's Yiddishbbuk was more interesting; five short but arresting commemorations of Terezin victims, and of I B Singer and Leonard Bernstein - a good item to wake up the audience in a regular string quartet recital. We weren't minded last night to listen to the Beethoven 59/2 yet again...

Before the Carducci's recital John Woolf of Park Lane Group reminded Wigmore Hall chamber music enthusiasts that their showcase series of Young Artists would be starting as usual early in the New Year. PLG's brochure quotes reviews from the National Press (only) some of them with as many dots as words. Hopefully in future seasons they might share the publicity with the main website journals, which have generally given their up-coming artists fuller coverage every January.

Musical Pointers, by way of example of what can be gleaned from the websites and their hyperlinkage facility, had followed the Carduccis from a dance event at Laban in 2003 ("Shostakovich's 9th Quartet played live by an accomplished young quartet seated across the back of the stage"); this year, reporting that at the Purcell Room in January "they had honed their accounts of new miniatures by Kurtag and Dutilleux's 'Ainsi la nuit' to a high pitch of refinement; totally secure in harmonics and pianissimo - - they are equally at home in high romanticism". Most recently we heard them gain the Jury's approval in the London International String Quartet Competition, and in Master Class at Blackheath (pictured).

Peter Grahame Woolf

Carducci Quartet at Wihan Quartet Master Class (Picture: Pamela Majaro)