Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Naresh Sohal 70th Birthday

Sohal String Quartet No. 3 (World première)
Debussy String Quartet in G minor Op. 10
Villa-Lobos Suite for voice and violin
Sohal Songs from Gitanjali (for soprano, string quartet and tabla)

Dante String Quartet
Sally Silver soprano
Nafees Irfan tabla
Krysia Osostowicz violin

Wigmore Hall 17 July 2010

Composer Naresh Sohal was born in Punjab, India, in 1939, and settled in the UK in 1962 to study and subsequently devote himself to Western classical music.

He has written extensively for orchestra and chamber ensembles, but his music has not made a big impact on Britain's mainstream concert life, and I do not remember having encountered it previously.

Sohal is two-thirds way through composing a set of six quartets, in the 18th C mode*, in honour of the survivability of the string quartet into the 21st C...

No 3, a short single movement, was attractive, its introduction with quarter-tone glides acting as a sort of ritornello. Nothing very exotic in the "extension and figure development"; but nice to have modern music in which it is easy to follow the thinking. A well prepared account of the Debussy quartet followed, but most of us would have preferred another of Sohal's instead on this special occasion.**

Sally Silver impressed in a group of Sohal's Tagore songs (2004) in the original Bengali, with discreet tabla accompaniment to give a more Eastern flavour. Wigmore Hall was so darkened (for "atmosphere"?) that we could not attempt to follow the English version, printed very small in the programme...

Peter Grahame Woolf


** Chiaroscuro 2 (1978, Arditti Quartet) is Sohal's String Quartet no 1, and is included in a Naresh Sohal Portrait CD
- - in three tense sections which drift into each other ending in deep melancholia - - [Meru CD 001 Music Web]