Four brilliant young musicians, passionate about what they do and eager to share their passion with their audience, the Piatti String Quartet deeply impressed members and friends of the Tilford Bach Society in the United Reformed Church on Friday 1st November.
The quartet, formed by Jessie Ann Richardson when she was studying cello at the Royal College of Music, performed two great contrasting works; Schubert’s ‘Death and the Maiden’ and Dvorak’s Opus 106 in G major. The former was composed when Schubert was ill and depressed, the latter when Dvorak had made a joyful homecoming after a highly successful time in America, so the moods of the works could hardly be more different.
Schubert’s quartet takes its name from the theme of the second movement, based on a song in which a dying maiden implores Death to spare her. Death persuades the maiden of his beneficence, and the movement ends very softly with an air of calm acceptance. However, the other movements take the listener on a switchback of strong emotions, from the furious attack of the opening to the wild, breathtaking scherzo, a true tour de force from this highly talented group.
Dvorak’s opus 106, written 70 years later, is a professed favourite of the Piatti Quartet. Its carefree opening sounds almost like peals of laughter and the composer expresses his joy in returning home to his beloved Bohemia by integrating folksong into two of the movements, especially the fiery Finale that evokes exuberant gipsy dance. The applause was equally exuberant, with thunders of foot-stamping in true gipsy style.