Classical

Dante String Quartet at Church of St Mary in Callington (review)

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There was literally a veritable cornucopia of music in the second concert of this year’s Dante Summer Festival, given at the Church of St Mary, Callington, in front of another packed audience.

For, not only was the Dante Quartet joined by pianist, Michael Dussek, the concert also featured top UK horn-player, Stephen Stirling, in a programme titled ‘Sound the Horn’.

Mozart’s charming Horn Quintet in E flat provided an ideal opener, where the playing was of the highest order throughout, but especially distinguished by the sheer ease with which Stephen Stirling negotiated all the tricky moments with consummate agility.

Michael Dussek proved simply outstanding in Schumann’s glorious Piano Quintet, playing both with immense fire and passion, but also exhibiting the most delicate of touches where the music demanded, and all finely matched by the quartet’s equally telling contribution.

While there was a tenuous link between Britten’s Elegy for Solo Viola and the closing item, despite a quite superb and moving performance by Rachel Roberts, the work did seem more by way of a programme-filler, although it did highlight the true greatness of the work to follow.

Stephen Stirling gave a most compelling mini-lecture on Brahms’s Horn Trio, before launching into a performance which must surely rank as one of the best instances of chamber-music playing heard for a very long time, with correspondingly first-rate performances from Michael Dussek, and lead violinist, Krysia Osostowicz.

PHILIP R BUTTALL





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