The two contrasting works the ensemble is performing across Australia over the coming weeks – Mozart’s characterful Piano Quartet in G minor and Dvorak’s impulsive Piano Quartet in E flat major – show off not only the musicians’ expertise but the best of the quartet repertoire.
Mozart’s quartet is a difficult piece but this fine group makes it look easy.
The two works, while contrasting emotionally, both invite their performers to act as chamber group and orchestra – a skill that requires empathy and fearlessness from each member.
Mozart’s quartet, in turn dramatic and playful, requires virtuosity from each of them. There are moments of dialogue and then turbulence, followed quickly by decorative passagework. It is a difficult piece (when published it was unpopular in the amateur market, as people couldn’t get their fingers around it!) but this fine group makes it look easy.
Similarly, Dvorak’s E flat is a study in complexity and invention: what Mozart began, deepens here. Dvorak’s writing is intensely emotional and captures you wholly as it winds between brusque and lyrical.
The Seraphims and their excellent fourth addition, Alexander, know every twist and turn and present it as freshly as if it were just written. Nothing quite matches the balm that is outstanding chamber music, and this was truly outstanding.