St Lawrence String Quartet & Diana Doherty reviewed in The Age
St Lawrence String Quartet & Diana Doherty
Reviewed by Martin Duffy, The Age
April 26, 2012
In its role as Stanford University ensemble in residence, the St Lawrence String Quartet regularly explores new boundaries in their engagement with university life. With their informal and passionate performance style, the players demonstrated their flexibility with repertoire ranging from classical to contemporary. Joining the quartet was oboist Diana Doherty, her presence a sheer delight.
Violinists Geoff Nuttall and Scott St John alternated the role of first violin, each musician possessing an individual approach. Opening the concert was Haydn’s String Quartet in F minor, Op. 20 No. 5. Nuttall set the tone with emphatic playing of the opening theme and exquisite obbligato in the Adagio. Later, St John proved more than equal leading a riveting performance of Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 4 in C minor with cellist Christopher Costanza and violist Lesley Robertson.
Gordon Kerry’s haunting Elegy for string quartet was written at a time of personal sadness, but the work is no lament. Its search for meaning in grief featured ethereal harmonics and concluded with hope in a major key.
A sublime performance of Mozart’s Oboe Quartet in F major again shifted the mood, with the achingly beautiful adagio in contrast to the joyous outer movements.
Concluding was Hindson’s aptly named Rush, a reworking that replaced guitar with oboe. This was a rollicking ride that showcased the technical facility of the performers and left the audience wishing for more.