On the 20th of February this year, I took my mum, a former professional violinist, to see Remember Tomorrow by the Australian String Quartet. I asked her to email me her thoughts afterwards.

Ok Goose Maybe just a few ideas for your review?

Wot say you open it talking very briefly about your first experiences with Chamber Music…….being dragged to our friend’s soirees as a very small child.  No names mentioned of course ( he reads Pelican!!  Ha ha)  I am sure you could make an amusing account of your non enjoyment of these occasions? ( OR maybe I am wrong and you loved every minute of them)

Then ASQ being different……..exciting evening blah blah……like an overall view and list works played:

Haydn   string quartet no 76 “The Emperor”

Ross Edwards   “ Gallipoli”

Schostakovich string quartet no 3

Wilma Smith was guest leader. Wilma was born in Fiji and raised in NZ .She was  a founding member of the NZ string quartet, returning from studying and working in Boston to take up the position of leader. Later being appointed as Concertmistress of the NZ Symphony Orchestra.  , then the MSO, from 2003 – 2014.

She has been guest concert master with SSO, WASO, TSO and the Auckland Philharmonic.

Also teaches at Melbourne and Monash Universities.

The well known Haydn “Emperor “ quartet is a delightful yet powerful piece of music It was beautifully played with a crispness and true classical style. The work has become so celebrated that the theme of the variation movement became both the Austrian and German National Anthems.

Ross Edwards  “ Gallipoli”   This work was commissioned to commemorate the centenary of the ANZAC landing in Gallipoli and Australia’s involvement in conflict and resolution

A very moving and emotional; performance……..the players in semi darkness on stage provided dramatic effect.

Schostakovich  quartet no 3.     For me this was the highlight of the entire concert. Written in 1946 in response to the Second World War it is full of emotion and questioning.  The work was played magnificently ,conveying both the passion and despair that Shostakovich desired.

It was during this piece that I decided I preferred the more traditional seating of a string quartet rather than standing as ASQ did with the cello seated in the middle and viola standing where the cello normally sits.

For me this resulted in the viola sound being slightly lost on occasion when it would have been good to have heard more ,especially in some of the viola players glorious solo moments.. ..as with the cello who also could have been more ‘visible’ ..the sound being occasionally swamped a little by the standing tall players.

Overall a stunning performance. If anyone wanted or needed to be converted to become a keen chamber music fan this was the concert to go to! The quartet was strongly led by Wilma whose playing is exquisite and an absolute joy to listen to and watch.   The group sounded like they had been playing together for years.

I hope you can glean something from all this Goose!

Lots of luv

Mum xxxxoooo

Words by Lucy and Kathy Ballantyne