Reputation justified at Radlett Music Club

PUBLISHED: 10:21 06 December 2009 | UPDATED: 14:44 06 May 2010

FOR the third time in as many months members of the Radlett Music Club have been treated to an evening of outstanding music, this time at the hands of The Badke String Quartet. Yet another group of outstanding young musicians the quartet, formed in 2002,

FOR the third time in as many months members of the Radlett Music Club have been treated to an evening of outstanding music, this time at the hands of The Badke String Quartet.

Yet another group of outstanding young musicians the quartet, formed in 2002, have already established a fine international reputation.

And their performance at the Radlett Centre on Thursday last week went a long way to prove just why that reputation is deserved.

It was clear from the opening movement of the first piece, Haydn's String Quartet in G major, Opus 76 No 1, that the quartet, violinists Heather Badke and Emma Parker, viola player Jon Thorne and cellist Jonathan Byers, were not simply fine musicians but a group of people who really enjoyed making music together.

And to add to the thrill the group play a set of fine instruments loaned to them by the Royal Academy of Music. The resulting outstanding tonal quality they produce added a special brilliance to the quartet's music.

The Haydn, with its crisp and happy opening movement, was an ideal start to the evening although the accompanying heavy sound of the Radlett Centre's air conditioning system was something of a distraction.

Fortunately the system appeared to be switched off before the start of the second work, Robert Schumann's comparatively little known String Quartet in A major Op 41, No 3.

With its dreamy opening bars it really demonstrated the huge ability of the four performers to make outstanding music. But it was the challenging second movement that demonstrated some of the finest playing. A series of variations, it exposes each of the four musicians to testing moments which produced excellent results.

The concluding work of the evening was Schubert's ever-popular String Quartet No 14 in D minor, Death and the Maiden. With its powerful rhythmic opening sequence, the entire work is energetic and often emotion-packed. It resulted in a truly passionate performance by the quartet, which left the audience demanding, but unfortunately not getting, more.

The club's next concert will be a performance at the Radlett Centre by pianist Marcus Andrews on February 2.

JOHN MANNING


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