Paul Gregory (Artistic Director to LCCR)
‘Thank you so much for agreeing to play for us again. The Chapel Royal Concert Series in Brighton waited patiently for the return of the St Paul’s String Quartet. The audience were once again treated to top class string playing. They so obviously enjoyed playing together and communicating meaningful heartfelt performances of such great works. Next time….?’
Simon Callaghan, Artistic Director, Conway Hall Sunday Night Chamber Series.
‘I have to say that it was fantastic! Many audience members were commenting that, particularly for a quartet that hasn’t been together long, you have excellent rapport/ensemble, you all look great on the stage… and that your interpretations were thoroughly compelling. I didn’t hear a single negative comment!.. One audience member insisted that I invite you back next season, which I’d love to do, if you’re interested?’
Brighton Festival Fringe 2018.
Brighton Press Review, Dr Simon Jenner
Chapel Royal : Mozart String Quintet in G Minor K516 StPaul’s Quartet etc.,
May 8th 2018St Paul’s Quartet are a serious quartet derived fromplayers who’ve known each other for years. Their day jobs are in the Britten Sinfonia and Academy of St Martin’s in the Fields. No wonder they boast top string pedigree. Violinists BeaLovejoy and Catherine Morgan, violist Helen Paterson, andcellist Ben Chappell bring violist Ann Beilby for Mozart’smiraculous G minor Viola Quintet K516 from 1788.
The quintet was a medium Mozart eventually felt moreconfortable in than quartets; it shows here, in the viola’s added richness (his favourite string instrument), and its deployment at key moments in this elusively tragic work.
St Paul’s are as you’d expect consummate ensemble players. Here they emphasize intimacy, a declared aim of bringing outthe tragedy in this slow, inexorably dark tread of the expositionand all repeats. This performance takes thirty-six minutes,because of the aching way they persuade the musical argumentto reveal itself. It’s incredibly melancholic, virtually unrelieved. The acoustic bloom here emphasises this.
The opening Allegro’s a work in itself, riven with asides and journeys. Everything springs from its remorseless pulse. TheMenuetto Allegretto features dissonantly stabbing ensemblechords; some play it more lightly. Not here, it’s an extraordinaryslow dance with death. The Adagio’s freshly-thought: a bleak-featured lament: The finale digs deeper than the Adagio tillbreaking out into a joy-through-tears Allegro. Hard won, provisional relief.