The Minerva Ensemble’s interpretation of Franz Schubert’s chamber music masterpiece, String Quartet no 14 in D could not be surpassed.
Better known as Death and the Maiden, the Quartet’s playing was exemplary producing the marked contrasts in softness and loudness which emphasised the haunting drama of this work.
The musicians’ inimitable skills and musical creative power coupled with their technical ability offered a dramatic and sensational contribution to the Festival of Chichester at St John’s Chapel.
In the tense and at times furious playing, the Minerva Ensemble conveyed in music the conflict between Death and the Maiden it came to claim. The magnificent Tarantella Dance of Death which ended the work illustrated the group working together in total harmony and empathy.
Under the direction of David Le Page, the Minerva Quartet presented Arnold Shoenberg’s Verklarte Nacht (Transfigured Night), another piece of music based on the theme of defining moments in life.
It is a musical interpretation of Richard Dehred’s poem about an illicit pregnancy, and the Minerva Ensemble told the story with exquisite skill. The balance between the six instruments was immaculate bringing a high degree of romanticism and magic.
The six-exceedingly talented string players who make up the Minerva Ensemble also play with many of Britain’s leading orchestra’s and were making a welcomed return to Chichester. Their combined talent produced a memorable concert which was clearly greatly and enthusiastically received by their audience.
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