International string quartet performed ‘most treasured piece’ at Saffron Hall

PUBLISHED: 09:09 06 December 2019 | UPDATED: 13:27 09 December 2019

Left to right: Toby White (cello), Tereza Privratska (violin), Lorena Canto Wolteche (viola) and Julia Loucks (violin). Photo: CONTRIBUTED.

Left to right: Toby White (cello), Tereza Privratska (violin), Lorena Canto Wolteche (viola) and Julia Loucks (violin). Photo: CONTRIBUTED.

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Four musicians from different countries united their talent into a perfect synchronisation: Lorena Canto Wolteche from Spain on viola, Toby White from England on cello, Tereza Privratska from the Czech Republic, and Julia Loucks from Canada on violins.

The rainy cold Sunday of December 1 was best spent at Saffron Hall, where the Jubilee Quartet's strings in the spotlight warmed the audience's hearts.

Four musicians from different countries united their talent into a perfect synchronisation: Lorena Canto Wolteche from Spain on viola, Toby White from England on cello, Tereza Privratska from the Czech Republic, and Julia Loucks from Canada on violins.

They performed Mozart's String Quartet No. 22 in B flat major and Ravel's String Quartet in F major. In between the two masterpieces, Julia said: "Thank you so much for being here on this rainy day.

"The second piece is the first and only string quartet that Ravel has ever composed. It is our most treasured piece. We continue to discover this piece more and more. It's an incredible piece technically and it has a really special texture. We really enjoy playing it."

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Mozart's work was as musical as one would expect, and created a suitable, royal atmosphere, fitting for the person it was written for, Friedrich Wilhelm II, King of Prussia.

Ravel's musical unexpectedness made it a very challenging quartet to play - which was perhaps expected given Debussy's influence on the piece. The first part, Allegro moderato, was rather intriguing due to musical indecisiveness. The second one, Assez vif, tres rythme, contrasted with its pleasant musicality, being perhaps the most musical part of the quartet.

This is perhaps due to its scherzo features, enhanced through a pizzicato start. Tres lent, the third part, allowed for truly impressive musical nuances due to its slow tempo, especially the violins' and viola's pianississimos and the cello's sudden crescendo.

At the other end of the rhythmical spectrum was the last part, Vif et agite, which ended both Ravel's masterpiece and the afternoon on a strong, energetic note.

Although all four performers were flawless and synchronised perfectly, violinist Tereza Privratska stood out with her energetic, immersed and passionate performance.

Overall, a great concert, reminding the locals how lucky they are to be able to get the world's best talent right on their doorstep at Saffron Hall.

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