Our new season opened in the best way possible, with a smooth-as-silk performance by the Allegri Quartet, accompanied for two of the works by violist Graham Oppenheimer.
In a switch from the printed programme, the group opened with the String Quartet No. 3 by Alec Roth, a British composer championed by the Allegris. The work had strong echoes of American minimalism, with some complex rhythms and engaging melodies. In the interval discussions afterwards, "What a revelation that was!" was heard frequently, and all the Roth CDs on sale were quickly snapped up.
The other two works were viola quintets, the Mozart probably more often heard than the Brahms, and both were performed with real intensity and feeling. If the Allegris' young leader, Martyn Jackson, looked familiar, it may be because he also featured in our opening concert last year, with the Cavaleri Quartet. He clearly fits well in the Allegri Quartet, which looked and sounded vibrant, confident and utterly relevant in its 62nd year.
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