Review: The Brantford Expositor

“Quartet outstanding for opening concert..this chamber group was outstanding. They form a true ensemble, working together to present the music with not just unified playing but with one soul. This showed particularly in the grand Second Quartet by Johannes Brahms…who would have found everything about the music and the performance fresh and relevant to life today…Playing lovely 300-year-old string instruments on loan from Canadian arts banks, these young women gave us sound with heft and sweep but never pushed or forced. Park also seemed to lift the sound out of our good Yamaha piano and blended beautifully with the warm string tone. Brahms began quietly, holding the intensity inside for a long time before releasing all that pent-up emotion in a glorious outburst that slowly, slowly fades with autumnal brilliance. Made in Canada was inside the music for all of its turmoil and passion, burning like a candle in a pumpkin with all the right nuances in the right places. The muted strings of the second movement were gossamer and silk, and the energy of this lengthy piece was maintained through the huge scherzo movement and the rather more fragmentary finale. The evening ended too soon with Dvorak’s Second Piano Quartet…The middle movements were particularly entrancing, soulful and then warmly floating…the finale, by turns boisterous and sentimental, brought this superb illustration of the high standards of Canadian chamber music to a close.

— The Brantford Expositor



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