Firm technique and cultivated ensemble
The Goldner String Quartet exhibited the firm technique and cultivated ensemble playing that one would expect from a group celebrating its twentieth year performing together. The Quartet performed on the austere stage of the Theatre in Chatswood’s The Concourse, in the first of The Sydney Mozart Society’s 2015 concerts.
Julian Smiles’ resonant cello lines brought a mellow darkness
Beginning with Joseph Haydn’s String Quartet in G, Op. 76, No 1, the Goldner Quartet opened the Allegro con spirito first movement with style and crisp accuracy. Julian Smiles’ resonant cello lines brought a mellow darkness to the second movement and the players obviously enjoyed the scherzo-like third movement; their rubato sparing but executed with a relaxed synchronicity.
Showcased the musicianship of the Quartet’s inner parts
After the Classical Haydn, the rest of the concert sat, to quote first violinist Dene Olding, ‘firmly in the bosom of German Romanticism.’ Max Bruch’s seldom played String Quartet No. 1 in C minor, Op. 9, written in the composer’s youth, provided an apposite partner for the later Mendelssohn quartet. It also offered ample opportunities to showcase the musicianship of the Quartet’s inner parts. Irina Morozova’s warm viola solo was a highlight of the first movement and Dimity Hall’s soaring melodies, accompanied by Olding, provided charming relief from the relentless syncopation of the third movement. The motoring Molto Vivace was an upbeat end to the first half of the concert.
Felix Mendelssohn’s Beethovenian String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op. 13, also composed young (Mendelssohn was eighteen), formed the second half of the concert. Mendelssohn’s Adagio non lento, with its chorale-like passages and fugato sections, allowed the Goldner Quartet to demonstrate their prowess as both individual performers and as a polished ensemble. The Intermezzo was sparkling and refined, the players capturing the beautiful simplicity of the violin melody with pizzicato accompaniment, before the eruption of the fiery final movement.
Playing with an easy grace and flawless precision
The audience twittered when Olding announced that the encore would be ‘something about a bird’, before the players launched into the finale of Haydn’s String Quartet in C Major, Op. 33, No. 3 (nicknamed ‘The Bird’). Throughout the concert, the Goldner Quartet eschewed theatrics and ostentation, allowing the music to speak for itself, playing with an easy grace and flawless precision.
Sydney Mozart Society | Goldner String Quartet | March 6, 2015 at The Concourse, Chatswood