Friday, July 20, 2007

The Deller Quartet and friends

Schubert's Octet was written for a clarinetist to play with friends, like much of Schubert's music - if he'd lived to anything like a reasonable age he'd doubtless have left behind more big, "public" works, but as it is most of his music is like this - small scale (in forces if not in length), intimate, informal. It initially seems an unlikely situation, to be sat in a chapel drinking while listening to a concert, but it's a nice change of pace. There's a rarity in the Five Pieces for string quartet by Schulhoff ( a composer who should be better known) and Webern's early "Langsamer Satz", luxuriant and lush, if lacking in the emotional depth of his mature work. The Deller Quartet (all members of KSO) perform both with aplomb, before being joined by some of the KSO wind section for the Schubert. This is surely how he meant this music to be heard - friends playing together for friends; listening, drinking, enjoying. Afterwards we all decamp to the pub up the road. It's not the best pub in the world, but it doesn't matter - it's good company that makes an evening enjoyable.

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