Belcea Quartet returns

On The Town | Vienna Review | October 2012


Last spring, London’s Belcea Quartet brought us stupendous performances of the complete Beethoven string quartets on six nearly successive evenings. It was an artistic feat comparable to six successive Olympic medals. (If you missed it and have some passionate financial flexibility, they’re doing it again in Stockholm at the end of this month.)

The foursome is brilliant, yet their perfection has a natural radiance that never lets you forget that these are, indeed, human beings. The Belcea (pronounced bel-cha) will be here again on 8 Oct. (at the Konzerthaus, see for venue information, or visit here), this time teaming up with Eckart Runge, cello, Nicolas Bone, viola, and Alois Posch, double bass.

On the programme, late Romantic works: a sextet by Johannes Brahms, whose string writing is always sensual and lush, and a transcription for septet of Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen, Study for 23 Solo Strings. Divide 23 by 7 and you get something more than 3, which means each member of the septet is taking on three-plus parts of Strauss’ original score. Impressive.

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