Review: Brodowski Quartet at Vic Rooms
THE Brodowski Quartet have performed extensively at many festivals throughout Europe and they are also dedicated to educational work.
Having given two concerts at the above venue last year they were invited to be the university's quartet- in-residence for a series of concerts this year, thanks to the generous support of the Carr Gregory Trust.
The programme consisted of two well-known pieces starting with Smetana's 1st subtitled From My Life. After becoming deaf he moved from Prague to Jabkenice in 1876 still hoping that this disability would not be permanent. In the autumn he started a new work depicting the course of his life describing it as "using four instruments speaking amongst themselves in something like a friendly circle".
Completed on December 29, 1876, it had a private premiere in Prague.
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Semi-auto biographical, it opens with the adventure and enthusiasm of youth learning with the viola having a prominent part at the beginning of the first movement before proceeding to a happy polka depicting the joyful days of his youth. Once again the main tune is given to the viola. After a glorious Largo which he says was "happiness on meeting his first love" who ultimately became his wife, a lively finale uses short quotes from various sections building up to a climax which suddenly stops dead denoting his oncoming deafness and the music fades away. This was a close-knit performance in which all four players showed their individual skills.
Dvorak's 12th Quartet is known as the American. Its opening was modelled on the introduction to the other work we heard with frustrated energy and nostalgia being the prevailing moods, the latter feeling shown by the plaintive, soaring violin melody in the Lento. The quartet, ably led by David Brodowski , gave an elegant rendition which was a revelation to a large and appreciative audience.