Edinburgh International Festival music review: Quatuor Modigliani, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Carol Main.
Quatuor Modigliani may be – in terms of string quartets anyway – a relatively young outfit, but their EIF debut at the Queen’s Hall was remarkable testimony to what they have achieved since starting out at the Paris Conservatoire just over ten years ago.
In Beethoven’s Op 18 No 4 they were not always totally seamless, but neatly captured both the spirited lyricism of the piece and also the playful nature which pervades much of the music. It was in Ravel’s F major Quartet, however, that the all-male foursome really came into their own.
This was a performance of shimmering, magical beauty, nuanced interpretation and total coherence among the players. With deeply held affinity for the music of a fellow Frenchman, the honeyed intensity of their tone was superbly suited to a benchmark performance. Although Dohnányi’s String Quartet No 3 is often overlooked, its neglect is unwarranted. Replacing a broken string for first violin Philippe Bernhard reaped the benefit of hearing much of the lively last movement twice. As they develop, it would be interesting to hear the quartet themselves a second time. Fingers crossed a repeat invitation to Edinburgh is on the cards.
Published in The Scotsman on 12 August 2015
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