A CLASSICAL music ensemble is the recipient of an Argus Angel award.
Alke Quartet performed a five-star concert at Theatre Royal Brighton, which our reviewer Philip Dennett described as “captivating and expressive”.
He said: “Befitting the Theatre Royal setting of so many dramas, the Alke String Quartet evoked the whole gamut of emotions in its captivating lunchtime performance.
“The relatively young quartet brought a compulsive ebb and flow of anguish to Mendelssohn’s technically challenging String Quartet Number 6 with the cello of Karen French hinting at darker undertones, while also adding a touch of angry grief when needed.
“The viola of Benjamin Harrison added a creamier sound to contrast the lightly dancing violins. If the music spoke of confusion, the musicians remained cohesive.”
Philip praised the synergy of the performers, who have been playing together since 2011.
He added: “Schubert’s unfinished Quartettsaz veered between energetically portrayed agitation and beautifully handled melody in the only movement Schubert completed.
“Lead violin Soh-Yon Kim dived and swooped, egged on by feverish cello and viola, then glided seamlessly into sweeter moments of serenity.
“Janacek’s Kreutzer Sonata gave them plenty of scope for drama, with spirited interplay between Soh-Yon Kim, second violin Henry Chandler and the viola reaching jagged peaks.
“Soh-Yon Kim played the heroine with great longing in an expressive performance but there was vitality too, both violins racing away in thrilling but controlled fashion with nudging calls from the viola.
“This was not easy listening but it was worth the concentration.”
Alke Quartet consists of violinists Soh-Yon Kim and Henry Chandler, viola player Ben Harrison and cello player Karen French. The group is formed from members of the Southbank Sinfonia, an orchestra of young professionals described by The Times as “a dashing ensemble who play with exhilarating fizz, exactness and stamina”.
Since 2015 they have been in residence at the Royal College of Music on the Chamber Music Course.
Edwin Gilson, entertainment editor, said: “I am happy to award Alke Quartet an Argus Angel.
“Classical music requires incredible mental poise as well as technical prowess and, judging by our reviewer’s words, the four-piece possess both in abundance. The members of the quartet are young but have already built up a telepathic relationship with each other, a connection that benefits their music no end.
“We fully expect them to go on to big things and are sure we’ll see them back in Brighton in the near future.”
lFor more information visit: brightonfestival.org