Yesterday was one of the better Mondays in recent memory as Ikon artists took over BBC Radio 3 for an afternoon and evening of stunning piano and string playing.
First, Janina Fialkowska dazzled a sold-out Wigmore Hall with a programmeof Chopin. As Ben Hogwood notes, Fialkowska “beautifully illustrated it with capricious lines that glittered…her ease with the music was palpable”. Read his full review here. Listen to Janina’s concert, presented by Sean Rafferty, here.
In the evening, the Sacconi Quartet played Haydn, Britten and Mendelssohn at St Paul’s Hall, Huddersfield University.
Haydn’s Op.20 quartets of 1772 are among the works that earned him the sobriquet “the father of the string quartet.” They’re considered a milestone in the history of composition, and helped to define the medium for the next 200 years. In a century dominated by the string quartets of Bartok and Shostakovich, Britten’s No.2 is an isolated masterpiece of a genius – as powerful, astonishing and emotionally draining as any work for the genre ever written. Finally, Mendelssohn composed his String Quartet No. 2 in A minor, Op.13, in 1827, when he was just 18 years old. Despite its official number, it was actually Mendelssohn’s first string quartet, and shows a youthful exuberance and a deep love for the music of Beethoven.
Listen again to the Sacconi Quartet’s concert, presented by Tom Redmond, here.