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Fringe Classical: Review

Bartók and Janácek Late

Bartók and Janácek Late

ROSL Arts Music @ 100 Princess Street

As part of Royal Over-Seas League Arts' annual Fringe series, their Late concerts tend to feature some slightly more unusual repertoire than ROSL Arts' musical offerings earlier on in the day. With a relaxed, salon-style feel to the evening, a level of intimacy is reached between performer and audience in what's aptly billed as a "late-night musical nightcap".

Pianist Yasmin Rowe opened this inaugural late recital with an elegantly lyrical performance of Janáek's Piano Sonata No 1 X 1905, though sadly the limitations of the instrument somewhat truncated her exploration of the composer's animated soundscapes. Joined on stage by cellist Yelian He, the duo gave a poetic interpretation of another of Janáek's works, Pohadka, meaning Fairy Tale, and worked seamlessly in tandem with their musical storytelling.

Carrying on with the Eastern European theme, ROSL Arts prize winners the Lazarus Quartet gave an intense and fiery rendition of Béla Bartók's String Quartet No 4. The layering and texturing of each instrument was smooth and sleek; from invigorating pizzicatos to rich, sumptuous melodies the quartet played very much as a single force in this highly intricate and demanding piece.

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