Susan Tomes/Aurea Quartet, Cottier's Theatre, Glasgow

Michael Tumelty

Four stars

THERE are some moments in concert performance where everything, magically, just clicks. It's the time, it's the place, it's the space, it's the people playing, it's the music to hand; it's the crowd, it's the atmosphere, it's the occasion and it's the vibe, as we used to say. It's the moment, as all these strands feed into, reinforce and enhance one another, resulting in a cumulative effect that transcends definition, when the word synchronicity looms again in my mind.

It comes unbidden, but, to me, it seems the exact word with which to explain the grace and power of the enthralling performances that clearly captivated the large audience which turned out on Friday night for the unexpected but riveting combination of pieces by Mozart and Shostakovich in the Cottier Chamber Project.

I've gone on and on here for decades about the fact that it is not necessary in performance to shout in order to be heard. And that was exemplified in the absolutely beautiful performance by Susan Tomes of Mozart's A major Piano Concerto, K414, in its chamber version, written by the composer himself, for just piano and string quartet. Tomes' exquisite scaling of the piece in this form was perfectly-matched to the close-up environment, the intimacy of the accompaniment by the Aurea Quartet and the spellbound atmosphere in the venue.

And that actually flowed, almost naturally, with no sense of stylistic dichotomy, into a magnetic performance by the group of Shostakovich's Eighth String Quartet which was so quietly but fiercely concentrated that the abrupt eruption into the second movement seemed volcanic: a rather special musical experience.