Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Poetic Licence: Attacca Quartet at Christchurch

Effective  lighting  for Attacca at Christchurch 

The Attacca Quartet are on an Irish  tour at the moment and I enjoyed hearing them last night at Christchurch Cathedral Waterford on the second evening of a six date tour. You can read a report of the opening concert on the Irish Times blog here. The  playing was very fine indeed  and they were an attractive looking group on the dramatically  lit platform in  the elegant backdrop of the 18th century interior.

Unfortunately I got caught by the early start time and missed the opening work by Adams. I think early start times and tea time / afternoon recitals are a great idea particularly on weekends but they do need to be flagged more actively  particularly when all other times in the tour are at the more conventional 8pm.

I loved the addition of a spoken element to the proceedings and it was refreshing to hear sound of well modulated accents from the other side of the Atlantic. There were subsantial  programme notes from Liam Cagney. Here is what he has to say about the 4th movement  of 'Intimate Letters'. Janacek's passionate paean to a beloved younger woman.
'The final movement, gliding on erotic impulse, expresses the composer's fear that he might 'bind your feet like a pretty little lamb' ;though the finale eventually ends triumphantly'  Judge for youself.  Here is a clip of the Attacca Quartet playing the finale of their 'Poetic Licence' programme

The Attacca Quartet are at the Triskel  Arts Centre in Cork tonight  (Note at 8pm) and Wexford tomorrow afternoon.  Tour locations and dates here 

Venue Notes : I loved the subdued lighting in the body of the church. It added much to the experience. The accoustic of the 18th century stone building suited the dimensions of an unamplified chamber ensemble and the string sonority was rich and warm. The setting of the vocal microphone sounded off. The vocal clarity was not as sharp as it might  be. I was conscious of this also at a recent talk here.

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