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Zehetmair Quartet, Wigmore Hall | reviews, news & interviews

Zehetmair Quartet, Wigmore Hall

Zehetmair Quartet, Wigmore Hall

Tough strings in otherworldly Beethoven and Shostakovich

Austere celebrants of Beethoven and Shostakovich: Ursula Smith, Kuba Jackowitz, Ruth Killius and Thomas ZehetmairKeith Pattison

This is the second Sunday in a month that I've sat in the Wigmore Hall and been plunged into an evening of ferocious concentration from the very first bars. Mid-January saw violinist Leonidas Kavakos and his phenomenal pianist Enrico Pace carving out the grim memorial that is Prokofiev's First Violin Sonata, ultimately softened by radiant Schubert. Last night Kavakos's peer Thomas Zehetmair accented the lead in late Beethoven, and since only Shostakovich's last quartet followed, this time there was to be no more human gilding of a very alien lily.

This is the second Sunday in a month that I've sat in the Wigmore Hall and been plunged into an evening of ferocious concentration from the very first bars. Mid-January saw violinist Leonidas Kavakos and his phenomenal pianist Enrico Pace carving out the grim memorial that is Prokofiev's First Violin Sonata, ultimately softened by radiant Schubert. Last night Kavakos's peer Thomas Zehetmair accented the lead in late Beethoven, and since only Shostakovich's last quartet followed, this time there was to be no more human gilding of a very alien lily.

Thomas himself soared with the biggest tone imaginable, sounding like the darkest of violas in his muted lower register

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