REVIEW: Castalian Concert

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The birth of Tickhill Music Society in 1977 was introduced by a String Quartet and this format has been a firm staple on their programming ever since.

The February concert this year carried on that tradition with a visit from the Castalian String Quartet. The name relates to the celebrated fountain in Greece, sacred to Apollo and the Muses with the power to inspire all who drink there; it is a fitting title for these talented players, all masters (and mistresses) of their instruments who blended into an integrated team with impressive ensemble playing.

They began with early Schubert, written when he was only 16. It had a melodious first movement, a spirited Scherzo, a hymn-like Adagio and a jaunty last movement.

Beethoven’s Opus 95 is the gateway to his monumental late quartets. The players attacked it with precision and zest, the whole piece being an integrated structure of powerful Beethovian architecture.

Finally Mendelssohn’s Op 44 No. 2 was a judicious mixture of tuneful melody and brisk faster movements, notably the agitated Scherzo and the final Presto a characteristic example of Mendelssohn’s vigour.

The outstanding quality of this group’s performance was the immaculate teamwork, no ragged edges and total commitment. It is a real treat to have music making of such high quality on our doorstep and a tribute to the choices made by the Concert Secretary. Pity there wasn’t a larger audience to savour this evening of rich rewards.