AT last Saturday’s concert in the fine acoustics of the Acorn Centre, the Maxwell String Quartet’s theme was chamber music by composers that are famous for opera. This included rarely heard pieces by operatic giants, Puccini and Verdi that provided a distinctive Italian and romantic atmosphere.
The Maxwells are Enterprise Music Scotland’s Residency Artists for 2011- 2013, which supports musicians in the early stage of their careers. They were formed in 2010 from graduates of the Royal Academy of Music, Oxford University and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Duncan Strachan (cello) explained that it had been a “boy’s band” from Glasgow until recently, but now featured a young lady, Violeta Barreña, as their first violin, who lives in London. George Smith (2nd violin) and Ian Anderson (Viola) completed the ensemble.
The concert opened with the optimistic “Spring” String Quartet in G major K387 by Mozart. The Maxwells’ playing was graceful and unforced as they allowed the musical architecture to reveal itself to the listener, superbly balanced and articulated. The second half of the concert opened with a complete contrast with the Chacony in G minor by Purcell, Z730. The quartet showed their mastery of expression and balance with Purcell’s sparse but suggestive harmony and throughout displayed a subtlety and maturity of interpretation that belied their youth.
The final concert of the season by Inverurie Music is a Gala Concert by Chamber Philharmonic Europe from Cologne in Inverurie Town hall on Friday, March 29 (Good Friday) at 8pm. Further details are on the club’s website at www.inveruriemusic.co.uk.