Last year I mentioned that I'd heard a wonderful string quartet playing Mozart in the Montgomery BART. Quite some time afterwards, the cellist and violist contacted me to thank me for writing about them. I learned, however, that they'd been playing Haydn. Alas for my pride, but I certainly loved the music and the chance to experience it in live performance.
Last night I was treated to a full-length performance by the Novello Quartet. They played Haydn and Mozart, and thanks to some helpful remarks from the violist, Anthony Martin, I learned to appreciate the differences in their compositional styles.
The program included the second of Haydn's Opus 54 quartets, as well as his unfinished quartet, Opus 103. After intermission, we heard Mozart's "Dissonance" quartet, K. 465.
The Novello Quartet consists of first violinist Tekla Cunningham, second violinist Cynthia Miller Freivogel, violist Anthony Martin and cellist Elisabeth Reed. All are accomplished performers with early music groups in the Bay Area and elsewhere. As a group, they communicate extraordinarily well, never missing an entrance or cadence. They play on period instruments, gut strings and all, producing a soothing and mellifluous tone.
One of the nicest aspects of the evening was the venue, Ellen Webb's yoga studio in Oakland. It's an intimate setting accommodating a few dozen people, with lots of wood to soften the sound. The studio is attached to the home of Stephanie Weisman of The Marsh fame, and her husband Richard DiLeo. Stephanie has been organizing chamber performances in the studio for some time, and I can't wait for the next one.
Delightful!Sep 17, 2006 by event
★★★★★ I heard the Novello Quartet performing works by Haydn and Mozart at Ellen Webb's Yoga studio in Oakland on September 16th, 2006. It was a delightful experience, and I look forward to seeing them again soon!