The weather played its part, and the concert began with sunshine streaming through the windows of the University Chapel.
The opening work, the English composer Frank Bridge’s short piece “Phantasy” is played as a single movement but has many changes of tempo and mood. Immediately the talents of this group became apparent (Susanne Stanzeleit, violin; Robin Ireland, viola; Andrew Fuller, cello; John Thwaites, piano) not only as individuals, but more importantly in the sensitive balance, mellow tone and obvious understanding between them. This was followed by a piece by Schumann: a bold, romantic work far removed from its classical ancestors but still rooted in their structures. Its lovely melodic lines and much good humour were performed with obvious enjoyment.
After the convivial interval buffet we were treated to a stirring performance of Brahm’s Quartet in G minor. Although written for only four players in what is notionally a chamber music context, this is a monumental work of symphonic stature invoking strongly contrasting emotions. It also demands considerable virtuosity from the players who rose to the occasion magnificently and provided us with a most memorable evening.
Please ring 01243 378900 for details of how to join Funtington Music Group. We hold nine meetings per year on Wednesdays in the Chapel of the Ascension at the University of Chichester.