Scottish Ensemble: Quintets Classical

Scottish Ensemble: Quintets

Mozart                 String Quintet No. 4 in G minor, K516
Brahms                String Quintet No. 2 in G major, Op.111
Martin Suckling    Nocturne for Cello and Violin

G minor has long been associated, in Mozart’s work, with agitation, anguish and desperation (look to his 40th Symphony or his first Piano Quartet for evidence). This quintet is no different, sinking as it does into an out-of-character contemplative melancholy. With the addition of the extra viola adding that essential extra flesh, it’s easy to see why this and Mozart’s five other quintets are considered so spectacular, paving the way for the romantic model…

…the model that was perfected and, arguably, transcended by Brahms, whose second quintet was intended as his last ever work. His Opus 111, he claimed, had said all he could as a composer and no more works should be expected. From the rich orchestral fullness of its first movement to the Slavonic gypsy rhythms of the fourth, it’s a difficult claim to refute.

Glasgow-born composer Martin Suckling’s Nocturne is something different altogether: its feather-light, ethereal, lingering slides and tones will stay with you long after the performance ends.

"There was a queue down the stairs for seats at Wednesday lunchtime’s recital by a quintet from Jonathan Morton’s Scottish Ensemble, and little wonder" ★★★★★ The Herald


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