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"undaunted enthusiasm, camaraderie and sheer exhilaration"
Concerts at Cratfield
"This quartet goes to the very heart of what chamber music is"
The Maxwell Quartet is delighted to be presenting the first in a series of curated chamber concerts at Guardswell Farm.
The quartet will be preforming works from their debut album, on Linn Records, which is due for release in March 2019 and features their own folk compositions alongside music by Joseph Haydn.
This beautifully converted farm steading has a special place in the Maxwell Quartet’s hearts - it’s where the group’s violinist, George Smith, got married back in 2017, and the quartet are thrilled to be returning. The venue’s beautiful views, atmospheric spaces and perfect chamber acoustic will combine with the Maxwell Quartet’s unique and acclaimed performance style, making for a very special evening.
The evening will start with a welcome drink and nibble, followed by the performance.
24 FEB 2019
27 FEB 2019
01 MARCH 2019
06 MARCH 2019
09 MARCH 2019
16 MARCH 2019
17 MARCH 2019
NEWTON STEWART UK
Any ensemble making its American debut is likely to feel some jitters, especially when the program includes a masterpiece as dense and thorny as Beethoven’s Op. 130. But on Sunday, members of the Maxwell String Quartet had an additional reason for feeling a little, well, vulnerable.
Addressing the audience at the New School, the group’s cellist, Duncan Strachan, explained why. “I must say,” he said, “this is a very high stage for kilts.”
Flashes of thigh, and wit, are not the only reason to take note of the Maxwell Quartet, which hails from Scotland and advertises that fact both in its dress and in its repertory, which includes striking arrangements of folk music. (As the sole Englishman in the lineup, the violist Elliott Perks wore tartan trousers.) As Sunday’s eloquent performance demonstrated, the players bring the same charisma and sense of adventure to their selections.
The slightly tart, resiny sound of traditional fiddle playing carried over beautifully into fresh readings of Haydn and into the Beethoven. But perhaps the most arresting moment was James MacMillan’s “Memento” from 1994, in which wisps of a melody floated on hazy harmonies and coalesced into heaving sighs before dissolving again into ghostly strains, rendered with a kind of fierce tenderness. CORINNA da FONSECA-WOLLHEIM
1st Prizewinner and Audience Prizewinner at the 9th Trondheim International Chamber Music Competition in 2017, with performances hailed as “superb storytelling by four great communicators" by the Strad Magazine, the Maxwell Quartet is now firmly regarded as one of Britain's finest young string quartets, with a strong connection to their folk music heritage and a commitment to bringing together wide-ranging projects and programmes to expand the string quartet repertoire. read more >
"After each of the three quartets, the Maxwells add some evocative Scottish folk tunes, providing gentle, wistful punctuations between Haydn’s essays, beautifully serene"
"With this first recording,these four young Scots set the bar high. Inventiveness, rhythmic energy and irreproachable intonation in a programme conceived around the three Op. 71 Quartets"
"The joy of playing together is palpable, the complicity is eloquent, the momentum is incessant... a beautiful CD of chamber music, which will delight fans of the genre"